Microsoft is in the world of technology like an elephant in a store that tries to eat as much as it can. In the prototyping market, sometimes the company has good results with different tools such as Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio. Another niche where the technological mammut tries to influence is in the embedded systems where a lot of manufacturers’ shares with strong communities open-source platforms such as Arduino or flexible platforms such as Raspberry Pi.
The Sharks Cove prototyping board is designed to change the maker community. The biggest change is that the Windows operating system is now a platform that can be used in automation as well as in robotic projects. The platform is compatible with a custom version of Windows 8 called Windows On Devices, and for Android fans, the Sharks Cove can run the latest versions.
Back to specifications, the board is powered by an 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3735G processor with 1GB of RAM and 16GB storage memory that can be expandable with a microSD card.
In automation and robotics, any prototyping platforms should be opened enough to incorporate sensors, motors, LEDs, screens, and many more components. For multimedia components the Sharks Cove board has 60-pin MIPI connectors ready to interface display panels and cameras. For sensors are available 20 pins, while 12 batches of 10 pins apiece are engineered for GPIO use. For Ethernet connectivity Microsoft engineers recommend to use a USB to Ethernet adapters since the board doesn’t provide any direct Ethernet connectivity.
The Windows compatible hardware development board was designed in mind for smartphones and tables Windows compatible, and for similar System on a Chip (SoC) platforms.
The $299 price cannot be compared with any price of a single board computer such as Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black, Intel Galileo Gen 2, or HummingBoard.