back to article Microsoft eyes slice of Raspberry Pi with free Windows 10 sprinkled on top

Microsoft is working on a free version of Windows 10 that runs on Brit-tech hit Raspberry Pi in order to penetrate the Internet of Things (IoT). Microsoft and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have been collaborating for six months on the joint project, which emerged early on Monday. Windows 10 will run on the latest version of the …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    With Microsoft nothing is free

    you will end up paying sooner or later. The free bit is to get you hooked.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

      And this is different to numerous FOSS derived packages how? Also most App store derived Apps as well.

      1. apostleofregister

        Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

        "And this is different to numerous FOSS derived packages how?"

        It isn't different if you're using something that's FOSS derived but is packaged with proprietary components. However, with the huge wealth of completely FOSS options there's absolutely no need to use "FOSS derived" packages, just use FOSS packages.

        Personally I only ever use or write FOSS software unless there's no other option. I can manage as a programmer to profit because like most programmers I'm selling my labour rather than the software itself. I do however make one exception to be strong beliefs and that's computer games, because other than for major companies who have the resources to profit from free software sales (it can be done) there's really no way to make a living making games without being able to sell the software. Personally as I move towards developing games I'm going to go with writing my own license that allows temporary inclusion of the code in temporarily proprietary works, in other words a free software license that gives games developers a grace period in which to make money on software sales without compromising their devotion to the spirit of free software. There are probably licenses like that already so I'll research first, but licenses are in a sense a kind of program that runs on the operating system of our legal framework. Unlike the GPL my license would be free software itself, however it would have an exception to prevent re-licensing of software already licensed under the original licenses terms.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

      And the problem is...? Where do you get money from to live? Your customers or your employer will end up paying you, sooner or later, right? Or do you live out of thin air while giving everything away for free?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

        Office and Server - same place they always got money.

        The only thing that has changed is that somebody has realised that if everyone starts running this cloudy free stuff then sales of Office and Server sales might be hit so we have to do something to compete / dump freebies to protect our monopoly on the desktop.

        1. Lusty

          Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

          "Office and Server - same place they always got money."

          Well Office is now effectively free, and they are discouraging use of Server through O365 and PaaS so it may be time to read some updates :)

          This is very clearly Microsoft planning Azure as their next big thing, or rather continuing to plan something which is already a very big thing.

          The plan is that some geeky kid buys a Raspberry Pi 2 with Windows 10 on it. Said kid then develops an amazing widget which we all want, but which has a cloud backend. The billion users of the widget then somehow fund Azure services, probably via advertising.

          In this scenario, Azure can already offer image hosting, content delivery, machine learning services, media encoding, database services, web platforms, mail infrastructure, scalable server infrastructure and much, much more. Unfortunately for Linux, they also offer a very compelling integrated coding platform which allows said youngster to take advantage of all that power with about 10 minutes training. The platform is also effectively free (Visual Studio) along with the code repository which I forget the name of but it's cloud based and free.

          There are a great many startups who have used Azure or AWS to rapidly scale a great idea and then end up worth billions. Mirosoft are betting that they will get some of those billions if the startup is started by someone who got free Windows, free Office, free Visual Studio, free code repository and free trials of Azure services. That person may also be somewhere not in "the West" too given the price tag of these things. They are probably right too, and sadly I suspect that not only will 2015 still not be the year of Linux on the desktop, or Linux on the server, it's probably also not the year of Linux in the cloud either because Microsoft are very good at this game.

    3. JLV

      Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

      Hey, it's all about choice.

      You choose to see the glass empty.

      Others, who like MS, and I do not count myself overmuch in that camp, will see it as full.

      I think it's a clever move. Exposure, goodwill, very limited lost revenue. Bit of embedded cred, potentially? I think a more competent, non-dominant, Windows, give us all more choices by existing. Rather than having a Linux and BSD, which I prefer, monoculture.

      I suspect nothing MS would ever do would be good to you. Which is A-OK. Choice, you know.

      1. Havin_it

        Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

        >a Linux and BSD [...] monoculture.

        If you call those two a monoculture, you haven't been paying attention. Neither on the developer nor the user side is it anything of the sort. Google "systemd" or "Theo de Raadt" and you'll see my point.

        1. JLV

          Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

          First, thanks for not downvoting me in the context of an OS discussion ;-) I know of Theo and systemd but not enough to argue either way. Let me make my point differently.

