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Microsoft Windows Build Hardware

Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2 307

jones_supa writes Microsoft is expanding their Windows Developer Program for Internet of Things by delivering a version of Windows 10 that runs on the Raspberry Pi 2. This release of Windows 10 will be free for the maker community through the Windows Developer Program for IoT. With an official partnership with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Microsoft is bringing development tools, services and ecosystem to the Raspberry Pi community. More details will be shared in the coming months. You can already join the program and be amongst the first to receive product information and beta software releases.
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Microsoft Announces Windows For Raspberry Pi 2

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  • by dosius ( 230542 ) <bridget@buric.co> on Monday February 02, 2015 @09:38AM (#48958035) Journal

    ...it's still two months to April Fool's day...

    • by drolli ( 522659 )

      Yes, me too. I mean: the headline "Microsoft releases next version of windows for hobbyist 35$ computer meant for open source"....

      Whats next?

      -Office for linux - oops Office runs on Andoid.
      -Microsoft hosts Linux - yes, azure runs also linux machines
      -Microsoft sells Linux hardware - seems to be the case - Nokia N1
      -Microsoft contributes to linux kernel - but they are not top 20 any more
      -Linux devices are major income source for MS (~400Million$ for nothing from exFat patents)

      I mean the last thing which is miss

      • Microsoft has always endeavoured to have Windows on as many PCs as possible, no matter who manufactures them. Now the Raspberry Pi is supposedly PC spec (even if not X86 architecture) it's not too surprising to see Windows for it.

  • License? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @09:45AM (#48958075) Journal
    They say it's free to the maker community, but what if you want to turn your creation into a commercial product? Especially for IoT devices it makes little sense to use an OS not known for its reliability, and encumbered by a non-free license. I see no reason not to use proven and free Linux instead.
    • Re:License? (Score:4, Informative)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @10:06AM (#48958267)

      Well that is mostly just Zealot Open Source talking there.
      1. If they were to make a commercial product out of a Raspberry Pi, they would probably just get a different license for the windows. Pay Microsoft some money for the license and pass the cost in the device. If there is a genuine advantage of using Windows in such a device, then it would probably account for the cost. The neat thing with commercial software, their motivation is based on making money, so if you negotiate a deal you can do almost anything you want. Vs. having to try to negotiate with some Open Source Zealot who hates the idea that you want to make make money. So will not make any deal with you just because of his principals.
      2. I have seen more Linux Crashes than Windows crashes in the last 10 year. Just like Linux, if you run good drivers on reliable hardware the system will run.

      That said. Windows is still a bad choice for most maker projects. Because Windows is a Desktop OS first. While Linux works much better on embedded platforms. With window you got its GUI that is in the way, while Linux you can get it to boot into your programs custom GUI, or just run headless and do what it needs to do and do it well.

      • Correction... Desktop versions of Windows is a Desktop OS first. You can always run Windows Server versions with no GUI. Perhaps you can run the desktop versions of windows without the GUI (No GUI meaning, it's not loaded, it's not on disk), but I've never looked into it.

      • by tibit ( 1762298 )

        they would probably just get a different license for the windows

        You never tried to license Windows Embedded products, right? Because it's a quagmire of a process that requires signing your soul away and whatnot. In an ideal world, you could just go to a webpage, enter your CC number, and get back a number of licenses/entitlements. But no, Microsoft had to make it hard for everyone.

        The fucked-up-ness of Windows Embedded licensing is why at work we spend extra money to run our stuff on off-the-shelf Windows Embedded controllers - we simply don't want to deal with the lice

      • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

        If there is a genuine advantage of using Windows in such a device

        ISWYDT [wikipedia.org].

    • by cusco ( 717999 )

      Developers. (The one thing that Balmer had right.) There are a gazillion Windows developers, in Seattle you can't throw a stone without hitting one. There are a few thousand Linux developers. Windows development is taught in high schools all over the world, and a lot of the tools are free to students. Linux development is mostly limited to commercial programmers and the more advanced hobbyists.

  • by acoustix ( 123925 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @09:47AM (#48958081)

    How can Microsoft justify Windows 10 on a less powerful device like Raspberry Pi 2 and not support on the Surface RT?

