back to article Windows 10 Anniversary on a Raspberry Pi: Another look at IoT Core

Microsoft has released Windows 10 Anniversary for IoT Core, a version of Windows which runs on Raspberry Pi 2 or 3, Dragonboard or Minnowboard. The company has also announced support for Intel Joule, an Internet of Things (IoT) compute module launched at the August 2016 Intel Developer Forum, though Windows software for this …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows or Linux?

    Some questions spring to mind

    Can you delay or disable updates to Windows IoT?

    Does Windows IoT cost real money?

    Does windows IoT send all sorts of 'cough cough' user experience data back to microsoft?

    Does it run Cortana? (ok, I'm only joking here)

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Windows or Linux?

      Can you delay or disable updates to Windows IoT?

      Does Windows IoT cost real money?

      These two are related. There is a free "Windows IoT Core", but you can't disable updates.

      If you're prepared to pay for "IoT Core Pro", you can turn off automatic updates.

      There's also "Windows 10 IoT Enterprise" which seems basically to fill the space once occupied by XP Embedded and its successors. And "Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise" for "business mobile devices", presumably while such devices still last. More here.

      Don't know about telemetry but the clear aim of IoT core is to hook up your devices to Azure, so one way or another they're hoping you're going to be checking in with the mothership.

      Whether the IoT strategy lasts any longer than the mobile phone strategy would also seem to be a concern for any potential developers.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Windows or Linux?

      And don't forget FreeBSD. I'm doing some (volunteer) work on FBSD 11 RC1 for the RPi at the moment, trying to address an issue I discovered with the GPIO pins (not as an official commit guy, but as someone who reported a bug, got into a discussion over it, and am now attempting to implement a kernel driver that someone recommended as a solution).

      The fact is, there are SEVERAL operating system choices for the RPi. And Windows 10 "light" won't do ANYTHING for you other than "do windows things".

      Last I checked, "the Store" was FULL OF [CR]APPS. Nothing worth using.

      Now, ANDROID on an RPi might actually make SENSE. But _NOT_ Win-10-nic.

      And the author's general opinion of 'not being ready for prime time' (essentially) is just ONE of those things that SHOULD make your anus pucker up if some clueless manager at your company says "Hey, there's a version of WINDOWS that runs on a Raspberry Pi!" and wants YOU to implement it...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Windows or Linux?

        And Windows 10 "light" won't do ANYTHING for you other than "do windows things".

        It won't even do that, no Win32 stuff and UWP apps without a UI. The article says that Windows and the .NET ecosystem may be more productive, I can't see that happening. Especially as there's no UI.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows or Linux?

      Exactly my thoughts. Why? Why in the world would you run Windows instead of Linux on IoT devices when Linux is 1) free 2) stable, little management required 3) lightweight and doesn't pull as much power?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows or Linux?

        "Why in the world would you run Windows instead of Linux on IoT devices "

        Because Microsoft are desperate to get some kind of software success outside their increasingly risky x86 desktop/server world (OK maybe there's Xbox...).

        But every time they try it, it fails, and it's been that way for decades. They need one that works, or... well, work it out.

        Embedded systems in general? Fail (WinCE).

        PDAs? Fail (iPAQ etc with PocketPC OS, "handheld PCs" with Windows HPC).

        Set top boxes ? Fail (Mediaroom).

        Phones? Megafail (Windows Phone).

        Add your own favourites e.g. their failed attempt to attack the HPC market (where, 2nd time round, HPC means high performance computing, compute farms, etc).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows or Linux?

          You say that now, but wait until the Surface version of Zune comes out.

          Yeah, they make bad products. It is a huge fall from the glory days when they used to make mediocre products.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows or Linux?

        Why? Because you can put together a platform in half the time, don't have to fool around with all that command line crap and develop your app in C# ...oh and by the way its free also.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    We should use neither

    Frankly, the Pi when you start pushing it beyond prototyping proves to be too unreliable, especially if used for more than one application.