          Longtime Windows dev, who worked at least 70% of my non-editor time on the command line. Always well aware cmd.exe was a joke as a shell.

          Bash is awesome now that I am not on Windows. Noob, for sure, but starting to write functions and slowly getting the hang of the tools like cut, awk, etc... I really like the idea of small-ish programs passing each other data through text pipes. Text files, not binary configuration. The unix way.

          While I love Bash, I find the concept of Powershell interesting. Passing data through objects rather than parsing text? Not that I like Powershell, the few times I used it I found it somewhat convoluted and the signing bit seems excessive on your own machine and directories. But some posters here who seem to know way more about Bash than I do have at least some good things to say about Powershell.

          Maybe a future approach to shells could learn a thing or two from BASH and Powershell?

          My point? Lots of 'nix's philosophy is battle-tested, simple, clever. But it also dates back to the 70s. Innovation happens best when many different ideas compete and when there is more than one paradigm. Having more desktop OS philosophies than just the descendents of the Bell Labs' OS is beneficial to computer technology. Even if I prefer 'nix.

          As MS is no longer quite the dominant monopolist, I figure its continued relevance is more beneficial than its demise.

          That's why people who want to eradicate Windows as a choice for others, regardless of what MS is doing, irk me. People who poke fun at MS technical shortcomings and criticize its behavior are fine. Hey, I do it all time.

          1. Havin_it
            Thumb Up

            @JLV Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

            Oh, I very seldom downvote: much more satisfying to argue ;) and downvoting someone because you're engaged in a difference of opinion with them is just unsportsmanlike behaviour. (I'll make one exception: if I do downvote a post, I tend to reply giving my reasons. But because I'm always ready to get schooled in such august company, I usually just do the latter; you can't retract a downvote.)

            In any case I broadly agree with your point (that post actually started life as a grammarnazi, hence the bolding, then I went away for a bit, came back and changed thrust for some reason). As you pointed out, this is mostly focused on the embedded space, where my references don't fit and I suspect people are a bit less partisan about OSes than they are in the desktop and even server spaces. (I mean, how else do you explain Windows' embedded market share? lol). There's certainly a lot less to differentiate Linux and BSD in that space, right enough.

            Also, I do indeed find that I like Microsoft more the lower their fortunes sink and the more they have to actually compete on merit. No argument there. As for the mooted Übershell, well, I ran in terror from Powershell after one sitting, so I can't really comment much, but I'm quietly fascinated by the idea of creating a chimera of its and bash's good points. Not sure how possible it really is to marry two such diverse models, though.

            But yeah, I'd be pretty fed up if we weren't allowed to take the piss when they (or the *nix side) do screw up comically. But those who just do it reflexively are rather tedious :(

          2. e^iπ+1=0

            Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

            "First, thanks for not downvoting me in the context of an OS discussion ;-)"

            You got an upvote from me in the original post; however I felt that this moan earned a down vote (on the follow up post). Welcome to the interwebs!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

        "a more competent, non-dominant, Windows, give us all more choices by existing."

        You may have a problem convincing the companies and people who bought the Kool-Aid for WinCE-based OSes like HPC2000 and PocketPC a decade or more ago. Those OSes lasted what, three years, before MS gave its customers no choice - HPC2000, PocketPC, gone.

        You may have a similar problem selling this new venture to the handful of companies (not household names) who backed MS's attempt to take over the set top box market. BT were one of a limited number of companies that MS managed to convince. A few years later, next generation of boxes come out. BT had made the choice to carry on *without* the MS software.

        MS. The x86 software company, for desktops and datacentres.

        But not anywhere else or anything else.

        1. JLV
          Thumb Up

          Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

          Agree. I'd have a problem selling myself the idea of using non-core MS offerings in a business critical fashion ;-)

          Continuity is not their strong point. Silverlight anyone? WinPhone 7? I'd forgotten, mostly, about your examples, but they are very valid. WinRT's future?

          In the context of Raspberry Pi 2 experimentation your warnings may or may not signal a big risk. Possibly there will be no Windows 11 port. What about security patches for their donation-ware?

          In a larger context, evolution is driven by diversity and winners and losers. Not just settling on one winner's family tree. I am not advocating that you, or I, need to cuddle of to MS overmuch. However others should be free to do so.

