Microsoft‘s play to get Windows 10 into the Internet of Things trend was to strike a (somewhat controversial) deal with the makers of the Raspberry Pi. But getting the OS into the hands of Raspberry Pi owners is easy. Getting new hands to jump on board, not so much. Attempting to make it easier to join the fray, Microsoft has made another (probably also controversial) with popular open source hobbyist hardware maker Adafruit to bring a Raspberry Pi-based starter kit to life. At a price, of course.
The Raspberry Pi 2 is a great board for tinkerers, hobbyists, and developers, but it is bare as bare can be. Excellent for more seasoned makers but daunting for the novice. Starter kits come in all shapes, sizes, and contents that try to ease the weaning process. This new Adafruit package is no different, except this one comes with Microsoft’s official seal of approval and then some.
On the hardware side, the kit contains a ready to use case for the Raspberry Pi 2 so you don’t have to worry about making one yourself. The package also contains a ready to use power supply as well as a Wi-Fi module to get you started. And there are a number of sensors there as well, like for temperature, humidity, and color, to allow users to immediately jump on more interesting projects beyond displaying “Hello World” on a screen. Oh, it doesn’t come with a display though.
All these components have been tested and certified to work with Windows 10 IoT Core, Microsoft’s special blend made especially for development boards such as these. This particular Windows 10 flavor doesn’t have all the strappings of Windows 10, particularly the UI, so developers will have to whip up their own based on their own projects. While IoT Core, being Windows 10, does support Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform for writing apps, it seems that hackers are favoring Node.js over it.
Adafruit’s Windows IoT Core Starter Kit does cost a pretty penny, much more than what you’ll pay for an RPi 2 board alone. Of course, you are getting a lot more for that as well. The kit costs $114.95 if you need to have an RPi 2 included, but if you have one lying around, you can get it cheaper for only $39.95. For now, however, both are marked as out of stock.