Microsoft has followed up on its February promise to make Windows 10 available for the Internet of Things and has finally shipped a preview of the operating system for the Raspberry Pi 2. The RBP 2 isn’t the only device supported — the new Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview (we didn’t name it, don’t blame us) is also available for the MinnowBoard Max.
Microsoft’s blog post talks up a comprehensive partnership between itself and a variety of IoT companies, including Arduino and Hackster.IO, but there’s obviously a bit of play in exactly how the software giant is supporting various devices and products. With Arduino, Microsoft is talking up how Windows provides a software platform for controlling existing devices (and possibly a means of distributing software for various types of Arduino-based hardware) rather than as any kind of operating system for the devices themselves. Microsoft has put together some basic tutorials on how to use Windows to control an LED light kit powered by an Arduino, for example.
Microsoft is positioning Windows 10 as an OS that’s hooked to the right tools for developing IoTprojects as well as an operating system that can run on IoT devices. The Raspberry Pi 2 fits into this second category — the platform’s quad-core Cortex-A7 and 1GB of RAM give it the horsepower to run this stripped down version of Windows 10 quite nicely, though we wouldn’t look for desktop-class performance from the diminutive RBP.
One more item of note: Exactly which devices are supported by this OS release seems to be a matter of opinion. Tech site TheWindowsClub claims that Windows 10 IoT is supported by the RBP 2, Arduino, MinnowBoard Max, and Intel’s Galileo. Microsoft’s official website for Windows IoT has an FAQ question that states Intel’s Galileo won’t be supported past Windows 8.1. The blog post announcing the availability of Windows 10 IoT, however, notes “Whether you’re using a Raspberry Pi 2, an Intel Galileo or a retail Arduino combined with a Qualcomm-powered Lumia phone we can’t wait to see what you’ll make!”