For each Windows version, multiple options are available such as Home, Business, and Enterprise users, each tailored to suit the needs of each target user. For example, embedded systems and Industrial IoT-based applications would depend upon the Windows IoT Enterprise and LTSC (Long Term Service Channel) versions.
Compared with personal computers, upgrading a system for industrial-grade embedded computers to a new Windows version is far from simple. Due to the extensive, interconnected nature of Industrial IoT applications, slight modifications can disrupt a stable, functional system. It follows, with a new version of Windows 11 IoT, and the soon-available Windows IoT LTSC version; we will cover the hardware requirements of Windows 11 IoT and evaluate whether it is worthwhile to consider the upgrade from Windows 10 IoT to Windows 11 IoT for Industrial IoT enterprises.
Windows 11 IoT Overview
The Windows 11 IoT Enterprise aims to improve enterprises’ embedded systems through new hardware feature requirements, including USB 4.0, Wi-Fi 6E, and TPM 2.0. Therefore, Windows 11 IoT can accelerate AI-powered applications and performance through faster processing speeds and enhanced connectivity. In addition, Windows 11 IoT increased its security requirements to protect the ever-growing data volumes by requiring more rigorous hardware demands.
Hardware Requirements of Windows 10 IoT and Windows 11 IoT Enterprise
If you are currently on Windows 10 and would like to compare Windows 10 and 11 IoT, below is a table that details the main hardware requirement differences between components such as CPU, RAM, Storage, Graphics, Display, TPM, and firmware requirements.
|Windows 10 IoT
|Windows 11 IoT
|1 GHz clock speed (32-bit/64-bit)
1 GHz (2 cores) or faster processor (64-bit)
|1 GB for 32-bit, 2 GB for 64-bit
|4 GB or more
|16 GB for 32-bit, 20 GB for 64-bit
|64 GB or more
|DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
|DirectX 12 compatible graphics card or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
|Display resolution and cable
|800 x 600 or higher resolution (VGA, DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort)
|1366 x 768 or higher resolution (HDMI 1.4 and later, DisplayPort 1.2 and later)
|TPM (Trusted Platform Module)
|Versions 1.2 and 2.0 supported
|Version 2.0 required
|System BIOS & Firmware
|Supports both UEFI (optional) and legacy BIOS
|Requires UEFI firmware with SecureBoot
|Traditional User Interface
|New and modern user interface, improved touch support, and support for new input devices such as pen and voice. Streamlined and intuitive for enhanced user-experience.
|Linux GUI Subsystem
In summary, Windows 11 IoT hardware support promises the following upgrades:
With the advanced hardware requirements, there are many possibilities Windows 11 IoT can bring to your Industrial IoT applications, depending on the hardware you choose to upgrade. You can enjoy improved graphic displays, faster data processing, and utilize AI-powered applications. Windows 11 IoT also offers the latest version of Microsoft Edge AI, promising a more intelligent browsing experience. Overall, the updates to hardware and software features in Windows 11 IoT Enterprise enable organizations to easily manage and deploy IoT devices while providing enhanced security and scalability.
Internet Enabled Features For Windows 11 IoT
An internet connection is required when updating Windows 11 IoT. Without internet connectivity, the update process cannot proceed due to some of the update process involves downloading and installing files from the internet. Moreover, there are some built-in features that you can utilize when connecting your Windows 11 IoT devices online.
Windows 11 IoT Internet-Enabled Features:
Should I Update My Software From Windows 10 to 11 IoT Enterprise?
Now that we have covered the hardware and firmware requirements for Windows 11 IoT Enterprise, you may be wondering whether installing Windows 11 is the right move to make for your industrial IoT applications. Windows 11 IoT can drastically enhance user-experience through new interface updates and hardware enhancements. There is a sense of familiarity with the Windows 10 IoT user interface, which makes it easy for users and operators to navigate among the eco-system of interfaces they may face in their day-to-day operations. In addition, the built-in enhanced security features of Windows 11 IoT would protect industries who rely heavily on cloud-based data against cyber threats.
