back to article Why Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2? Upton: 'I drank the Kool-Aid'

Today Microsoft and the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that Windows 10 will run on the new Raspberry Pi 2. But why? The Register spoke to Pi founder and CEO Eben Upton. “We’ve had people queuing up and saying they want Windows, the whole time,” says Upton. “I think there’s a sense that 'you’re a real PC' if you run Windows …

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  1. Nigel 9

    Wow..... just look at all the hate.

    "But why bother with Windows? What can you do that you cannot do with Linux?"

    If the Author had written this the other way around in a different article, he would have been subject to a torrent of hate in the comments.

    For years, Linux supporters (of which I'm one) have argued that people should be given the ability to *choose* what they put on their hardware. However, what many of them seem to interpret that as "*I should be able to put Linux on this!"

    Blogs, articles and forums have been full of penguin-heads for years shouting that they had successfully installed their preferred flavour of Linux on phones, NAS devices, Chromebooks (or laptops with none-supported drivers).... All in the name of choice and doing what *they* wanted.

    Apparently (judging by the comments), fans of the Windows OS aren't allowed the same thing.

    This is a major software company committing support for their future OS on a popular learning platform - In no way is this a bad thing, so please pick your dummies up from the floor.

    1. adnim Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

      "This is a major software company committing support for their future OS on a popular learning platform - In no way is this a bad thing"

      Are you sure? This is a multinational corporation with little to no altruistic tendencies trying to ensure it remains mainstream and the dominate force in the desktop market place. And now the desktop market place is waning with mobile devices and the IoT in ascendancy MS is running scared... MS is giving Win 10 away for free because in the light of the free alternatives available, that is really all it is worth.

      I look forward to the demise of Microsoft. During my career I had to support and fix their bug ridden proprietary crap for 20 years and they wanted to be paid to fix broken ffs!. What a scam. Yes, I do feel hate toward MS... However It isn't unfounded. I am not vindictive or nasty I just do as I am done to.

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

        > I am not vindictive or nasty I just do as I am done to

        That is vindictive and nasty as well as vengeful.

        Perhaps more along the lines of "treating people as you would wish to be treated" would be better.

        1. sisk Silver badge

          Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

          Meh, run what you want. As I've often mentioned I've a habit of telling people who shouldn't be running Linux (gamers, students, and the terminally technophobic) to stick with Windows.

          But when it comes to Windows on RasPi though I find myself scratching my head and wondering why anyone would do that. Low power machines like this are one of the biggest areas where Linux really shines as well as one of the worst areas where Windows historically falls down. It's not hate so much as confusion.

        2. DropBear Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

          Perhaps more along the lines of "treating people as you would wish to be treated" would be better.

          You're welcome to keep turning the other cheek and be eternally pummelled. Me, I see nothing wrong in treating one exactly as badly as he/she/it treated me as long as I'm fairly sure it was no accident. Don't get mad - get even, and all that jazz.

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

        During my career I had to support and fix their bug ridden proprietary crap for 20 years and they wanted to be paid to fix broken ffs!.

        What is so bad about that? Supposedly someone paid you to "shovel the manure off their front porch" which presumably kept a roof over your head, the heating on and a healthy level of beer in the fridge?

        Sometimes, I think that a good part of why Windows still exists is because it creates a thriving eco-system of people and businesses working on palliative cures for it's brokenness.

        Systems that are "too good" or even perfect, will also be sterile since these systems are self-sufficient and do not require humans to perform any function. This is what the "rise of the machines" means in practice, the machines evolving faster than the human parasites can adapt to, thereby leaving the majority without any means of making a living by participating in the economy.

        IOW: The shitty-ness of Windows is also what is good about it! If it was perfect, it would be useful only to microsoft.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Nigel 9 - Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

      Windows doesn't have fans! It's like the belly button, everybody gets one either they want it or not so it is extremely popular for this reason.

    3. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

      (Error: hate not found) (apart from adnim)

      Where do you see comments forbidding installation or use of Windows?

      Disbelief why any would chose to, yes.