        2. Lusty

          Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

          "Kool-Aid for WinCE-based OSes"

          You mean like the millions of winterms, tills and handheld scanners still in use today? WinCE was still supported until very recently, might even still be supported, and was extremely popular in the embedded market, just like its successors and just like Win10 IoT probably will be. Microsoft don't want you to buy a Raspberry Pi to run as a computer, they want you to buy one to turn into a popular gadget, like an internet connected kettle, internet connected thermostat, wifi scales, or something yet to be invented. Each of these devices needs an infrastructure component in the web - see Withings as a great example with their health portal. That's where the money is right now.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

      They're not Apple.

    5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    6. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: With Microsoft nothing is free

      Not many people are going to be hooked when the find out what IoT is all about.

      And these irresponsible headlines that are causing some people to expect more than they are going to get are not helping.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good work MS

    Wow, that's a pretty decent gesture from Microsoft. Surprising even given the engineering commitment required to support a new platform like that.

    So now we have a cheap as chips ARM v7 platform available to kids and penniless students everywhere, when is the official Google supported Andriod 5 release coming I wonder?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good work MS

      Not sure Google is interested in spying on penniless kids and students everywhere. Different business model to MS which relies on hooking coders young.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good work MS

        Not sure Google is interested in spying on penniless kids and students

        It's a process, mind you. Give them something free now, get them hooked, and shear them when they start earning money until they kick the bucket.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good work MS

        Those 'penniless students' will grow up to be tomorrows professionals, engineers, scientists and leaders.

      3. Havin_it

        @AC#2 Re: Good work MS

        >Different business model to MS which relies on hooking coders young.

        Different also to Weird Science, in which the young code a hooker.

        Much as I love the Pi, I think that was a greater incentive to learn to code.

    2. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Good work MS

      I wonder if it's a Trojan horse to sell Office 365 subs.

      Win 10 + Office 365 + Pi 2 = super-cheap office 'PC'

      You won't be able to do much work with it, but it's going to appeal to manudjment types who think giving everyone a Pi-in-a-box is going to be everso cheaper than buying a few pallets of Dells.

      Admin issues for that kind of 'solution' are going to be interesting. But that won't stop it being popular.

      Also, undercutting Apple on price. All the punters want a MacBook Air, but when you have a choice between something that costs less than £50 and something that costs £800 to £1000, a lot of people are going to go for Option A.

      I suspect Pi + MS have invented a new thing -> the Austerity Computer.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge


        Abiword on Pi.1 worked, but you could see the screen updates. It was tollerable for trivial work, but I used something bigger unless someone else was using it. Abiword and LibreOffice have been running fine on my 4 core 1GHz ARMv7 box since early 2012 (tripple the cost of a Pi). For the vast majority of office work, this is fine. The NIC is '1GHz', but ⅓GHz would be more honest when you look at the memory bandwidth. It is attached to a 100MHz switch. It was using an SSD connected by USB until the eSATA cable arrived. Lack of 100MHz network and lack of SATA are not noticable issues for office work or for a ripped DVD client / server. On a good day, two users can watch 1080p over a 100MHz net.

        Linux users have been able to set up an 'austerity computer' for years. Sometimes they are even for sale directly to computer somewhat-literates. In the past, such computers vanished half way through an exhibition and an underpowered windows box appeared after a couple of months later for twice the price.

        I have no idea what hardware Windows 10 + MS Office really requires but I would expect a Pi.2 to be a perfectly capable Libreoffice box. I have had problems using a Pi.1 as a print server, and would make sure I had a plan B before trying a Pi.2 as a print server.

        1. Havin_it

          @Flocke Kroes Re: @TheOtherHobbes

          Personally I've been astonished by how well libreoffice runs on Pi1. I only even tried it last month when I got my B+, not expecting it to even launch, but it did (eventually!) and once up and running it was entirely tolerable for the smallish docs and spreadsheets myself and the GF go in for. UI feedback time I did notice being a bit sluggish, but not really annoying after a minute or two; and actual editing was more responsive. Who knows, with the Pi2 I might even get away with running Firefox (which on the Pi1 is such a pig it's just not funny).

          Just sayin', YMMV, etc.

      2. JeffyPoooh

        "The Austerity Computer"

        @TheOtherNobbes - Well done.