    USB storage if it is fast enough to saturate USB is nearly guaranteed to kill uvc video and other usb apps. A URB is lost and that is it. USB is still unreliable power-wise. Attach something that does not quite draw as much as it claims (f.e. some of the older Huawei cell modems) and it kills other USB devices and quite often the Pi too) . There are plenty of non-USB issues too - thermals (model 3 can overheat just by looking at it), WiFi does some ops in the broadcom binary firmware which is hideously slow resulting in 300ms+ pings under load, the SD card connectors being extremely vulnerable to environmental factors, etc.

    Prototyping - yes. One-off where cost does not matter for a hobbyist - yes. If you, however, want to do something seriously, you might as well admit that the Pi is "Hobbyist Hardware (TM)" and do it properly and use proper sensors attached to microcontrollers like Arduino with a proper "FAT" collector running on a more reliable piece of hardware.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: We should use neither

      Pi is a phone chip on a break-out board. It's for learning, hobby, prototypes. Any volume application is going to use a bespoke PCB.

      At what Pi is meant to do, it's brilliant.

      Arduino is best at the non-ARM end of simple AVR microcontrollers, similar in capability to PIC 16F and 18F (now bought by Microchip). The clumsy "shield" system is for people that can't solder a stripboard / vero and micro-controller on it. It's great at what it does for certain kind of hobby community. It's not directly comparable to the Pi, as entry level Arduino can't run Linux, they are a target. The Pi only needs screen, keyboard and mouse to be a beginner's development system and target.

      The Arduino is as much a hobby system as Pi, but for a different demographic, though there is some overlap. I expect you can develop for an AVR based Arduino on a Pi, but not vice versa.

      1. boltar

        Re: We should use neither

        "The clumsy "shield" system is for people that can't solder a stripboard / vero and micro-controller on it. "#

        There's nothing clumsy about it - it does its job very well. And soldering stuff tends to be non reversable unless you're exceptionally careful so it wouldn't be a good idea for a prototyping board.

        "It's not directly comparable to the Pi, as entry level Arduino can't run Linux, they are a target."

        The arduino is a microcontroller system - the OS is your program. The Pi is a small computer which IMO uncomfortably straddles the low end computing and high end controller hardware arenas. Its too low powered for most proper computing tasks and too "fat" for serious controller tasks where you don't usually need or want a full blown OS with all the apps and your program running in Python. You want something lean that does no more than it needs with the program compiled as a binary for speed and efficiency.

        1. Chemist

          Re: We should use neither

          "Its too low powered for most proper computing tasks "

          Can't agree I'm afraid - it's certainly limited but for running one or 2 applications i can't fault it.

          I'm running 4 routinely and 6 in all. All running Debian desktops via VNC

          1. is a web/motion-sensitive/streaming cam - also running a web-server for domestic use - addresses, recipes, notes etc.

          2. is a backup fileserver and sshd portal - ethernet connected to the router and also used as a web-proxy back to the UK when traveling.

          3. is for hardware experiments with a break-out connection board

          4. spent the summer (May-Aug) in Saas-Fee taking a photo every 5 minutes & joining them into a .mp4 file.

          5. Travels with the laptop. An ethernet cable and USB/USB cable to power it from the laptop works great.

          I don't stress them but I find they've been completely reliable Even running a desktop and streaming from the webcam (800x600, wifi, 3 fps) I find Pi1 ( a Pi B) is using little memory (~140MB) and running at ~8% cpu usage, for example.

          A test spreadsheet (which recalculates 400000 sines ) which takes < 0.5 secs on this i7 takes ~7 seconds on a Pi.

          I don't suppose I'll be doing any video editing but I'd certainly use it for developing a directory of RAW images in the background.

          1. The Real Tony Smith

            Re: We should use neither

            "Its too low powered for most proper computing tasks "

            Define 'proper'? How about a backup server?

            I've got one sitting at home blu-tac'd (yes really!) to a USB hub and a USB hard drive. Each night it reaches out to my office and several servers around the country and backs up the daily data via rsnapshot.

            Been working over a year now with no problems.

