List of Operating Systems for IoT that You Should Know About


Unlike traditional Desktops and laptops, IoT devices don’t always have powerful processers or large amount of memory. This is why they need special, optimized OS that can run on slow devices while also consuming as low amount of power as possible. Now that the hardware has started to become practical and powerful enough to get the work done, companies have started working on OS that can accompany the hardware.


Let’s take a look at 5 powerful operating systems for IoT

Windows 10 for IoT

Unlike Windows 8 or 7, the newest version of the Microsoft’s flagship OS is also available for use in Internet of Things. Called Windows 10 IoT, the OS is available in 3 different editions.

The first version, called IoT Mobile, is built to run on ARM architecture. Another version known as IoT Core is made to support Raspberry Pi and Intel Atom processors. The third one is called Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and it is packed with most features found in Desktop version of Windows, but it is limited to running a single app.

The IoT core Edition can be downloaded and used for free. Although you won’t be able to run Win32 Apps on the Pi 2, The Core version can be used to run Universal Windows Apps.

Windows 10 for IoT could be preferred choice of developers who are already experienced in Visual Studio and Microsoft ecosystem.

Google Brillo

Announced in 2015’s Google I/O Conference, Brillo is an upcoming Operating System for IoT. Brillo is aimed at targeting developers with experience in making Android Apps.

The OS is pretty lightweight and rather than requiring full Android in the device, it uses a protocol called Weave [link to :] to function and communicate.

Weave can result in vendors incorporating the protocol in their IoT products, which will ultimately make them compatible with Google’s IoT OS.

Brillo was developed in collaboration with thermostat maker company Nest. To ensure device and app compatibility, a set of APIs, Schemas and a certification program is used.


Started in 2008, RIOT OS is an Open source software project. Being an Open Source Project, RIOT OS can be forked or modified according to the use and the developer won’t have to deal with any licensing fee.

Currently the OS supports number of platforms. [Link to : ] RIOT OS is really good at having low resource requirements and efficient power usages. All that combined with an easy to use API makes it the first choice for many IoT developers.

ARM mbed OS

Mobile processor maker ARM is also developing its own Operating systems for IoT. Similar to RIOT OS, mbed OS is open source and it can run on a wide range of products ranging from small internet connected devices up-to smart cites.

The OS has standards to ensure compatibility for drivers, I/O Devices and connectivity. Unlike other operating systems, mbed OS is, by default, set to single threaded operation. The reason behind this is to make sure that the OS is able to run on small and low powered IoT devices.

mbed OS’s low requirements and good connectivity is going to be a big plus when compared with Microsoft’s or Google’s offerings.

RealSense OS X

While Intel is not known for its software, the company is investing big in its IoT OS called RealSense OS X. The Operating system is designed to run on Intel’s depth sensing technology. RealSence helps developers in creating Depth sensing hardware and software within IoT Spectrum.

The technology uses cameras, Intel powered sensors and specialized software to add features such as 3D scanning and Voice Recognition on laptops and tablets.

Do you know about any other OS that should be on the list? Share with others in the comment below. Joshua Garnett Jersey


  1. Just below your article was a link to a related article on Google’s Fuschia, so you might want to add that to your list. How about including Raspbian as well? Tizen is on Samsung wearables so maybe it counts as well.

  2. Since the Google’s Fuschia is still in development, it would be good to wait till it is launched. Can include the other 2. Thanks for bringing them up 🙂


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