      3. John P

        Re: Good work MS

        That was my first thought, but according to Scott Hanselman there won't be a shell.

        So while possibly not a super-cheap office PC, I can still see loads of uses for this.

        MS have achieved one thing with this though, getting up to speed with Universal apps is now looking like it may just be worth it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Good work MS

      > that's a pretty decent gesture from Microsoft

      And in the immortal words of the Carry Ons, I, too can make an appropriate gesture...

      Only a uni-digit icon, when two fingers are so badly needed.

    4. Simon Harris

      Re: Good work MS

      I wonder if it'll be a port of the full version, or like Windows XP embedded (minimum footprint ~40MB) and Windows Embedded Standard 7 (minimum footprint ~500MB) where you can tailor it to include only the core components needed for the application.

      1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

        Re: Good work MS

        It'll be some bizarrely crippled version, like office for tablets which won't work on a large screen.

        But, that apart, it completely misses the point. The only reason people use Windows is for the applications. It's not the familiarity (all lost with 8.1 anyway), or the reliability (lol) or security (lololol). It's because LeisureSuitLarry95 or AdobePhotoshopfreewithconflakes2000 runs on it.

        And this isn't true for an ARM processor, so it won't attract anyone. Even the Surface, with an executive-friendly look but the same restriction didn't attract anyone.

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Good work MS

      The omission of any mention about following the Rasberry Pi ethos and releasing the source code to Windows Pi is notable but to be expected ....

    6. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Good work MS

      This is the funniest thing in IT I have heard or seen since I first encountered Windows Millennium Edition!

      Anyone wasting time on this is either a Corporate Windows developer or deluded.

      There is a choice of RiscOS, various Linux.

      Any of VXWorks, PalmOS, BEOS or QNX would be nicer.

      QNX was unfortunately bought by RIM to become Blackberry 10

      What other OS would be nice choice on Pi?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Good work MS

        "What other OS would be nice choice on Pi?"


        Not for the feint hearted just yet though.

        I wonder how it will perform as a homeserver with 2 or 3 4TB powered USB HDDs and ZFS RAID?

        Yes, I know about the ethernet/USB thing, just wondering what sort of throughput it might manage, say a couple or three streaming HD videos and suchlike.

      2. Archaon

        Re: Good work MS

        "Anyone wasting time on this is either a Corporate Windows developer or deluded."

        Question: In the entire history of our fine(ish) planet have any of the *NIX crew stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, some people actually find using Windows easier and/or preferable for their requirements?

        If Windows 10 on Pi 2 takes on a form that is usable for my needs and is free (or even just cheap) you will find that I am quite happy to be deluded.

    7. Havin_it

      Re: Good work MS

      Right, I've been letting this one slide for a while, but enough is enough.

      It's ANDROID. A.N.D.R.O.I.D.

      I swear it's as if there's some conspiracy at work to propagate this misspelling. Who on earth could benefit from that? Certainly not Microsfot...

      [Grammarnazi icon wasn't enough, this has been building for a while.]

      1. Mikel

        Re: Good work MS

        Re: ANDRIOD

        Astroturfers are not allowed to use the actual name of the product they are bashing, as in increases the notoriety of the product. In the case of Android it is a little absurd, but that is what this is about. And no, it is not going to stop. Rules are rules.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Good work MS

          >Right, I've been letting this one slide for a while, but enough is enough.

          >It's ANDROID. A.N.D.R.O.I.D.

          >I swear it's as if there's some conspiracy at work to propagate this misspelling. Who on earth could >benefit from that? Certainly not Microsfot...

          It's more likely be cock-up than conspiracy... we recognise words at a glance by their overall shape (which is why UK road signs use Title Case, and not UPPER CASE like the USA does...), so Android and Andriod can escape proofreading. It probably doesn't help that i and o are adjacent on most people's keybaords.

          Sorry, keyboards.


    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good work MS

      Let's be clear: this is no sort of magnaminous gesture from Microsoft.

      Microsoft are shit-scared that a whole generation of children will come through schools without the association that programmable computers == Windows.

      Worse, the clever ones who are tinkering with Linux will grow up to deploy Linux in their workplaces and Linux in the cloud.

      1. Stretch

        Re: Good work MS

        the clever ones are already deploying linux in the cloud. And windows in the workplace, for an easy life.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Now this explains it

    I was wondering why the hell upping the core count and RAM on the Model B. This explains it.

