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Microsoft releases preview of Windows 10 Internet of Things OS

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May 1, 2015

Microsoft said this morning it has released a preview of its Windows 10 Internet of Things operating system for the diminutive ARM-Cortex-powered Raspberry Pi 2 miniature motherboard.

Microsoft says the planned OS will also work on the Minnow Board Max, a small computer driven by an Intel Bay Trail Atom processor.

Overall, the operating system image for the Raspberry Pi 2 requires an 8 Gb micro SD card, although the OS itself is only about 1 Gb.

The remaining space is available to the developer. It's important to note that this is a special build of Windows 10 called IoT Core. It can run in either headed or headless mode.

When in headed mode, it runs graphic user interface apps written for Microsoft's new Universal App Platform (UAP) in either XAML, HTML or DirectX.

To be sure, app developers will need Power Shell running on a connected PC to log into Windows IoT Core using a remote session. There is no Windows desktop.

The just-released Visual Studio 2015 kernel is supported for IoT Core app development. Microsoft has published sample projects for the operating system-- web apps, robot controllers, LED controllers, sensor readers, etc.

Apps can be written in Node.js and Python as well as C++ and C#. There is also limited support for the AllJoyn framework for communicating with other devices.

A small number of USB devices are supported-- keyboards, mice, wired X-Box 360 controllers, external USB hard drives and flash drives, and USB card readers.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are not yet supported, Microsoft says, but should be in mid-summer.

Although IoT Core runs UAP apps, not all the Universal APIs are supported. There is a long list of unavailable UAP APIs, though some may be available in the finished release.

Despite the name, developers still need to pay attention to what platform a mobile app is running on and to be aware of what will not work.

Source: Microsoft.

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