      Questions as to what form Win10 might take, yes

      Questions as to any underhand motives, yes, understandable given their track record

      The occassional troll, probably

      The occasional anonymous coward, inevitably

      Using underhand tactics to prevent installation of competing alternatives to their products has been the purview of that particular 'major software company' for a number of years, they might have turned over a new leaf, and we might forgive, but we won't forget quickly, but obviously you have.

    4. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

      On interpreting freedom to install an OS of their choice as "*I should be able to put Linux on this!": What manufacturer requires (or did until just now, maybe) to allow its OS to be installed only on ARM hardware locked down to prevent installation of any other OS?

      Have Microsoft committed to putting Windows on a Pi 2 with an unrestricted boot loader? Neither of the two applicable Reg articles indicates that (or, to be fair, the contrary).

      Unless they are abandoning the locked bootloader for Raspberry Pi 2, they are not "a major software company committing support for their future OS on a popular learning platform", they are monopolists in one domain trying to extend their monopoly control to another, and any hate on them is entirely justified.

    5. BitDr

      Re: Wow..... just look at all the hate.

      The trouble is that it's not the fans of the WIndows OS that are doing the work, it's Microsoft.

      The Windows OS can't be rebuilt by it's fans to run on new or unusual hardware because the fans don't have access to the source, making it impossible for them to perform the task. If they had the source then they would also be in violation of the EULA, which is a whole other problem for them.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    As far as I can see from the article Windows isn't going to be a pre-load, it's going to have to be installed. When Windows RC was launched it was conditional on manufacturers installing it on ARM hardware that they wouldn't allow other OSs to be installed. Is this now a dead letter and if so will it then be possible to install other OSs on ARM-based Windows 10 kit?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      A Pi OS loads from an SD card.

      Pi Suppliers will offer pre-loaded SD cards to folk who are not too keen on doing their own.

      Most other users download an image and writes it to the SD card, which the Pi then boots from.

      The rest of the users roll their own.

      Windows 10 IoT is going to be one of those options. Not Windows RT, not Windows 10 Home Professional Premium Discount Poundland Pedigree Chum Edition.

      Just IoT as an option, which will run some kind of cut down GUI shell and allow users to side-load apps that have been developed using VS on x64 and cross-built for ARM IoT Win10.

      Nobody is trying to kill your dog or eat your children.

      Calm down.

  3. W. Anderson

    Obviously Mr. Upton has received considerable monies from Microsoft in this Windows 10 to Rasberry Pi 2 project.

    However he goes too far by stating that Microsoft Azure and Security are the strongest (in the industry) ever!! How patronizing and proven false is that when one of the premier and respected Cloud Computing research and analysis organizations reported in January 2015 that Azure had "by far" the most outages - some by hacking - in 2014 than any other major Cloud Computing vendor.

    It seem that many technology companies and leading technologists are quite willing and content in this new era to prostitute themselves and their company's mission just for gobs of money and more notoriety, even when there is a distinct and direct conflict with the original and long term goals and visions, particularly if Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) was a critical and integral component of the project.

    1. James Hughes 1

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation have received no money from MS, it's entirely MS's doing to port their OS to the Pi.

      They have had a bit of tech support from the PF, but nothing extensive, and nothing paid for.

      I'm not qualified to talk about the security side of things.

  4. Andus McCoatover
    Pint

    "...it was a conversation in a bar.."

    IIRC, similarly was Arduino conceived. If I'm right, the name "Arduino" is the Italian coffee shop where the folks drew on the ubquitius 'fag.packets' on.

    Pint, because the fruit machine at my local bar spewed out enough money for me to buy one today.

  5. DougS Silver badge

    32 bit Windows 10?

    I thought Microsoft was dumping 32 bit systems with Windows 10, but I guess that's just for x86?

  6. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    Dunno, folks....

    ..I'm gonna 'suck-it-and-see'. In a commercial environment, not some wannabee bedroom masturbators den.

    Give it a go. If iWindows-10 goes tits-up, I've lost only my time - I won't experiment in company time. We're broke already.

  7. Nathan 6

    What about Python and Java?

    Giving that Python and JDK are some of the more popular platforms for hacking the RPi, I don't see any mention of windows 10 for RPi shipping with those. Granted anyone can port those platforms over, but why when you can just use Raspbian or what ever.