            1. Chemist

              Re: We should use neither

              "blu-tac'd (yes really!) "

              Mine's held by a big cable-tie stapled to the wall !

        2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: We should use neither

          > Its too low powered for most proper computing tasks

          A Pi2 or 3 is far more powerful than most computers that ran Windows 98.

          > and too "fat" for serious controller tasks where you don't usually need or want a full blown OS with all the apps and your program running in Python.

          Develop on Pi2 or 3, deploy on Zero or Compute Module. You can't do that with Windows IoT. Linux can be cut down to much less than 'a full blown OS'*. You can develop in many other languages if you don't like Python.

          In any case, a Zero is $5, how much less "fat" can it be ?

          * There are many Linux distros that can (or could) boot up from a single 1.44MB diskette and run on a 80386 with 16MB of RAM.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: We should use neither

            "There are many Linux distros that can (or could) boot up from a single 1.44MB diskette and run on a 80386 with 16MB of RAM"

            a typical WiFi Access Point might have a Linux plus bootloader image of around 4M (in NVRAM), and run on 512M or perhaps even less. Sure, they have 'busybox' instead of a full-blown userland, but it's still Linux, and there are zillions of them out there...

            1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

              Re: We should use neither

              > a typical WiFi Access Point might have a Linux plus bootloader image of around 4M (in NVRAM), and run on 512M

              Raspian with LXDE desktop GUI, LibreOffice and development stuff will run in less than that !

              An access point can be much less than that.

              In fact here's one: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/wireless/ap541n-wireless-access-point/data_sheet_c78-566239.html

              """System Memory

              • 64 MB RAM

              • 32 MB flash """

      2. Code For Broke

        Re: We should use neither

        @Mage:

        The clumsy "shield" system is for people that can't solder a stripboard...

        Now, now, no point it trying to make it personal. I enjoy soldering, breadboarding and shielding equally. They all have their place.

        Arduino was designed for experimenting. You know, popping things on, popping things off, switching things around, making mistakes; generally: learning.

        Not all of us have become self-proclaimed mages yet, please be patient.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We should use neither

      I completely disagree with this assessment. I have a failover gateway here, running on a Pi, with an uptime over 376 days. Granted, it spends most of its time idle, unless the main gateway goes down, but hasn't failed once when we've needed it.

      It is for a small office and running as a:

      DHCP failover node with the primary

      DNS server

      Transparent Squid Proxy (with blacklists to protect clients)

      Yes, it is a bit slower than the primary gateway, pings increase by about 5ms through it, but keep in mind they're 700mhz - 1.4ghz ARM processors with limited RAM, don't overload them and they do fine.

      I also have another two RPis running as remote CCTV cameras (PiKrellCam if anyone's wondering), these have been faultless too. I have two other RPis running Nagios network monitor sending alerts if any problems, which they too have been faultless for over 2 years.

      Ultimately, you need to know the limitations of the device you're configuring, i.e. RPis USB + SD controller share an IRQ (IIRC), making them rubbish for file servers using USB NICs, but great for gateways for e.g.

      Finally, if your Pi is failing because of USB devices power requirements, get a proper power supply for it. Even the CSI cameras will crash a Pi if an in-adequate supply is used.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: We should use neither

        >>"I completely disagree with this assessment..."

        you begin. And then backup everything they said. VRH didn't say the Pi was rubbish, they said you wouldn't want to use it for Serious Business. You then with respond with an example of using it as a mostly idle backup gateway for a "small office". How small exactly?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We should use neither

          "you begin. And then backup everything they said. VRH didn't say the Pi was rubbish, they said you wouldn't want to use it for Serious Business. You then with respond with an example of using it as a mostly idle backup gateway for a "small office". How small exactly?"

