Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview released by Microsoft, will be free for Makers

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If there was one thing that Satya Nadella wanted to focus on yesterday in his opening address at Build 2015, it was that Microsoft is a different company, one that is ready to cooperate with others.

In particular, he spoke about the ‘Maker Revolution’, that is to say the rise of cheap, but powerful, computing solutions such as the Raspberry Pi and others, and the often fantastic DIY projects that are being achieved with these components the world over. To this end, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 Internet of Things (IoT) Core Insider Preview is now available for Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel Minnowboard Max users.

Windows 10 IoT Core is a new version of Windows specifically focused on low-cost small-footprint devices, and will be available to ‘Makers’ and commercial device builders at no charge. As has been the case with recent Windows releases, this is to allow Makers to work with the code as early as possible, in order to help shape the direction in which it evolves.

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This pattern of partnerships has been further enhanced through Microsoft’s work with Arduino, which specializes in programmable circuit boards, with which a great number of things are achievable for the dedicated hobbyist. Windows 10 IoT Core is designed to work well with Arduino boards, which will allow for a number of interesting applications in many different situations.

The release contains two specialized capabilities to begin with, the first of which is Windows Virtual Shield for Arduino.  Theoretically, this will allow Arduino boards to work with the built in-sensors in devices such as the Lumia 530, for example allowing projects that involve GPS. The second capability is Windows Remote Arduino, which helps to allow and enhance wireless commands.

All of this is tied together with a collaboration with Hackster.IO, which has included working together on ‘hackathons’ on the like, all helping to boost Microsoft’s ‘maker’ credentials.

Are you a Maker? Do these developments excite you? Let us know in the comments below.

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