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Microsoft Turns to Former Foe Linux to Secure IoT Devices

April 16, 2018 / Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

Microsoft is doing the unthinkable to secure Internet of Things (IoT) devices: using Linux software to power tiny chips for connected things. The company’s President Brad Smith announced the new product, called Azure Sphere, at a press conference at the Microsoft Reactor in San Francisco. The technology includes three components: a thumbnail-sized micro-controller unit, a Linux-based operating system, and a cloud-based security service. “The Azure Sphere Operating System is a new operating system based on a custom Linux kernel that has been optimized for an IoT environment and reworked with security innovations pioneered in Windows,” Smith said. “After 43 years, this is the first day we’re announcing that we will be distributing a custom Linux kernel.”