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April 29, 2015

Microsoft brings Windows 10 to Makers

We are continually inspired by the enthusiasm and passion for technology represented by the Maker community. Today we are excited to share what’s next for Makers on Windows 10 with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel’s Minnowboard Max, and Hackster.IO.

We touched on Windows 10 on small devices at WinHEC and starting today you can download Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview with support for Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel’s Minnowboard Max. Windows 10 IoT Core is a new Windows 10 edition for low-cost, small-footprint devices that will be available ‘free’ for Makers and commercial device builders.

Strong partnerships are part of Microsoft’s unique offering to developers and we’re excited to also announce our partnership with Arduino today, making Windows 10, the world’s first Arduino-certified operating system. As an initial step in this Arduino partnership, we’re announcing the availability of Windows Remote Arduino and Windows Virtual Shield for Arduino, both released today as open source libraries.

Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview and Raspberry Pi 2
With this Insider Preview release of Windows 10 IoT Core, we’re bringing the power of Windows to Raspberry Pi 2 for the first time. We’re embracing the simple principle of helping Makers and device builders do more by bringing our world-class development tools, the power of the Universal Windows Platform, direct access to hardware capabilities, and the ability to remotely debug, update, and manage the software running on Raspberry Pi 2 devices. This Insider Preview release of Windows 10 IoT Core is our conversation-starter.

Our goal is to give Makers the opportunity to play with the software bits early and to listen to the feedback on what’s working well and what we can do better. You may notice some missing drivers or rough edges; we look forward to receiving your feedback to help us prioritize development work. We’ll be incorporating the feedback we receive into regular software updates along with additional drivers, bug fixes and new features. Those looking for a commercial-quality release should wait for general availability this summer.

Arduino Partnership
“Arduino Certified” Windows 10 enables developers to make devices that combine the hardware-driving capability of Arduino with the software capabilities of Windows. An example might be a security camera. One could build a camera using Arduino to power the motor controls to tilt/turn the camera and using Universal Windows Platform one can create great UI, connect the camera to the cloud, process the image for motion detection and add facial/voice recognition. The work we have done on Windows 10 is the bridge between the Universal Windows Platform and Arduino hardware. The initial release includes two key capabilities:

  • Windows Virtual Shield for Arduino enables developers to tap into the incredible power of Windows 10 devices through wireless protocols. A Lumia 530 contains well over $200-worth of Arduino shield sensors and capabilities, and we’ve made it easy to access all of those sensors and capabilities from an Arduino as if they were standard hardware shields. Imagine being able to create an Arduino project that includes GPS, Web connectivity/parsing, touch display, speech technologies and more. We’re particularly fond of the picture the weather project we’ve created that lets you bring your children’s drawings to life.
  • With Windows Remote Arduino we’re enabling developers to extend their Universal Windows Application with Arduino commands that execute on a wirelessly-connected Arduino device. It combines the power of Windows 10 device features such as image processing, speech recognition, website parsing, cameras and advanced audio pipelines with the power of physical world interactivity through Arduino. Take a look at our Basic Windows Remote Arduino project to learn how to leverage this technology in your own projects. 

Hackster.IO Partnership
Microsoft has a multifaceted relationship with Hackster.IO that includes collaboration on hackathons and other events around numerous technologies including Windows and Azure. We’ve been really impressed with the project gallery experience that Hackster.IO provides and we’ve extended our collaboration with them to leverage and bring their industry-leading Maker project gallery capabilities to Windows developers.

If you haven’t already, I’d like to encourage you to join the Windows Developer Program for IoT, then download, develop and share your results at 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!