          He said they are "unreliable" - to which I provided an example of an RPi with a very reliable uptime. I then went on to provide examples of their use in serious business. To answer your questions:

          1. The network is large (small enough) to warrant Nagios network monitoring - so ~40 hosts on the network

          2. Serious business use? I consider Nagios to be one of the most critical roles on the network as it alerts to potential problems before they arise - I trust it to 2xRPis, each monitors the other and one monitors the network as well, thus far (2 years), neither has gone down unexpectedly

          3. CCTV - another critical system - if they weren't reliable, I wouldn't use them - they're motion activated and ship the videos to a file server where they get sent offsite

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: We should use neither

      Its seems the Pi3 will now boot from a 'mass storage device'. This makes it a very useful full blown computer. I'm hoping someone will do a 'Superbook' for it so we can turn it into a laptop for $99 too.

      But dont use windows on it - its pointless even if free cos they cant get .NET working properly on the ARM and will always use that to leverage you onto more expensive and licensed hardware.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: We should use neither

        WIth regard to the comment that the Pi is only used for hobby, learning, prototyping, not commercial usage. This isn't true. There are upwards of a million Pi's out there being used in industrial applications. You just never hear about it.

        If you add on those used as media boxes (ie, not for hobby, learning, prototyping, but as a black box that does a task etc), then the number is even larger.

        One of the reasons they get used instead of custom PCB's is that the SoC is not available in low quantities, and the development costs of a custom PCB on small runs is MUCH higher than just using a Pi. Why bother with a custom board if the Pi already does what you want, with a solid Linux kernel and support.

        It's also not a 'phone chip on a breakout board'. The original SoC (2835) was used in the Roku media stick, but never in a phone. The history of the chip line is available on line somewhere.

        1. boltar

          Re: We should use neither

          "There are upwards of a million Pi's out there being used in industrial applications. You just never hear about it."

          I hope not. Industrial electronics need to be tested for EM interferance resistence , failover states and whole host of other things that prevent the 50 ton press (or whatever) its controlling go out of control and kill someone if the control system has a bad day. Industrial control is a very serious business, up there with avionics - would you fly on an Airbus that was being run by a Pi?

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: We should use neither @boltar

            Yes, there are upwards of a millions out there - I should have specified industrial and commercial rather than just industrial. My bad.

            Digital signage is one, where they are a fantastically cheap way of producing HDMI output from H264 media.

            As for specifically industrial, there is no reason the Pi cannot be used providing they are suitable to the task in hand. So, not a plane, that required specialised electronics, but that is such a small subset of industrial it hardly bear mentioning. Yes, industrial control is a serious business. But it's not all control, there are huge numbers of places in industry that are not mission critical, where devices like the Pi can be used to great effect. You need a touchscreen controller on a machine, not to control it but to program it? A Pi is cheap and good at the job. There are huge numbers of applications.

            1. Mayhem

              Re: We should use neither @boltar

              But it's not all control, there are huge numbers of places in industry that are not mission critical, where devices like the Pi can be used to great effect. You need a touchscreen controller on a machine, not to control it but to program it? A Pi is cheap and good at the job. There are huge numbers of applications.

              Agreed. We have several dozen acting as intermediaries for remote cctv, av and bms systems over cheap adsl links. They work well, cost pennies by comparison, only require a power supply, and you can easily remote on and reconfigure them as needed.

          2. hplasm Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: We should use neither

            "...would you fly on an Airbus that was being run by a Pi?"

            Rather than one that was run by Windows, yes.

            1. Code For Broke

              Re: We should use neither

              Sorry, downvoted you hplasm. You've got to keep your hardware and OS clearly separate in jokes here - we mostly all know the difference.

              1. hplasm Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: We should use neither

                It's all firmishware. Some more firm than others...

                And Win10- in the article- which is another kettle of... something.

          3. Code For Broke

            Re: We should use neither

            Folks are being brutal with boltar for merely speaking common sense. I didn't realize that Raspberry Pi had such ardent and, frankly, ignorant fanbois. Clearly their educational mission is missing the mark.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: would you fly on an Airbus that was being run by a Pi?

            The ex top man at ARM is now top man at RR (aero engines):

            http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3475478/Rolls-Royce-s-new-everyman-boss-shuns-outrageous-perks-past-shaming-predecessor-austere-approach.html

            Putting aside considerations like thermal and vibration, which relate to an implemetation rather than an architecture, there's an interesting discussion to have around whether RR engines should be controlled by a customer-specific tiny-volume DIY-architecture microprocessor design with customer-specific tools to match (as is proposed at the moment), with all the disadvantages that high complexity devices have in tiny volumes, or an environmentally hardened instance of a massive-market architecture and tool set that has had loads of real world testing as well as the stuff the aviation regulators require.

