FAQ# 2311: What do the terms "IoT", "LTSB/C", and "POSReady 7" mean?


What do the terms "IoT", "LTSB/C", and "POSReady 7" mean?


First of all, these different acronyms are associated with variations on the Windows operating systems, most likely found on an all-in-one POS computer or system.

"IoT" originally refers to the "Internet of Things", which is a broad term for all the devices in our world that connect to the internet (aside from desktop computers) and run on desktop-level operating systems. In this scenario, "Windows 10 IoT" simply means it's a version of Windows 10 built specifically to be loaded and used on a mobile or All-In-One device. It is a rebranding of their previous terms "Windows Embedded", "Embedded Compact" (CE), or "Windows Mobile" (WM); and the desktop-based "POSReady" versions.

"LTSB" and "LTSC" mean "Long-Term Serving Branch" and "Long-Term Serving Channel", respectively. Both of these versions are merely variations that don't receive updates as often as your standard personal computer running Windows 10. Instead of getting full feature updates each month or so, these systems won't require updates from 2-3 years, giving you a stable and unchanging system for smooth, long-term usage without having to reinvent the wheel each time an update can potentially mess with your system and interrupt your work. To keep your system safe, The LTSB OS does still receive security updates on a monthly basis. LTSC is simply the more current version of this variation, and more or less replaces the LTSB designation.

And finally
"POSReady 7" is very similar to the IoT version of Windows, and indeed is replaced directly by the IoT family. This is a version of Windows made specifically for an All-In-One Windows-based POS computer. It has locked-down features and is embedded (there's that term again) into the hardware to be ready for POS program to be installed and used. This version of POSReady (there are others, but mainly obsolete now) is based on the more popular and stable Windows 7 iteration of the Windows operating system. As mentioned above, while you may find equipment out there running this version of Windows for POS, it has been replaced by the IoT family of operating systems.

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