    Seems pretty stupid to me to purposely screw over the people that bought the RT models that are perfectly capable.

    • by quenda ( 644621 )

      How can Microsoft justify Windows 10 on a less powerful device like Raspberry Pi 2 and not support on the Surface RT?

      Big companies have byzantine internal politics. Maybe the RT guys won't hand over the "secure boot" private keys for Surface? Or they just lost it.

      • by ron_ivi ( 607351 )

        Ironic thing is that I probably would have bought a Surface RT if they unlocked the boot loader.

        It looked like a nice tablet. I just couldn't stand the OS.

        And (rightfully, it seeems) figured it'd turn into abandonware just like all the other alternative-CPU-windows's from history. Note that Windows used to run on DEC Alpha, Tandem MIPS, Itanic, etc.

        • by cusco ( 717999 )

          Windows ran on the Alpha and Tandem CPUs until Compaq bought them and decided on their own to discontinue development. At a time when our fastest Intel server was a Pentium 166 the DEC database server had a 533 mhz CPU. Microsoft was shocked by Compaq's decision to discontinue the Alpha, they had a lab in Bellevue where DEC and MS staff were working to port Win 2000 Server to that CPU. They were close to wrapping up the project when Compaq laid off the developers.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How can they justify it? If you bought a Surface RT, you're a proven sucker, and as a proven sucker, you'll be more likely to give up more cash for a new Windows 10 tablet if there's no upgrade for your crappy Surface RT. Simples.

    • by cybrthng ( 22291 )

      Right now the IoT OS doesn't include "WinRT" which is the app store windows runtime that "Windows RT" uses

      • If it doesn't then that's a huge mistake. It would be a big boost to their app store if you could buy a $35 device to download and run apps from the app store. If they aren't providing access to the App store, then what is the purpose of running Windows on the Raspberry Pi. What applications would you be running. Really there's no advantage of using Windows over Linux if you're going to be constrained to controlling things over GPIO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
      I think it's a big push to get more apps on the Windows App store. There are probably more Raspberry Pis out there than Surface RT/2(RT) tablets, and at $35, I would buy one if they got a few nice apps in the app store. If they support their new Universal Apps on the Raspberry Pi, then programming would be made quite a bit easier. From the experience I've had with programming stuff for the Windows App store, I have to say that I like it a lot more than programming for Android. By continuing to support Wi
      • I also, don't see how they could justify supporting Raspberry Pi, while at the same time abandoning their own products, but I can definitely see why they would want to open up their app store to and easily available $35 computer. I will definitely buy one just for Windows 10 if they do this and it supports the App store.

        I suspect it's more about gaining developer/maker mind-share than selling MS App-store apps. MS currently seem to be working very hard to ensure they stay relevant in the future.

    • Yes I question this move and the practicality as well. The Surface RT was much more powerful than the Pi 2 and it struggled at times with Windows RT (not Windows 8). I can only imagine that Windows 10 will be "10" in name only and have little in common with the desktop/laptop version other than superficial appearance.
      • by cusco ( 717999 )

        Win 10 for phone is apparently quite good, probably better than 8.1 and certainly better than the previous crippled Win Embedded versions. Supposedly the Win 10 kernel is going to be the same across all versions of the OS, from Phone to Server. If they're still saying that at this late date it's likely to be close to the truth.

    • Seems pretty stupid to me to purposely screw over the people that bought the RT models that are perfectly capable.

      By now, it must be obvious closed source merely exists to purposely screw people over, it's the intervals that are getting shorter.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So you build you IoT based around Windows...just how long do you think it'll stay free?

    So you build your next home gadget around Windows...and it's an amazing success...and now you decide to Kickstart it...and Windows is only free to you as a developer...so just how much extra are you going to have to charge to have Windows on the final version?

    Malware on IoT...um...not good. I'll leave it to your imagination.

    *HOW MUCH* RAM and flash memory space does this behemoth take?

    Nah..."Just Say No".