            There were a number of reasons the RSRE's Viper microprocessor concept never caught on. There are parallels here.

      2. Old Used Programmer

        Re: We should use neither

        Boot from MSD (or PXE) is still in beta testing, but it appears to be getting close to general release. It does point up the weakest part of the Pi, though, and that is the b=need for a faster external interface for such devices. Note also that boot from MSD/PXE is *only* for Pi3 devices, which at the moment means just the Pi3B.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: We should use neither

      "Frankly, the Pi when you start pushing it beyond prototyping proves to be too unreliable, especially if used for more than one application."

      I find the RPi to be EXTREMELY useful (and highly reliable) for device control types of applications. Where do you get off saying it's unreliable? Maybe you're just not using it for the right purpose.

      RPi is NOT a desktop computer. OK the newer ones run about as fast as a laptop purchased before 2005, but they were pretty useful BACK THEN, weren't they? I don't expect an RPi to be doing disk-intensive applications (SD card - duh) or use it to power USB devices that draw a lot of amperage. Personally, I think you're trying to extract 3Ghz x64 desktop capabilities out of a ~1Ghz ARM processor and it disappoints. Well, 'duh' again.

      what RPi _IS_ though, would be a USB-capable computer that can run an OS like Linux, talk to your networks, do WiFi, do bluetooth, and [the REAL important part] has a boatload of GPIO PINS that you can do "whatever" with.

      Here's a nice example of an industrial device I designed for a customer, using an RPi:

      Bed of Nails Device

      THIS is what the RPi is good at doing: controlling things and sensing stuff and doing input/output with custom hardware that's tailored to the environment the device is intended to work under.

      and, if it goes bad, you can replace it (for cheap), and if the SD card goes bad, you can just re-image it from a backup. Personally, I think THAT makes it VERY reliable!

      (FYI it's running Raspbian)

    5. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: We should use neither

      Prototyping - yes. One-off where cost does not matter for a hobbyist - yes. If you, however, want to do something seriously, you might as well admit that the Pi is "Hobbyist Hardware (TM)" and do it properly and use proper sensors attached to microcontrollers like Arduino with a proper "FAT" collector running on a more reliable piece of hardware.

      The Pi is by no means perfect for industrial use but it does have its place if you apply a little common sense. At the start of the year I used one essentially as a high speed daughterboard in a telescope controller - extending the life of a fairly pricey university scope mount, mounted on its GPIO port and standoffs into the mounting holes, power fed in via the GPIO as opposed to the micro USB which I felt unsuitable. The economics were compelling, at a rough guess building a board from scratch would have been perhaps four months work, an expansion board for e.g. an ITX board perhaps two months. The Pi took three weeks including software and documentation. That's a game changer for unique or short run stuff.

      Things still aren't perfect: I'd prefer a different power connector, proper engineering drawings (come on, you shouldn't need to work out panel cut outs yourself) and so on. However when you compare the Pi 2 or 3 to the original with sockets all over the place at different heights and lacking even mounting holes things are a lot better than they were.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Indeed both pointless.

    Intel for IoT is pointless, unless Intel does new ARMs of its own.

    Microsoft anything for ARM is pointless. They stopped proper embedded NT and multi-platform NT support after NT 4.0. They killed Win CE and Win CE embedded after killing multi-platform.

    Win 10 is a sick joke. The Pi and IoT both have alternates to Windows if you don't want Linux, though you'd be looking at some pretty niche OS other than Linux.

    This is Marketing, not useful platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Indeed both pointless.

      Actually, Windows Phone did show how well Windows can also run on ARM - better than Android, faster and using less resources. The fact users didn't like tiles (IMHO an excellent interface for mobes) and Nadella killed the platform doesn't meant it wasn't technically very good.

