6 key reasons why Windows IoT Core matters for the Raspberry Pi 2

After the Windows 10 arrives for embedded systems, the sweet world of the Raspberry Pi 2 goes crazy. To be clear from the start, the Pi 2 with Windows IoT Core is an IoT platform rather than a desktop-like computer. In this combination of hardware and software, you’ll be able to develop optimized Windows IoT applications as a maker without the experience of a full Windows OS version.

If you don’t have any experience with Windows IoT, here you can start to get an idea of what you can do and you can’t do in the IoT space.

From the start, the target of this free operating system is the maker community. Checking the features and specifications, I have no doubt that the OS is built for IoT applications in robotics and automation.

The version with support for Pi is one of the three embedded Windows editions. The version for Pi 2 is called Windows IoT Core. The other two are designed for mobile devices – called Windows 10 IoT, and the version for consumer industry called Windows 10 IoT. The version for consumer devices is an interesting one able to run a single locked-down application that fit perfectly for vending machines.

To build something for the Internet of Things, you need tools, a wide range of connections, other devices, etc. Given all of these drives, let’s get review some of the Windows IoT Core features.

1. Remote access to the system

Windows IoT is not a Windows desktop which means that we lack some tools available on the desktop version. One tool available on the IoT version is PowerShell. This terminal allows you to run familiar Windows commands or to have remote access to other Windows system.

2. Development tools

Once with the IoT embedded OS, Microsoft sends in the spotlight its integrated development environment – the Microsoft Visual Studio. This is a rich, stable and clean IDE with an amazing tool chain to build applications.

Another important feature is the ability to use popular programming languages such as C#, Python, PHP, Node, or Ruby.

3. Windows IoT into the Cloud

The Windows embedded version allows you access to the Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and infrastructure called Microsoft Azure. In other words, you have access to a global network to deploy and manage applications and services.

4. Devices communicate with each other directly

AllJoyn is an open-source framework with abilities to connect and create services between devices. Designed for IoT applications, the framework enables the communication between devices without an intermediary server.

5. If you get bore by the Pi 2

If you get bored or you want something different than the Raspberry Pi 2, you have other options. Other embedded platforms with Windows IoT support are MinnowBoard Max and Intel Galileo. MinnowBoard MAX is an embedded board with an Intel Atom processor E3800 product family while the Galileo is based on the Intel x86 architecture.

6. Compatible devices

The Pi 2 board is a well-known prototyping platform and compatible with a variety of USB devices. In this case, to use the Windows IoT, you need USB devices compatible with the OS. According to Microsoft, the list of compatible devices includes:

  • Powered external USB hub
  • USB keyboard (wired)
  • USB mouse (wired & wireless)
  • Wired Xbox 360 controller
  • Wireless Xbox 360 controller
  • Touchpad (wired & wireless)
  • NumPad (wired)
  • USB ethernet adapter
  • External USB hard disk
  • USB flash drive
  • USB card reader

No WiFi and Bluetooth
In this version of the operating system are not supported the WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. We have to wait another release to have WiFi and Bluetooth support.

The above points are some of the features that make interesting the operating system for makers. If you are ready to have a full weekend and build robots or automated system based on the Windows IoT Core, prepare your Raspberry Pi board with the OS.

How to install Windows 10 in Raspberry Pi 2

First of all, you need a computer with Windows 10 running on it. The system does not support Another version such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Obviously, you need a Pi 2 board and you can have it for $43.35.

This tutorial is what you need to get started and set up the Raspberry Pi 2 with Windows 10 IoT Core.


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