    In the absense of sufficient power feed, 1G NIC and SATA there is really very little you can do with 1G RAM and Linux in IOT space which cannot be done with 512M (or 256M for that matter).

    So the answer to the "why raise the hardware spec" is now clear - it needs to comply with the minimum spec for Windows 10 which surprise, surprise is 1G RAM.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now this explains it

      Why are you so obsessed with 1gb NIC's and SATA?

      This is a low end device FFS. If you want that and more, buy a Pico ITX

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Now this explains it

        Why are you so obsessed with 1gb NIC's and SATA?

        This is a low end device FFS

        With the pretense for media center capabilities including HD decode and ability to capture video at reasonable rates. While you can just about get by with the 100MB/s interrupt driven NIC and USB for both it is exactly that - "get by". To do anything more with media you need a decent NIC and a decent storage as well as USB power budget that does not cause a crash the moment you plug in a decen 5.1 channel USB audio into it.

        The Pi is good for what it is - IO (for those of us who cannot be a**ed to deal with Arduino). Other stuff - not really and the increase in CPU and memory does little for that either as the constraint is elsewhere.

        So coming back to the possible use cases for core/ram increase:

        1. IoT, automation, etc - nope (it is good as it is).

        2. Media - nope (constraint elsewhere)

        3. Windows - oh yeah, it just made the minimum envelope for version 10.

        Nuff said.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Now this explains it

          I'd say the most useful IoT thing this would improve is video recognition. The link to the camera is one of the few that isn't severely bandwidth limited, so the extra ram and processing is useful.

          Media ? who cares - the android TV addons handle that.

          Windows ? no point, see another posting I wrote

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Now this explains it

            Stuff I use Raspi's for that will be better with the new one....

            1. Media player (Yes, Kodi works really well, at home, and in the motorhome)

            2. Camera work. Quad cores and NEON means much more image processing capability

            3. H264 testing (day job). New device is up to 30 times faster at software H264 encode.

            4. Scratch for the children. Works much faster

            Stuff I can now use it for that was too slow before.

            1. Browsing

            2, H264! See above

            3. Compiles (a hell of a lot faster means I don't need to cross compile as much)

            4. Decent GUI desktop - this is much faster. Now can have multiple open windows with no slow down.

            I'm sure there is loads of other stuff that others do that I don't.

    2. PleebSmash

      Re: Now this explains it

      $35 is practically priced out of the IoT space.

      $35 is the RaspPi space, the cheap robot/drone space. A space that can convincingly use extra cores and RAM.

      For IoT I think <$10 or Edison-sized. Certainly no ports.

    3. Slartybardfast

      Re: Now this explains it

      "I was wondering why the hell upping the core count and RAM on the Model B. This explains it."

      It wasn't so that you can run more intensive applications, of course not. I'm really pleased about this as I'm interested in it's use in RTL/SDR applications. The B+ is ok as a front end but doesn't have enough grunt to be used as a full SDR. This looks like it should be much more capable, it might be able to run some low spec'd GNU Radio apps.

      "So the answer to the "why raise the hardware spec" is now clear - it needs to comply with the minimum spec for Windows 10 which surprise, surprise is 1G RAM." - OH FFS!

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Now this explains it @Voland

        Bollocks. The new Pi was not driven in any way by MS. AT ALL.

        It's more driven by all the newer, higher powered devices like ODROID and similar, and the fact that Brcm developed a higher performance chip that could be bought for the same/similar money.

        No need for conspiracy theories when you can have the above facts for free.

    4. Olius

      Re: Now this explains it

      "In the absense of sufficient power feed, 1G NIC and SATA there is really very little *I can think of to do* with 1G RAM and Linux in IOT space"

      FTFY :-)

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Wait a minute...

    RT slabs don't get Windows 10 but the Pi 2 does?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Wait a minute...

      RT slabs are dead.

  5. David Roberts

    Ports to other ARM platforms?

    As I type this on my Sony Xperia Z tablet.....

  6. Spasticus Autisticus

    MS killed the Netbook market by trying to shoehorn their cutdown but still bloated OS on to them, now they want to kill the Pi? See icon -->

    1. JDX Gold badge

      They're making it available, not forcing you to use it.

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      re: See icon -->

      I think this one is probably most appropriate..