  8. FuzzyTheBear

    New Pi

    New Pi , Now with NSA and other related outfits backdoors and trojans ..

    Need i say more ? Great .. < drums desk > Just great.

    1. jaywin

      Re: New Pi

      > New Pi , Now with NSA and other related outfits backdoors and trojans ..

      Only if you put the μSD card in labelled "Windows". You do realise that action is voluntary, right?

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: New Pi

        ... for now.

  9. Rol Silver badge

    When the music died

    "At what point did you loose your desire to write programs?"

    "Well, I never did loose the desire, it was taken away from me"

    "Please explain"

    "Well I used to write programs on CBM Pets, Dragons, BBC's and ZX80/81's, but then I bought a PC running Windows 98 and for the life of me, it just wasn't obvious where I could merrily start banging in some code."

    "You do realise there exists a wealth of Microsoft software out there which would enable you to code in a multitude of languages"

    "Well, yes I do now, but back then I expected it to be included in the OS as it was in every other OS I had encountered thus far. The idea I had to get my wallet out again to buy what I assumed was already in their didn't occur to me."

    "So what's your problem now?"

    "The very idea that Microsoft, the company that sank a generation of would be coders, is about to team up with Rasberry Pi, the flagship device, that is kickstarting a new generation of coders, it's like celebrating your birthday in the local abortionists clinic. It just feels wrong"

    "Perhaps MS has seen the light?"

    "Yeah! Here, try another pig wing they're delicious"

    1. Rol Silver badge

      Re: When the music died

      lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose

      lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose

      lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose lose

      Not quite one hundred times, but I think you should know I am also flagellating myself.

    2. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: When the music died

      The first PC I ever used (this was pre-Internet) ran DOS on a monochrome VDU and had MASM and its associated linker, as well as "debug" included as standard. I'm pretty certain that MASM came with Win98 as well, but if not I'm quite certain it could have been downloaded for free from many bulletin boards or Compuserve. Come to think of it, my Win98 machine came with a Basic interpreter as well (called "basic.exe" IIRC). OTOH I had to purchase an editor and Z80 assembler for my Spectrum (on a cassette tape of course) in order to program my Sinclair Spectrum in anything other than its own flavour of Basic (except for hand-assembling and entering the program in hex, of course).

      There's also the point that the ZX80 etc. might have allowed you to write a program straight out the box - but that's about *all* you could do with those computers - any useful applications that you did not or could not write yourself had to be purchased separately.

    3. david 12 Bronze badge

      Re: When the music died

      >"Well, yes I do now, but back then I expected it to be included in the OS

      > as it was in every other OS I had encountered thus far. The idea I had to

      > get my wallet out again to buy what I assumed was already in their didn't

      > occur to me."

      It didn't ocour to me either. Fortunately, the free tools MS and others provided allowed me to continue programming as I had before, on a series of main frame, mini, & micro computers.

      I take it you didn't actually try very hard: what I can't tell from here is if you even actually owned a copy of Win 3.x and Win 98, or if you are just making it up.

      1. Rol Silver badge

        Re: When the music died

        I had already got the bug to code, as I was fortunate to have had access to many machines that put me straight into a coding environment at the push of the power switch.

        MS on the other hand, did little to encourage coding straight out of the box and made it a quite obscure route in for newbies.

    4. jbuk1

      Re: When the music died

      Let all forget that Windows 95 still had BASIC installed for command line programming and that you could compile assembler into 16 bit COM files from Debug.

      No it had no program ability at all apparently.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS: Got to keep/get Linux out of Education space

    Simples.

  11. linicks
    WTF?

    Slackware rules!

    I can't imagine MS stuff on this. I use Slackware on my 3 PI's:

    http://rpi.fatdog.eu/

    The main one runs my local network DNS, DNCP, NTPD and other stuff. The two others I messed about to set up a fish tank cam ( fishpi.linicks.net/. I don't even need to mount the swap file:

    :~# free

    total used free shared buffers cached

    Mem: 494540 140368 354172 0 72588 29480

    -/+ buffers/cache: 38300 456240

    Swap: 0 0 0

    The thing runs easily 'nice':

    Temperature: 43.3 C

    Voltage: 1.20 V

    Min speed: 700 MHz

    Max speed: 850 MHz

    Current speed: 700 MHz

    Governor: ondemand

    Disc space?

    Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on

    /dev/mmcblk0p3 6.6G 1.8G 4.5G 29% /

    none 1.0M 36K 988K 4% /var/run

    Next to nothing.

    So, forget Ubuntu, MS and other bloatware crap.

    Try Slackware.

    Now, back to MS stuff. What happens when you add/change new stuff to the gpio pins? Change the camera? Add new boards?

    Phfff. MS on the PI is really PI in the sky.

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: Slackware rules!

      Cool, I'll have to try that.

  12. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Well... OK

    I'd like to first point out, I think these (alleged) people lining up asking for Windows on Pi, I'd guess in general are expecting *Windows*, not WinRT. I wouldn't be surprised to find out most of these people (if they indeed exist) may not even realize that, for example, their phone and their desktop are running completely different CPU architectures. I know (even as a non-Windows user) that I found it quite disappointing when "Windows for ARM" rapidly devolved from potentially a full copy of Windows with x86 emulation for non-ported software to essentially ".NET subset that runs on a tablet". (Before you think this is pie-in-the-sky, recall Apple ported MacOS from 68k to PowerPC, and PowerPC to Intel, while maintaining this type of compatiblity; and Linux for non-x86 platforms gets you a full desktop, and optional x86 emulation to run any non-ported apps.) That said, having a WinRT 10 BSP (Board Support Package) available certainly can't hurt.

    But... anyway... as long as they don't force-bundle Windows 10 with the Pi or something... fine with me. ARMv7 is a significantly better chip than ARMv6, with significantly better software support. Forget Windows 10, most Linux for ARM ports also require ARMv7 or up... the existing ARMv6 Linux versions and software builds are basically *just* to support the Pi, virtually everything else was using ARMv7 even when the Pi originally shipped. Although perhaps unnecessary (as long as you stay away from Windows), having more RAM can't hurt either since it hasn't increased the price.

    linicks -- They make a slackware for Pi? Damn, that's nice, if I get a Pi that's defeinitely the way I'll go working on it!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well... OK

      >I'd like to first point out, I think these (alleged) people lining up

      >asking for Windows on Pi, I'd guess in general are expecting

      >*Windows*, not WinRT. I wouldn't be

      Speak for yourself son.

      I'm glad for you that you've got a GUI on your toy *nix workstation: Personally I do mostly embedded and network connected programs.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Well... OK, A/C

        Good for you on the embedded and network connected programs BTW.

        There's been some debate over whether this Pi on Windows arrangement is only a non-ui job or whether it's to be a Surface RT job. The article refers to 'real pcs runs windows' interest, which (as the ad slogan for the Windows desktop vs. apple campaign) seems to suggest this will include a ui.

        It may well be both an embedded minimalist version and a ui version. I would suggest Microsoft would be wise to cover both bases. Of course, *nix can be booted up into either (cool 'toy' huh?)

        Another option is always good, as long as the manufacturer isn't pushed into exclusively bundling their hardware with non optional copy of any OS.

    3. JamesTQuirk

      Re: Well... OK

      Did they Test it with Windows 10 in Full swing, while scanning 4 virus &or updating @ same time?

      4 Cores for under $50 is good, but things move quick, I am playing with Idea of what u can do with Older Allwinner A80 OctaCores, like Tronsmart Draco AW80 (Meta) Octa-core TV Box, a media Release from Allwiner is here ... http://www.allwinnertech.com/plus/view.php?aid=471

      @ Under $200 for 80 Cores, it seems a better bargain, and it's just 1st of first from NOVEMBER last year, and recently @ around $170 ..

      http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Mass-Manufactured-OctaCore-ARM-Cortex-A15-A7-Allwinner-A80-Android-4-4-Board/1021496_2015735541.html

      I got my Parrot Drone to Run Linux HAM Radio Libs 4 Comms, Had a Play with Pi, but as always, maybe its TIME to look around ...

