Azure Sphere OS Version 22.01 No Longer Happening

Microsoft will no longer be releasing its previously announced Azure Sphere version 22.01 operating system, the company announced on Wednesday.

The new OS, aimed for use by Microsoft's hardware partners building Azure Sphere chips and components, was expected to launch on Jan. 26. Microsoft has now scrapped version 22.01 and plans to launch version 22.02 instead at some undisclosed date.

The problem with version 22.01 had to do with "intermittent network connection failures during the OS update process when using the ENC28J60 Ethernet interface for Internet connectivity," Microsoft indicated. This version of the OS failed to meet quality standards, so Microsoft cancelled it.

The connection failure problems are currently under investigation. Microsoft is still offering version 22.01, though, through its "Retail Eval feed," in the meantime.

The Azure Sphere OS is Microsoft's custom Linux operating system for microcontroller units in certified Azure Sphere chips, which are built by hardware partners. Microsoft previously described having Azure Sphere partnerships with MediaTek, NXP and Qualcomm.

In addition to certifying the chips, Microsoft runs the Azure Sphere Security Service from its datacenters, which checks the status of devices. The service also automatically applies software updates. Microsoft has a security team that keeps watch on the devices as well.

The idea behind Azure Sphere chips is to bring high-level security controls to household and industrial devices at a low cost. They bring protections such as a hardware-based root of trust, defense-in-depth protections, certificate-based authentication and failure reporting.

Azure Sphere for IoT devices has been at the "general availability" commercial-release stage for about two years.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.