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >MS killed the Netbook market by trying to shoehorn their cutdown but still bloated OS on to them,

      Maybe the small letterbox display of Netbooks killed the Netbook as the go-to portable internet device, especially when compared to 10" tablets? Maybe the prevalence of only-slightly-more-expensive full size laptops (usable keyboards! Bigger screen for watching video!) also had something to do with it.

      I've used a Netbook with WinXP and Open Office with a serial port temperature probe for data logging.... but trying to read any website with it required a lot of scrolling.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Run Away!

    Microsoft has never in its entire history done anything to benefit anyone else.

    I see no reason to believe this is any different.

    1. Psmo

      Re: Run Away!

      Big Business has never in its entire history done anything to purely benefit anyone else.

      FTFY. Only Google pretends any different while lying through its teeth.

      1. PleebSmash

        Re: Run Away!

        @Psmo Please do not summon the Worstall

      2. Preston Munchensonton

        Re: Run Away!

        "Microsoft has never in its entire history done anything to benefit anyone else."

        "Big Business has never in its entire history done anything to purely benefit anyone else."

        Given how many employees like receiving paycheck now and in the future, you should all hope like hell that never fucking changes.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Run Away!

      MS has several times done things for the benefit of others, when those benefits coincide with Microsoft's own needs.

  8. The BigYin

    Been nice knowing the RasPi

    Embrace has begun, we all know what stages come next.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Been nice knowing the RasPi

      MS are following the RPF, not vice versa.

      So, no, I do not expect the Pi to become a Windows only device, which is what you seem to be implying. For started, the Win10 being ported is the IoT version - no desktop.

      Which is going to make it difficult for the educational side to actually do the works it so far been able to do well with Linux.

      1. Mikel

        Re: Been nice knowing the RasPi

        @James Hughes 1

        Whatever they used to corrupt the president of the RPF was weapons grade stuff. He eagerly admits drinking the koolaid, and the announcement is a veritable catalog of Microsoft products and talking points. It is an ad. There is no way he could have personal knowledge of all that stuff already, yet he preaches it like it is the gospel. It's already over. RPi is already dead.

    2. John Bailey

      Re: Been nice knowing the RasPi

      "Embrace has begun, we all know what stages come next."


      Exaggerate.. the importance of the product.

      Extinguish.. the project when they finally face the fact that the latest big thing, ain't really that big.

      10 years ago.. perhaps. When MS was able to command the internet, before it got it's teeth pulled. Microsoft was an entity to be feared.

      Now days.. Not so much.

      Just about every household name in consumer electronics contributes actively and openly to Linux. Because they benefit.

      They stayed away in droves from surface. They offered alternatives to Vista, which is where the rot finally surfaced.. And 8 ha seen many old players bow out of the PC market.

      The primary portable os is not Windows based.

      Tablets owe little to project Origami.

      Even government departments are moving away from MS lockin file formats, despite them buying the ISO certification.

      The EEE strategy of yesterday is long long gone.

      But never mind sweetie.. I'm sure this will be the year of Windows 8 on the desktop..

  9. Dwarf Silver badge

    Not getting this ?

    The Pi comes with no case and produces very little heat, so there is no need for Windows to be opened to let the heat out - let alone 10 of them. This seems like overkill to me. And whats a Microsoft anyway ?

    As Linux gives you direct hardware access without any faffing around (if you want it to), its easier to learn the low level stuff.

    The Pi also hasn't got a touchscreen (or any screen), so I wonder how that works in their plan ?

  10. Mister_C


    Not working on the Pi yet, despite the fine efforts of many clever and dedicated peeps.

    M$ get WinTen running happily on the new toy before the clever brigade sorts Android and they've stolen a march.

    (I profess no allegiance to either side for this one, just need a big bucket of popcorn)

    1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

      Re: Android

      Due to the closed nature of the chosen SoC. I assume MS were able to get details and driver sources.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Android

        I'm not convinced they were. Everything you need is pretty much available as ARM side libraries (Framebuffers, 2D bitmap acceleration, 3D acceleration via OpenGLES etc).

