A few months back Microsoft outlined its vision for Windows’ future, which includes bringing it over to the Internet of Things. We hear IoT a lot these days, companies like Samsung, Intel and even BlackBerry are working on it. Internet of Things basically refers to “dumb” devices that have been transformed into “smart” devices and the endgame here is to bring about a more connected world. Microsoft has announced the release of a custom Windows 8.1 OS preview for IoT which will work with Intel’s Galileo board.
Microsoft has been working on bringing Windows to IoT for quite some time now. Earlier this year it launched a developer program aimed at the Internet of Things and even seeded the OS to a handful of developers with Galileo boards. That was a proof of concept version.
This latest “non-commercial version of Windows based on Windows 8.1” is meant for all developers that have Intel’s Galileo boards. These boards can be purchased through a variety of online retailers, including Amazon and newegg. It has a Intel Quark SoC, a 32-bit single-core 400MHz processor with USB ports, PCI Express, JTAG, 10/100 Ethernet and a SD card slot.
A spokeswoman for the company tells PCWorld that this release is “another opportunity for makers and developers to create, generate new ideas and provide feedback to help Microsoft continue making Windows even better on this class of device.”
It should be kept in mind though that while Intel has already started selling the Galileo Gen2 boards, this Windows release only supports the first generation boards. Microsoft has said that support for Gen2 will be added in a future release.