The first preview of Microsoft Azure Sphere is now available
Microsoft’s Azure Sphere solution consists of three main components to ensure future Internet of Things devices have the best-in-class protection, including the custom designed, Azure Sphere certified microcontrollers, cloud-based Azure Sphere Security Service, as well as the Azure Sphere operating system powered by the Linux kernel.
“Unlike the RTOSes common to MCUs today, our defense-in-depth IoT OS offers multiple layers of security. It combines security innovations pioneered in Windows, a security monitor, and a custom Linux kernel to create a highly-secured software environment and a trustworthy platform for new IoT experiences,” said Galen Hunt Partner Managing Director, Microsoft Azure Sphere.
To provide future Internet of Things devices with a trustworthy and highly-secured software environment, Microsoft said that it created its own custom Linux kernel for Azure Sphere, which uses the security innovations the company has pioneered in its widely-used Windows operating system. The Azure Sphere OS differs from other real-time operating systems as it offers multiple layers of security.
This isn’t the first time Microsoft plays with the Linux kernel as only a few months ago the Redmond-based company announced that it had worked closely with Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, to enable an Azure tailored Linux kernel in the Ubuntu Cloud images on its Azure cloud hosting solution.
Microsoft said that it designed the Azure Sphere initiative to offer the best-in-class security for new Internet of Things experiences, making the life of IoT device manufactures a breeze as they won’t have to invest money in expensive equipment or hire additional staff to keep their devices secure at all times. The company is offering Azure Sphere only to select device manufacturers at this time.
Microsoft expects the first wave of Azure Sphere-powered IoT devices to be available in stores worldwide by the end of the year, so expect 2019 to be the year of Internet of Things devices secured by the Linux kernel and Microsoft’s Azure Sphere platform. Microsoft will distribute development kits to everyone interested in hacking Azure Sphere around mid-2018. Until then, you can find more details about Azure Sphere here.

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