At Microsoft's WinHEC conference in Shenzhen last week, the company detailed its Windows 10 IoT editions, of which there are three depending on the type of device in use. For serious equipment, like robotics, there's Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, while for things like POS terminals and other scanners/systems, there's Windows 10 IoT Mobile.
In addition to IoT Mobile and IoT Enterprise is IoT Core, a super-slim version of Windows 10 that's suitable to run on the simplest of devices running in our house - fire detectors, routers, webcams, and so forth. It's clear that Microsoft doesn't just want Windows on our PCs; it also wants it on our walls, in our kitchens, and even on top of our PCs.
To make sure people want that, Cortana is being brought in to make sure our IoT devices are not just more useful, but kind of addicting. While an AI assistant is not going to be appropriate for all IoT devices, it could provide a lot of use in refrigerators and anything else related to major home appliances or home control. Perhaps Cortana could prevent a fridge from being opened unless it hears your voice - what better way to make guests feel uncomfortable!
As exciting as a scenario like that might sound, we're not going to be able to take advantage of it right away. Microsoft anticipates Cortana landing in some of our IoT devices beginning in late 2017.