  11. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    Surface RT

    Now it all makes sense, it was announced last week that the RT version of Win10 would be late. I guess adding the extra hardware platform (probably a management afterthought) slowed/set back development. I was thinking they were phasing out support for ARM because of the poor sales of Surface RT devices.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    These statements imply a bit more than just Microsoft taking the opportunity to shoe-horn Windows 10 onto the Pi. Together they suggest a close cooperation between Microsoft and the RPF on this issue:-


    With the Windows for IoT developer program we're bringing our leading development tools, services and ecosystem to the Raspberry Pi community!


    For the last six months we’ve been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months. The Raspberry Pi 2-compatible version of Windows 10 will be available free of charge to makers.

    Visit today to join the Windows Developer Program for IoT and receive updates as they become available.

    On the face of it, there is little at the moment to suggest that Microsoft see Windows 10 on Pi2 as a desktop solution, particularly as they would be pretty much forced to supply it for free. On the other hand, Pi2 would be a good basis for any company to cheaply trial a Linux desktop and if enough do that, maybe Microsoft would go further.

    The question for me is: what's in it for the RPF apart from the inevitable rise in sales of the Pi 2? They've done a marvellous job of bringing a cheap educational computing ecosystem to the masses, and it is pretty much all based on Linux. As long as they keep focused on that then maybe there's nothing to worry about.

    We'll see, I guess.

    1. Nanki Poo

      @JustaKOS Re: Cooperation

      My guess is that MS (I didn't use the $!) need to utilise the ARM market. Working on development with chip makers is not, I imagine, cheap. Here they have the crowd to research, the very techies they need who will play around. Probably far cheaper. And MS, I believe, do make a not insignificant amount from embedded/SoC devices using ageing versions of their embedded software, so this is a good testing platform for the next generation.

      RPF get the kudos of possibly channelling a major tech company in the direction of a manufacturer, probably benefiting their bargaining power on price, manufacturing priority etc.

      Seems like a happy marriage of sorts. For the moment, until M$ get the lawsuits out or steal stuff . . .


  13. JeffyPoooh

    Does the Raspberry Pi 2 still power up through any port?

    The original would happily power up with accidental power back-fed from the USB ports.

    I had to literally hack a USB hub that also failed to control current flow.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: Does the Raspberry Pi 2 still power up through any port?

      Hasn't done that since the B+ was launched...

  14. Planty Bronze badge

    Double the memory and 6x the processing power

    to run Windows 10 instead of Linux...

    That seems to be the headline story here... Go away Microsoft, you're drunk.

    1. BlinkenLights

      Re: Double the memory and 6x the processing power

      A persistent troll I see. Please note - arm-v7 was needed for Windows to run not necessarily the extra memory or processing power. This is the same requirement for Ubuntu etc.

  15. John Sanders

    I just do not see the point other than more PR

    """With the Windows for IoT developer program we're bringing our leading development tools, services and ecosystem to the Raspberry Pi community!"""

    What ecosystem exactly? Last time I checked the only reason for running windows is to run windows applications, which on ARM... are exactly which ones?

    Is people going to run .net on the Pi? the Pi is freaking low spec, Windows (RT or not) its a monster in comparison.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is all about education space

    And keeping Linux out of it. MS are not bothered what a few geeks will do to get win10 runnign on it at home, they won't loose much wonga. They just don't want kids to be exposed to Linux at school, or they may take it to their work place later in their career.

  17. Incredulous

    It's all about addiction...

    The same reason Microsoft "donates" computers (running Windows, natch) to schools is so that schools turn-out Windows addicts. This addiction works because later employees expect to use Windows, and later still, managers buy computers and the thought that they might run some other operating system doesn't even enter their heads. When people buy computers, the [Windows] license fee is built into the cost of the machine to save people the vexing business of having to make a choice.

    For a few years now, I have rebuilt people's computers, but only on the understanding that they use Linux. They hate it to begin with because it is change, and people don't like change; but after a while they realise that they can do everything they ever wanted to do, just slightly differently.

    I like and use Linux distros because they work most of the time. I REALLY like Linux distros because I can buy an old computer for £40 and install, say, OpenSUSE on it and it runs like lightening. Buy an SSD upgrade costing, say, £60-£100 and I'm looking at a 30 second boot-up from cold. Computing on the cheap? You bet! All this compelling stuff still dosen't stop people forking out at least £100+ license fee every time they buy a computer, and it's all to feed an addiction they acquired at probably a quite early age. If you don't believe me, ask any accomplished drug-pusher - it's exactly the same technique they use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's all about addiction...