    -

    • by Isca ( 550291 )
      Devices costing less than $300 only have to pay $15 per device to license Windows. Microsoft has also said publicly they are open to negotiating agreements to charge even less than that with manufacturers if the device is significantly less than $300.
      • That's still more expensive than equally capable alternatives. Also, you'd still have to deal with Microsoft's rather byzantine and insane licensing programs.

      • by tibit ( 1762298 )

        open to negotiating agreements

        Ha ha lol. Yeah, sure. First of all, Microsoft generally doesn't even want to deal with you as a device vendor. They direct you to a distributor, who has zero leeway in pricing. You get a list price, except that the price is not publicly listed, and you have to deal with a bunch of legal agreements, and you can't bypass the distributor. The entire process is engineered so that the fifth wheel distributors are artificially indispensable. They are useless, but MS decided they have to stay. It makes no sense,

  • Options are good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @09:53AM (#48958121) Journal

    I see a lot of negative comments so far (actually they are all negative). You have a good reason to not want Windows on a Pi? Then don't put Windows on a Pi and you can live in peace and happiness. Personally, I think this is very cool, and although Microsoft may have some hidden agenda to take over the world by releasing a version of Windows 10 for the Pi, I still think this is a positive thing in general. It also further legitimizes the non- X86 / PC / tablet / cellphone niche kind of single board general purpose computer, that obviously a lot of non-mainstream users are very interested in.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by silfen ( 3720385 )

      You have a good reason to not want Windows on a Pi? Then don't put Windows on a Pi and you can live in peace and happiness

      I also have good reason not to buy snake oil from snake oil salesmen, not to invest my money in pyramid schemes, and not to have sex with a disease ridden prostitute. And I have good reason to warn others against doing the same thing.

    • Personally, I think this is very cool, and although Microsoft may have some hidden agenda to take over the world by releasing a version of Windows 10 for the Pi, I still think this is a positive thing in general.

      OK, but why do you think this is cool and a generally positive thing? I don't see it as a negative thing, but I honestly don't understand the appeal of this, either.

    • I'd like to see options on the Pi such as Minix, QNX, and other microkernel OSs, instead of just Debian, which is what we have now
  • It's a shame the first few posts are complaints about virus's or other nonsense. Microsoft has had Windows 8.1 for IoT for a little while now and they have a great growing community of developers and devices that Windows runs on. It's pretty amazing that Windows can run on these devices. Raspberry Pi running Windows 10 with Plex should be a fun experiment if Plex makes a port and it will be exciting to see Visual Studio updated to have the Pi as supported device.

  • I've been thinking about picking up a Raspberry Pi just to mess around with. Part of the appeal is running a very small, cheap, and open platform that I can tinker with as much as I want. Windows doesn't necessarily fit into that paradigm, and I think that will be true of a lot of other people. I have nothing against windows and have spent most of my career in that space, but I'd also like to spend more time in the Linux world. Why? Just because. That said, adding windows to the options for the RP may prove
    • by Richy_T ( 111409 )

      Anything you'd need to learn to do something useful with a Pi with Windows, would not be too far from what you'd need to learn to do the same with Linux.

  • It's the same! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Grindalf ( 1089511 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @09:59AM (#48958189) Journal
    Low power it may be, but with the newer quad core Acorn Risc Machine v7 processor @ 900MHz and a Micro SD Card with a Class 10 speed 128 Gb capacity, it's just like working a normal, but slow, tower PC with a proper keyboard and a proper mouse. As it is designed to teach British school children to write computer software, it will automatically sell Millions of units in it's home market. Just have one micro SD card per operating system!
  • The Raspberry Pi has grown up!

    Grown up, come of age... and turning cheap tricks on the corner...

    Yikh... I thought you were raised better than that.
  • No harm in taking a look.

  • Windows on Pi? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by danbob999 ( 2490674 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @10:49AM (#48958757)
    So will Windows 10 have APIs for stuff such as GPIOs, SPI and I2C, along with pin muxing?
    Will everything be possible without having to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse?
    • by gatkinso ( 15975 )

      They will after I write a driver for them, which for all three of those is pretty much a cake walk.