Moreover, Windows 11 is highly compatible with a variety of IoT devices and systems and can be customized to make it fit the specific needs of your organization, such as a customizable user-interface, configured security settings and integration with other systems and software making it a versatile choice. Particularly, Windows 11 IoT would serve enterprises who rely heavily on cloud-based and embedded systems that process data in real time, and require stronger computing capabilities to improve efficiency, productivity and more robust decision-making.
Windows 11 IoT Enterprise offers several benefits for various industries, including:
- Healthcare: manage patient data, monitor medical devices, improve patient care;
- Transportation: monitor vehicle performance, track shipments, optimize logistics and supply chain management;
- Retail: track sales, manage inventory, improve user shopping experience, analyze customer data;
- Manufacturing: to monitor production processes, manage inventory and supply chain;
- Agriculture: monitor crop growth, optimize irrigation, optimize harvest yields;
- Energy: Optimize energy usage; optimize energy distribution; improve safety of operators.
Azure Marketplace B2B Software Solutions
Following a shift to Windows 11 IoT, your enterprise may look at the many B2B products available at Azure Marketplace for sofware management systems suited to each industrial IoT needs.
Why You Should Not Update To Windows 11 IoT? At Least Not Yet.
Without the necessary hardware already in place, it may be costly to begin making this transition. In addition, shifting your embedded eco-system to Windows 11 IoT Enterprise before the LTSC is available means that long-term software updates and support would not be provided before its release at the end of 2023. Without the LTSC version available, embedded computers at the heart of an enterprise’s function may be affected as it would require more regular security updates and servicing over a specified period of 5 years, as opposed to the earlier 10-year LTSC time frame for Windows 10. So, it would be advisable to wait for the Windows 11 IoT Enterprise LTSC release before considering a shift to ensure that your system remains reliable and secure.
On the other hand, if your embedded systems are running smoothly on the Windows 10 IoT ecosystem and you forecast a heavy processing demand in your industrial applications, making the shift to Windows 11 IoT may not be a priority. After all, Windows 11 was built on the foundation of Windows 10 with a slight improvement in connectivity and security, so skipping would not mean you are missing out.
Premio Provide Hardware Ready Industrial Computers for Windows 11 IoT
If you feel that your industry is heading towards the latest OS and are looking to upgrade your systems to operate on the Windows 11 IoT Enterprise eco-system to possess higher graphic capabilities, stronger processing power, and added security, you can start looking into some hardware with Windows 11 IoT support. Premio is launching its next-generation AI Edge Inference Computer, the RCO-6000-ADL which is set to be released soon in Q2 of 2023. The RCO-6000-ADL is a fanless AI Edge Inference Computer that meets the hardware requirements of Windows 11 IoT, more details below:
RCO-6000-ADL's Key Features:
- LGA 1700 socket with 12th Gen. Intel® ADL-S Processor (65W/35W TDP);
- Intel® R680E chipset;
- Intel® UHD Graphics 770/710;
- 2x DDR5 4800MHz SODIMM. Max. 64GB (ECC/non-ECC);
- PCIe 4.0 Interface: 1x M.2, 1x mPCIe, 1x each for PCIe x16/x4/x1 slots;
- 2x 2.5 GbE2: Intel I225 (Wake-on-LAN, PXE, and TSN);
- Triple Independent Displays: 1x DVI-I (WUXGA), 2x DP (8K UHD);
- 9 to 48VDC Wide Range Power Input Supporting AT/ATX Mode;
- Wide Operating Temperature -25°C to 70°C;
- 2x EDGEBoost I/O for USB, PoE, M12, 10GbE, 5G, NVMe, and M.2 AI expansions;
- TPM 2.0 for Windows 11 IoT and hardware level encryption;
What's Next for Windows 11 IoT Updates?
The future updates are likely to focus on improving the security to protect against cyber threats, device management and compatibility for a wider range of applications, increased connectivity and customization to better support the specific needs of different industry applications. Enhanced edge computing capability is becoming increasingly important for IoT devices, as it allows for faster processing and analysis of data. Updates to Windows 11 IoT may include new features to support edge computing, such as improved support for AI and machine learning on the device, or better integration with edge computing platforms.