      Yes - very good comments. It's part of their embrace and extend strategy.

      I know exactly what you mean about Linux. I put Ubuntu on my very sluggish XP Dell that's 8 years old and it boots up faster than my wireless router and it doesn't have an SSD in it.

  18. theOtherJT

    I don't understand the level of hate here...

    I really don't.

    The Pi has become a defacto standard for an emerging form factor. All these cheap single board ARM machines - ask anyone technical enough to be aware of them the name that is going to come most easily to mind is the Raspberry Pi. It's a very cool and widely spoken name in tech right now. Microsoft wants part of that market, and why the hell wouldn't they?

    For their part, the Pi guys want to sell Pi's. Many people - particularly less technical people - like the idea of an uber cheap computer, but are scared off by having to use Linux. Windows on the Pi will appeal to those people, and why wouldn't the Pi foundation want a part of _that_ market? You never know you might even convert some of them to a *nix after they wet their toes using Win10.

    This feels like a rare win-win to me.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: I don't understand the level of hate here...

      "like the idea of an uber cheap computer, but are scared off by having to use Linux. Windows on the Pi will appeal to those people,"

      But it's IoT. If they are scared of cute desktop GUI linux, then IoT is going make them shit themselves.

      All the headlines about WIndows 10 on the Pi are going to disappoint a lot of people.

      The Win10 stuff is for tech devs to write stuff on Visual Studio x64 machines, cross-compile it for ARM and side load it to the IoT machine. It's not for browsing the web, reading emails and looking at photos.

  19. Harry Tuttle

    Usual M$ trojectory: Embrace, extend, extinguish

    I echo the other comments concerning the education sector: M$ doesn't want kids knowing how to develop on a Linux platform. Their "free" (gratis) software here is a loss leader in this respect.

    Truly free software allows you to inspect how it works, change how it works, and share your changes.

    What we see here from M$ is closed, proprietary software at that comes without financial cost (for now).

  20. James Pickett

    I'm pleased to see that the old Pi will still be available. They could probably charge more for it...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Needless worrying

    I have always tried to be platform agnostic, operating systems all have their pluses and minuses and their share of defects.

    Microsoft have a deserved reputation particularly from the Gates era in the 90's for being less than honest in their business operations, however they are a somewhat different company now, particularly after the DOJ stuff means they have to be more careful about any sharp practices.

    In the eighties they usurped IBM by being the faster, nimbler more innovative company (yes, yes using other peoples stuff, but in sales and marketing terms, the same way Alan Sugar used to bundle existing stuff in a package everyman could use), however they have now become what they used to despise, and are pretty much the IBM of the eighties now, Windows 8 shows this clearly.

    Some people will develop on Windows because it's what they are used to, or it fits in with their IT ecosystem, however the Raspberry PI community has reached critical mass with Linux and it's pretty well entrenched now, Android is available for the Pi but you don't see it talked about much as a proportion of the discussions going on or software/projects being produced.

    As has been said this is not Intel based Windows, you probably won't be running Powerpoint on it, and for IOT if you are developing a product which one will you choose, the one which will at some point have a per seat price tag attached, and few users actively working on it, or the one you can use for free with a large community ironing out the wrinkles quickly as new stuff appears?

    I don't see Windows RT causing massive waves in the tablet/netbook market and I don't expect this to cause seismic shifts in the Raspberry Pi movement either, the whole point is to be able to change or modify what you like, a locked down set of binaries will just be an obstacle rather than an asset.

  22. The Real Tony Smith

    'Windows 10 for the Raspberry Pi 2 will be available for free for the maker community via Microsoft’s Windows Developer Program for IoT.'

    What is this 'Maker Community' you speak of? Is it something to do with this MSDN/Technet thing?

    Can anyone download Windows 10 for the Pi? Or do I have to sign a restrictive licence agreement before MS will give me anything?

    I've not touched Windows for years apart from compatiblity testing but i'm always open to ideas, will there be a 'Home Crippled' version that is as small as Minibian?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Noooooooo! They ruin everything they touch. Look at skype, now an NSA monitoring station and a shell of the useful software it once was. My hunch is they and NSA are putting pressure on the developers to put in backdoors onto the bios like they are doing with Windows 8. Probably the developers are already getting gag orders. What a sham. Don't trust them.

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