  • WindowsRT anyone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by janoc ( 699997 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @10:58AM (#48958843)

    People are getting all excited about this, but they are forgetting that this is *not* going to be a full featured Windows able to run their Office and what not. First of all, it is an ARM architecture, so regular Windows apps won't work unless they have an ARM version (extremely rare). The OS is most likely going to be the cut-down WindowsRT and running on an underpowered hardware - the new Raspberry Pi 2 is still much slower and has less RAM than even the first Microsoft Surface RT, which wasn't exactly known to be a speed demon ...

    Microsoft is pushing this as "Internet-of-Things" platform, but I honestly don't see how WindowsRT presents any advantages there over a dedicated OS without the unneeded GUI bloat. And for education? Yes, there will be perhaps Office RT and few Microsoft's apps available, but that's all. What are the kids going to run on this? Visual Studio?

    • I agree. For starters, Microsoft shouldn't limit itself to the ARM platform, but make an OS specifically geared for alternate embedded CPUs. Including MIPS, which they once supported. Also, the OS for IoT should be optionally 16 or 32 bit, depending on the CPU. Non computing devices won't need a lot of firepower, won't have much memory - maybe all of it may even be embedded, and may support a limited stack. Microsoft should design its OS from scratch, w/o carrying over the compatibility baggage. They c
  • This sure sounds like an April Fool's day joke.

  • Just another data point in Microsoft's slide into being the company of "ME TOO!" When was the last time they actually innovated?

    As for running Windows on your IoT device, all I can say is LOL.

  • There won't be much to do on/with Windows for the Pi 2, the only thing people will be porting to it is the same open source software that's on Linux for the Pi, buy why take all the work to do that and accomplish basically the same thing that's already possible with Linux? Practice for developers I guess, but I don't see what new opportunities having Windows on the Pi will do, it's not like that will bring along the Windows software ecosysytem. It will be the same ecosystem we already have on Linux, excep
  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Monday February 02, 2015 @11:40AM (#48959281)

    It is. It's interesting watching Microsoft thrash around and try to cope with things like this. The Raspberry Pi is the exact antithesis of what Microsoft stands for. Right now Windows Embedded 7 licenses are selling for right around $100 a pop. This entire system costs $35. The margins (if anyone were to try to make an industrial device out of this thing) aren't anywhere near what could make it worth their while, and all because that word "embedded" means something new now.

    And yet, they have to try. This gizmo is seriously widening the Linux base, and they gotta do something. You know they're panicked. "You can already join the program and be amongst the first to receive product information and beta software releases." They don't even have a beta available yet, and they're already trying to get market share.

    And just imagine how good those tools are going to be when you do get them. They'll be done in a huge hurry because this is a market driven decision. They know they have to get *something* out there super quick because they're losing market share. And the worst part is that they are trying to appeal to the engineer/programmer audience, and we're a pretty discerning audience. It has to be fast because this thing is launching, but it also has to be good because of the audience they are trying to target. And Microsoft is pretty notorious for releasing software when it isn't ready (Vista for example) simply to meet a release date. My guess is that these betas are going to be absolute crap released to make some bean counter's Gantt chart happy, and they'll fall back on the "but it's in beta" excuse when they crash and burn. Microsoft loves having the community do it's QA for them. It'll be a bumpy ride.

    And I can't wait to see what bizarre arrangement they try to do when they try to monetize this Windows 10 release for a $35 computer. Because they will. The EULA for this thing is going to be a dadaist work of art.

    • by wbo ( 1172247 )

      Right now Windows Embedded 7 licenses are selling for right around $100 a pop

      I don't know what licensing program this price is from but Microsoft definitely sells Windows Embedded 7 and Embedded 8 licenses for far cheaper than that. Under the EES program I can get licenses for $3 per device for Windows Embedded 7 and $5 for Windows Embedded 8.

      We only have about 50 such licenses (using them as thin clients) so we aren't getting any significant discount for quantity either.

  • so will it come with a free copy of visual studio hosted on ARM - or does it need to be programmed in powershell, python or java (or .bat I suppose !). Or do we need to cross-compile from a windows x86 machine ?
  • Windows on Raspberry Pi will have even less app support than Windows Phone or Windows RT.

    Plenty of Linux apps available that will run just find on the Raspberry Pi with a recompile or the right build options passed to configure.

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