Microsoft selects Linux over Windows for IoT cloud connectivity and security

Azure Sphere aims to bring IoT security and connectivity to multiple clouds

Microsoft's new Azure Sphere is bringing Linux-based software to its product portfolio for the first time.

Announced at the RSA Conference, the Azure Sphere was presented as a cloud and hardware service aimed at securing IoT devices where traditional software security is challenging.

Its focus is on three levels of security enhancement which blends secured IoT microcontrollers, operating system, and cloud-based security, all f which are connected together in an Azure cloud environment. 

The software side gained attention as it is Microsoft's first Linux-based product, as well as the most open source. The company is also offering "royalty-free" licensing of "silicon security technologies" to its silicon partners, such as MediaTek, Qualcomm and Arm.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Microsoft has finally realised it doesn't make sense to alienate potential embedded engineers," said Roy Murdock, an analyst at VDC Research Group's IoT & Embedded Technology unit. "It realises it can get more from licensing Azure cloud services than from OS revenues. It's a smart move."

Creators of Azure Sphere intend for the microcontroller, the brain of IoT devices, to be installed in anything from light bulbs to refrigerators and even toys. With the microcontroller in place, it can support a secure OS and connect safely to the cloud. 

Redmond intends for Azure Sphere to function with existing platforms like Amazon AWS and Google Cloud, providing an easy way for IoT devices to access cloud-powered security. 

"Just as Microsoft brought affordable PCs to every desk, with Azure Sphere we aim to enable a low-cost, securely connected experience on every device," said Microsoft's chief product officer Vikram Dendi. 

The first Azure Sphere chip, the MediaTek MT3620, will be available soon. Azure Sphere is still in the private preview stages, but Redmond hopes to make it available by the end of 2018. Microsoft President Brad Smith expects to ship nine billion devices in the first year, which is a lofty ambition but one Microsoft is in a position to potentially achieve. 

Image credit: Microsoft 

Featured Resources

Transform the operator experience with enhanced automation & analytics

Bring networking into the digital era

Download now

Artificially intelligent data centres

How the C-Suite is embracing continuous change to drive value

Download now

Deliver secure automated multicloud for containers with Red Hat and Juniper

Learn how to get started with the multicloud enabler from Red Hat and Juniper

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/security/vulnerability/354309/patch-issued-for-critical-windows-bug
vulnerability

Patch issued for critical Windows bug

11 Dec 2019
Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354230/microsoft-not-amazon-is-going-to-win-the-cloud-wars
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Visit/operating-systems/microsoft-windows/354297/this-exploit-could-give-users-free-windows-7-updates
Microsoft Windows

This exploit could give users free Windows 7 updates beyond 2020

9 Dec 2019
Visit/hardware/354193/buy-it-to-grow-not-slow-your-business
Sponsored

Buy IT to grow, not slow, your business

25 Nov 2019