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Microsoft releases free Windows 10 IoT Core for maker boards

by Mark Tyson on 11 August 2015, 12:28

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Raspberry Pi Foundation, Windows 10

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qactn7

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Microsoft has publically released Windows 10 IoT Core for the Raspberry Pi 2 and the MinnowBoard Max. The new OS is a software thrust into Internet of Things (IoT) territory to help Microsoft accelerate its goal of having Windows 10 on a billion devices by 2017. Windows 10 IoT Core is a free download but you will need an accompanying development system with Windows 10, Visual Studio 2015 and tools to get up and running.

Windows 10 IoT Core is a light version of the OS which can even run on a device without a display. There is no Windowed interface or desktop for IoT device users, instead you use a Windows 10 PC with Visual Studio 2015 and tools to create a universal app which will function as the interface for your maker device.

Microsoft released the first beta of Windows 10 IoT Core at BUILD earlier in the year but with this official public release it has implemented important upgrades to the OS, most significantly Wi-Fi and Bluetooth communications. Other key improvements include; improved support for Python and Node.js, up to 10x GPIO performance improvement on the RasPi 2, support for ADC and PWM audio.

Both the Raspberry Pi 2, based upon the ARM Cortex-A7 based SoC and MinnowBoard Max based on the Intel Atom E38xx series SoC have specific OS downloads available. Microsoft adds that it has worked closely with Arduino "to make it very easy to talk to Arduino boards from Windows and even for Arduinos to talk to Windows devices as if they were virtual shields."

Microsoft seems to be trying to motivate people to develop for Windows 10 on IoT devices for both "fun and profit". It says that its IoT Core and developer tools "make it easy to build projects that are fun and cool, as well as those that have very practical uses in the real world". Some examples are given of projects completed so far such as home automation, and robot rovers. There's a fun video embedded below, demonstrating an Air Hockey playing robot system.

There is still quite a lot of work to be done on the maker Windows 10 IoT Core in implementing further features, optimisation and bug fixing. For example Microsoft notes that "The video driver for the Raspberry PI is still under development, and its performance has not yet been optimized" and camera peripheral support is limited. If you browse through the 'known issues' section of the release notes it is plain to see there are lots of issues you can stumble across which have no workarounds. If you are interested, check through the full release notes for Windows 10 IoT Core.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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There is still quite a lot of work to be done on the maker Windows 10 IoT Core in implementing further features, optimisation and bug fixing. For example Microsoft notes that “The video driver for the Raspberry PI is still under development, and its performance has not yet been optimized” and camera peripheral support is limited. If you browse through the ‘known issues’ section of the release notes it is plain to see there are lots of issues you can stumble across which have no workarounds.

So, what this really amounts to is a beta, and by the sound of it, even that may be being generous.

Being part of the Win10 family, I wonder if the same sort of privacy, or rather, gross lack thereof, policy applies? If so, Win10 IoT devices will be barred, Chez Saracen.
It's IoT - there's no privacy regardless of the OS, short of not having a wi-fi setup close by.
Barred it is, then.
I wonder if this will finally help cash machines get off Windows XP…
GuidoLS
It's IoT - there's no privacy regardless of the OS, short of not having a wi-fi setup close by.

I know this is a bit of a tinfoil hat question but I'm interested from a technical point of view.

If I was paranoid as hell but still wanted some of the functionality of the IoT, would it be possible to isolate your house (e.g. build it with a giant faraday cage as the frame), have all the little gadgets and gizmos networked within the house talking to a single ‘house server’. Internal communication would be unlimited. Communication to the outside world would only be via a hardline on the server, and the home owner could set limits on what could be sent/received over that connection (I'm thinking either by using settings/filters or at worst case, all the comms get summarized as a queue and the owner can approve/reject each request to the wider world).

First off - would WiFi even work within a faraday cage?