Windows 10 is not yet complete, but it has already made some big waves. For the first time in a long time, people have a real reason to be excited about a new version of Windows. The latest announcement that caught everyone’s attention is Windows 10, the first Arduino-certified operating system.

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Arduino already incredibly popular line of microcontrollers. $25 boards ($5 if you buy unofficial models) are commonly used in the Internet of Things. and DIY electronics projects — as varied as night lights, night lights, night lights motorized laser turrets and pong games .

«Arduino Certified» simply means that it’s easier for developers and manufacturers to integrate Arduino projects with the Windows operating system. The official announcement gives an example of an Arduino security camera that is controlled via the Universal Windows Platform and can be extended to Microsoft-managed motion detection and face/voice recognition cloud systems.

So what does this mean for manufacturers? And more importantly, who should care?

Microsoft-Arduino partnership

Windows 10 is one of the most ambitious projects to come out of Redmond in recent years. But unlike earlier versions of Microsoft’s main operating system, it’s not a standalone OS, but rather an umbrella of operating systems. which covers the entire range of devices, from tablets and desktop computers to embedded systems and microcontrollers.

In the last category, we have Windows 10 for IoT. Announced in February, it runs on the Raspberry Pi II and is provided free of charge by Microsoft. This is clearly an unusual move for Microsoft, the company that turned Bill Gates into a multi-billionaire by selling massive amounts of software rather than giving it away.


But Microsoft doesn’t expect people to use their Raspberry Pi II as their primary computer. Not with its anemic processor and lack of RAM They don’t worry about it destroying PC and tablet sales.

Rather, they expect people to use it instead of Linux for Internet of Things projects that can be built by connecting embedded pins. — 26 of them are for sensors, servos, LEDs and more.

However, Microsoft’s IoT ambitions are not limited to the Raspberry Pi. The company has also made it phenomenally easy to connect the Arduino to Windows 10 systems through two different software libraries.

The first is Windows Remote Arduino. This allows the Arduino to be controlled directly from a Windows 10 computer via USB or Bluetooth using the Firmata protocol. Using the library, developers can create Windows Universal applications with C#, C++ and JavaScript that can control an Arduino and view readings from any connected sensors.

Arduino Overview

Windows 10 is based on the Universal Windows Platform design philosophy, where applications can be written once and used across the entire Windows 10 device family. Therefore, any application built on top of the Windows Remote Arduino library can run on Windows 10 phones as well as traditional computers and Raspberry Pi systems.

The second product in the Microsoft Arduino family is Virtual Arduino Shields. This allows any Bluetooth-enabled Arduino device to use the sensors and functionality of a Windows 10 smartphone rather than using the Arduino Shield. . They are infamous for their incredibly high cost, with the most complex ones costing hundreds of dollars. But it does allow a single smartphone (in this case, the Lumia 535 or 635) to replace individual screens, potentially saving developers hundreds of dollars.

Both of these libraries are available for download right now from Github.

Microsoft has seemingly moved from Bill Gates’ original vision of a computer «on every desk and in every home» to a vision where computers are integrated into everyday, mundane items, and Windows is everything.

Other attempts

Traditionally for Microsoft, they are late for the game. The Arduino is approaching its tenth birthday and Microsoft has ignored it for almost a decade. This left a vacuum for other companies to create the products that Microsoft had just released.

For example, 1Sheeld from the Egyptian Integreight, which we reviewed just a few months ago. This affordable ($55) Arduino shield allows developers to integrate their Android smartphone sensors into their Arduino-based IOT projects.


At the time, reviewer James Bruce noted that 1Sheeld was «an amazing workshop set» and «absolute versatility [1Sheeld] is outstanding» but he had doubts about its long-term usefulness, given that it must be tethered to a mobile device via Bluetooth.

A new start for Microsoft.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has shed its stuffy corporate image and its long insular legacy when it comes to collaborating with other big tech companies. This latest foray into the world of IoT only highlights that.

Adrian McEwan, co-creator of the project » Creation of the Internet of Things» He speaks: «It’s interesting that Microsoft is getting more involved in IoT and happy to see them partnering with existing communities and platforms (including their Raspberry Pi announcement) rather than copying it like last time they hugged the creators of the .Net Gadgeteer.»

The .Net Gadgeteer was, of course, a commercial failure that had nothing to do with the success of Arduino.

However, Microsoft’s willingness to engage with the Arduino community shows how radically it has changed as a company, especially since Satya Nadella became CEO. In just a year, the company opened the .Net Framework released Visual Studio for Mac and made Microsoft cool again.

But why IoT?

But why should Microsoft care about the Internet of Things, a relatively niche area still in its infancy? It’s true that the only people truly excited about IoT today are the elite of developers and power users.

Arduino mouth

But it’s also true that what becomes the norm for power users eventually becomes the norm for everyone else. Microsoft is fully aware of this and wants to be at the center of this rapidly growing market before it enters the mainstream consciousness and before a rival company gets there first. During this process, it will be easier, faster and more affordable to create IoT devices.

In short, Microsoft wants to do for the IoT what it does for productivity software and operating systems.

Windows Internet of Things

Will you be using Windows 10 with your latest Arduino product? Do you have an actual idea for a Microsoft-based IoT device? I want to hear about it. Leave me a comment and we’ll chat.

Photos courtesy of: Arduino Microcontroller ( Arkadiusz Sikorsky ), Raspberry Pi 2 ( Gareth Halfacree ), Arduino Fixation ( jeanbaptisteparis )

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