Microsoft Plays for IoT with Windows 10 for Raspberry Pi

Microsoft moved to make Windows 10 a player in the Internet of Things, announcing support for Raspberry Pi 2 on Monday.

In-brief: Microsoft is making good on promises that its next version of Windows will be a player on the Internet of Things, announcing support for Raspberry Pi 2. 

Microsoft has already made it clear that it plans to break the mold with the next major version of its signature operating system, Windows 10. The company claims that its latest version of Windows will be a radical departure: built for a “mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

After the debacles of both Windows Vista and Windows 8, the Redmond Washington company has promised that Windows 10 will be designed for the future: running on everything from datacenter servers to the Internet of Things.

On Monday, Microsoft doubled-down on that promise, announcing that Windows 10 will support Raspberry Pi 2, the latest version of the $35 minicomputer that is popular with hobbyists and device makers.

“We see the Maker community as an amazing source of innovation for smart, connected devices that represent the very foundation of the next wave of computing,” wrote Kevin Dallas, the General Manager of Microsoft’s Windows IoT Group. “We’re excited to be a part of this community.”

Microsoft said Windows 10 will be free for the Raspberry Pi developer community through the Microsoft Windows Developer Program for IoT.

Raspberry Pi is one of the more popular development platforms for connected devices and combines a system on chip with basic video and audio outputs and onboard storage provided with miniSD cards.

Version 2 represents a big step up in the power and capabilities of Raspberry Pi boards from the earlier Model B boards. Raspberry Pi 2 will feature a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU that boosts performance by roughly six times, and 1 GB of RAM, doubling the RAM of prior boards. They will support the standard complement of Linux flavors. On the IoT front, they will support Snappy Ubuntu Core in addition to Windows 10.

“Raspberry Pi has quickly become one of the Maker community’s favorite platforms because their highly-capable, low-cost boards and compute modules enable developers to bring their vision to life,” Dallas wrote. “Raspberry Pi 2 is a surprisingly powerful device that opens up the world of computing and programing to a huge range of people and skill levels.”

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