Microsoft released Windows 10 for IoT Core on Monday, and the system will support Raspberry Pi 2 and the Minnowboard Max.

The release is part of Microsoft’s strategy to make Windows 10 able to power all different kinds of devices. The latest version of Windows is designed for phones, PCs and tablets, and Windows 10 for IoT Core is aimed at embedded products which may not have screens, writes Mark Hachman for PC World.

Windows 10 Microsoft

Microsoft targeting maker community with Windows 10 for IoT Core

If devices have a screen, Microsoft has introduced a mode similar to “kiosk mode” available in Windows 10 Professional, in which developers can write a Windows 10 Universal app which acts as a “front door” to the embedded device.

Head to the Windows IoT Dev Center to download the release. In order to use it, you need to have the July 29 release version of Windows 10 build 10240 or higher, and Visual Studio 2015.

According to Microsoft the new release will support C++, C#, JS and VB, and tools to support Node.js and Python. Hardware developers can use the Arduino platform to communicate with Windows devices.

Microsoft has sent its IoT samples to Github due to the fact that the maker community relies heavily on the sharing of code and information. It has also uploaded several projects to Hackster.io, including a “rover robot kit” which uses Raspberry Pi 2, and a project to use Windows phones to control LEDs.

System could rival Apple HomeKit

One interesting project was mentioned in a Microsoft blog post; a way of unlocking a door with your face. Known as Windows Hello, the project could include Face Recognition on Unlocked Door in the future.

It appears that Microsoft may be setting up Windows 10 for IoT Core as a rival to Apple’s HomeKit in terms of controlling embedded devices in the home. That said, Apple’s system has more than 12 months head start on Microsoft’s effort.

Additionally Windows 10 for IoT Core appears to be targeting the maker community rather than finished products, but in the long run the company may reap the benefits. Smart home is still developing, and Microsoft is getting on board with those who are working to create it.