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January edition of Azure Sphere OS cancelled after Microsoft actually listens to customer's complaint

Wait – is this the same company that gave us Windows?

Microsoft has cancelled the latest release of Azure Sphere OS, its take on securing IoT devices, citing problems reported by a customer during evaluation.

Far be it from us to wonder if that is THE Azure Sphere customer, or one of a multitude. After all, if an IoT device has a borked connection, but nobody is using the thing, can it truly be said to have borked at all?

Philosophy aside, the reported issue is concerned with intermittent network connection failures during the OS update while using the ENC28J60 Ethernet interface for internet connectivity. "To adhere to our quality standards," intoned the company, "we are cancelling the 22.01 release while we investigate this."

Yes, it appears Microsoft does have quality standards where Azure Sphere OS is concerned. Something that might come as a surprise to administrators looking glumly at a patch to patch the patch in the Windows world.

Azure Sphere OS has enjoyed a regular release cadence since seeping under the Redmond bathroom door. 21.10, released in October, was packed with toys for IoT fans, including security fixes and support for connecting to a network through a proxy server. 22.01, now on the naughty step, did not feature any critical security updates. However, Microsoft is taking no chances and is holding fire another three weeks, when version 22.02 will be ready for publishing.

Announced in 2018, Azure Sphere is one of Microsoft's forays into edge computing, with a Linux-based OS running on System-on-Chip (SoC) hardware because, frankly, Windows was (and is) a bit lardy and overkill for such purposes. It finally launched almost two years ago, in February 2020, into a world where alternatives to Microsoft's take on keeping connected gizmos secure and up to date had already gained considerable traction.

Still, Microsoft has continued to forge ahead with the tech even if, as a result of a customer's connectivity woes, the latest version has been cancelled. It's good to know someone at Redmond is listening. ®

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