In a major shift for for the Wintel franchise Microsoft has candidly released a version of the iconic Windows software that runs on an ARM processor that isn’t made for a smartphone, hoping to embrace the embedded devices market. Windows 10 IoT Core, first announced in February and publicly released on Monday, is made to run on Raspberry Pi 2 boards and the MinnowBoard Max, the low-power computers that hobbyists use to build and prototype connected devices. (Raspberry Pi is a $35, Linux-based computer developed and built by a nonprofit foundation to assistance grab individuals interested in building computers.)
In doing so, the tech giant wants to insure Microsoft software makes it in to the growing community of companies and individuals building for the Internet of things. Microsoft is widely viewed as failing to cultivate a developer base in mobile, and left the company in a training position in the market for consumer apps.
And while some individuals might take the newly released, slimmed down version of Windows 10 to mean you can build a $35 Windows PC using the Windows 10 IoT Core OS and Raspberry Pi computers, that’s not precisely true. The Windows 10 IoT Core operating system is for building embedded device applications such as connected appliances, toys and other household goods using the Windows ecosystem.
This is Microsoft’s effort to offer a unified code base across all types of computers for developers so they can easily build across devices as diverse as refrigerators and robots and enable those devices to leverage applications on either Windows Server or in Software-as-a-service in Microsoft Azure cloud. It’s seems a concession that the maker and hobbyist community is building relevant and unique products and Microsoft doesn’t want to be left behind.
This isn’t merely engineers or students playing about in their basements. These are entrepreneurs, students and even professionals at design firms and inside labs at large companies prototyping projects that could turn in to the next big idea. The strategy is similar to one used by Microsoft rival Apple, who made sure its products were heavily used in education. In doing so, Apple made sure its products were in the hands of the next generation of computer users. This is a smart suggestion provided that Gartner predicts that half of the products built from the Internet-of-things will be built by startups.
So far the forums established to manage the Windows 10 IoT questions aren’t precisely hopping, a lot of developers that are not content to move away fromLinux, Raspbian or various other options. Yet there are brand-new individuals willing to choose up Raspbery Pis every day, and adding an operating system they are a lot more familiar along with could make them a lot more inclined to jump in to making a connected prototype. Just what will certainly be a lot more interesting is as quickly as ARM (ARMH) publicly releases its version of its ARM imbedded OS for the Internet of things, expected later this month.