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Well... OK

      "I'd like to first point out, I think these (alleged) people lining up asking for Windows on Pi, I'd guess in general are expecting *Windows*, not WinRT."

      They will be doubly disappointed then, because they are not getting either.

  13. RumRunner
    Devil

    Noooooooooooooo...

    oooooooooooo!

    Evil. Evil. Evil.

  14. Salts

    Hmmm...

    Quad core 900mhz, 1gb ram, same video core, compatible with RPi 1 and part of the RPi ecosystem; Well I think I need to buy a few, the extra oomph will help me build a nice new low power lab that can run 24/7 and not have to worry too much about the electric bill.

    Windows, don't see the need myself, but also I don't see it harming anything, just more choice for the RPi community.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Salts - Re: Hmmm...

      Since when Windows has become a choice ?

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: @Salts - Hmmm...

        It's a choice on the Pi. You either have it on an SD card, or you....don't....and use Linux/RISCOS/Plan9/BSD instead.

        There will be no 'lock' in - it's simply not possible on a Pi since it doesn't have the required bootloader.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @Salts - Hmmm...

          And what boots the SD card? It's got a stage 1 boot in ROM on the SoC.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Salts - Hmmm...

            "And what boots the SD card? It's got a stage 1 boot in ROM on the SoC."

            Quite. And yet... some clarification would be helpful here.

            Readers might want to have a look at (for example)

            https://thekandyancode.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/how-the-raspberry-pi-boots-up/

            and see what you think; I make no attempt to summarise here.

  15. POSitality

    As an occasional embedded developer...

    ...I welcome this: more choice = good.

    Besides, it makes my life easier. ATM I have to swap between .NET (main line systems) C (small scale Arduino prototypes) and Linux/Python (complex Raspberry Pi prototypes.)

    Just using one toolset and jettisoning Arduino (£10 vs £30? forgetaboutit) happy days!

  16. david 12 Bronze badge

    Red Cool-Aid

    Rasberry of course.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL

    “We’ve had people queuing up and saying they want Windows, the whole time,” says Upton. “I think there’s a sense that 'you’re a real PC' if you run Windows.”

    Yeah people want a 'real' PC running Windows, so here is the cut down **** RT version that has sold less copies than a Jeffrey Archer novel

    1. John 62

      Re: LOL

      I know I'm citing Wikipedia, but Jeffrey Archer sold 250 million novels. Very few authors have had that kind of success. I'm struggling to find a comparable figure in IT. Maybe someone like John McAfee?

  18. Alan Denman

    Remember Asus and Linux ?

    Yes, Embrace , Extend, Distinguish.

    The bottom line is that this is good for Pi sales. And if it it encourages actual open systems to expand then the means justifies the end.

    I'd suggest cheering on Cyagenmod but the the money grabbers in charge seem to be heading to grab some swag out of the "Embrace , Extend, Distinguish" cash pile.

  19. Mage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Microsoft has a really good clue?

    “Microsoft has a really good clue about cloud integration. There’s a great story about Azure, and about data integration between IoT devices and Azure,” enthuses Upton. “I think they’ve got a pretty compelling security story as well."

    He's been drugged. I never heard anything so daft. I'd not touch Azure with a barge pole.

    I suppose C# on Visual studio is OK, but there are three ways of building GUIs now on Visual Studio and none are quite finished.

    VB6 was good if you didn't program in Basic, and understood which junk to avoid. A nice RAD.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft has a really good clue?

      " I'd not touch Azure with a barge pole."

      You might not, but the cloud markets as a whole are definitely headed that way - especially in the large enterprise space. Azure is going to be the largest cloud both by OS instances and by revenue soon. Even Apple uses Azure!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft has a really good clue?

        "headed [for Azure] ... especially in the large enterprise space."

        Those companies would generally be the ones with dedicated MS account teams and a big MS spend with potential for attractive discounts on overall MS spend if they try Azure out for a while, wouldn't they?

        Whereas companies left largely on their own to choose based on best technical and commercial fit for the business...

        Hmmm....

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