Microsoft continues to slowly roll out Windows 10, this time supporting a computer used extensively by makers designing their own electronics
Microsoft is serious about using Windows 10 to bring all of its users together under a common OS, announcing today that Windows 10 is supported on the Raspberry Pi 2, a $35 computer (think processor, not desktop) that’s popular with Makers and entrepreneurs as a low-cost way to power electronics.
“We see the Maker community as an amazing source of innovation for smart, connected devices that represent the very foundation for the next wave of computing, and we’re excited to be a part of this community,” Microsoft wrote on its Windows 10 Dev Center blog.
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Raspberry Pi 2 popular among makers
The Raspberry Pi 2, which just went on sale today, is a big upgrade to the previous Raspberry Pi with a 900 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and 1 GB of RAM. It’s also supposed to be compatible with Raspberry Pi 1 so you don’t have to redesign old projects. The Raspberry Pi 2 is perfect for teaching people how to code and assemble electronics or for individuals working on their own projects, so it’s definitely not for everyone. But if you’re a maker you’re probably more excited about the Raspberry Pi 2 itself than Microsoft’s decision to support it. Even if you’ve never heard of makers before (they’re like DIYers with better tech) it shows how ambitious Microsoft is with its new OS.
Microsoft continues to gradually release Windows 10
Microsoft has been playing defense since it released the incredibly unpopular Windows 8, offering a free upgrade to the quickly released Windows 8.1 and scrapping Windows 9 for reasons that aren’t completely clear. It made Windows 10 available as a technical preview last year so that it could get feedback from users before the official release, and continues to slow roll the new operating system.
The latest news is that Windows 10 is integrating voice control with Cortana, bringing it closer to Windows Phone, and features that are meant to mesh with Xbox as well. Microsoft understands that they have to deliver a better experience for PC users than they did with Windows 8, but they still want to move to an OS that can support everything from phones to laptops to custom made smart devices around the house.
Switching over to Windows 10 right now is still a bit risky, but as we get closer to the official release the changes will be smaller and the risk of a serious underlying problem will be smaller. By the time Microsoft declares Windows 10 to be officially commercially viable a lot of people will have already switched over. That’s a different type of software release than we’re used to, but it’s probably exactly what Microsoft is going for.