      The main issue with Win10 IoT is MS doesn't want to make it a full desktop OS running on a Pi...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Indeed both pointless.

        That was Windows Phone 7, which was WinCE. Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 (the beginning of the unified kernel) was slower and less power efficient. Windows 10 Mobile (Marketing rebadging WP8.2) was worse.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Indeed both pointless.

          Windows RT ran on ARM, and ran very well too. I have a Surface 2 and it's an excellent device.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Linux

            Re: Indeed both pointless.

            "Windows RT ran on ARM, and ran very well too. I have a Surface 2 and it's an excellent device."

            Fortunately, El Reg published an article a while back, about the hack that you can use to get Linux on it... assuming Micro-shaft hasn't already (deliberately) broken the REST of those 'jailbreak' methods.

            Otherwise, nice paperweight.

      2. boltar

        Re: Indeed both pointless.

        "The main issue with Win10 IoT is MS doesn't want to make it a full desktop OS running on a Pi..."

        Probably because it couldn't. Proper Windows generally requires far more resources than Linux. I suspect the Pi has neither the processor power nor the drive space to run & store the bloated monstrosity.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Indeed both pointless.

          Drive space is not--intrinsically--a problem. I have a Pi3B paired with a WD "PiDrive" (314GB) powered solely off one USB port on the Pi. The root file system is on the drive. For now, the boot partition is on an SD card, but I will change that when the boot from MSD gets out of beta.

      3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

        Re: Indeed both pointless.

        > MS can't make it a full desktop OS running on a Pi...

        FTFY

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Well Intel would have a chance

      I mean for IoT the CPU platform is kinda irrelevant. Not all IoT things have power restrictions x86 processors couldn't meet, after all there used to be a x86 palmtops which ran for weeks on a pair of AA batteries.

      The problem is that Intel doesn't understand what would be needed. They bring out x86 SoCs with 16 kilobytes of RAM... so you couldn't even run MS-Dos on them. On the other hand, they push Windows for their larger devices, which doesn't make much sense as it's hard to modify it enough to be useful in that area.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Well Intel would have a chance

        "The problem is that Intel doesn't understand what would be needed. They bring out x86 SoCs with 16 kilobytes of RAM."

        I may have a *bit* more insight, as I've actually communicated "certain requirements" to some of the people at Intel, with respect to "what it would take to use XX processor on YY". I describe (basically) what the existing processor choice does and there are features on that CPU that are integrated with other hardware, and hard to duplicate without actually "being that". For example, a differential A:D device capable of having a gain adjustment and internally selectable reference voltage. If you want to scale it to read millivolts DIFFERENTIAL for example, you could with the existing CPU, and with 11 bits of precision. THESE are the kinds of things that IOT devices need.

        what's interesting is that ATMel's 'xmega' and ARM 'SAM' series CPUs can do these things. they have the hardware support with "that kind of thing" in it. they are also VERY low power devices, with super-special power saving modes and wakeup timers built-in. If Intel wants IOT market share, it's going to have to address THAT.

    3. Chika

      Re: Indeed both pointless.

      Intel for IoT is pointless, unless Intel does new ARMs of its own.

      Noises have been made, though ditching the XScale on their part was rather short sighted of them. We shall see what occurs next.

      Microsoft anything for ARM is pointless. They stopped proper embedded NT and multi-platform NT support after NT 4.0. They killed Win CE and Win CE embedded after killing multi-platform.

      Microsoft have always been a bit short sighted when it came to processors. Their insistence on maintaining the x86 side of things is one reason, IMHO, why things have gone the way they have. Consider the way that this problem was approached by Unix and Linux - I don't believe either would have been as successful if Microsoft had been a bit more flexible or had at least addressed processors like the ARM back when it was still being widely used in desktops.

      Win 10 is a sick joke. The Pi and IoT both have alternates to Windows if you don't want Linux, though you'd be looking at some pretty niche OS other than Linux.

      I think this article asked this one. And I agree here - this is an example of Microsoft trying to muscle their way into a market that is already adequately served by other systems more suited to them.

      They want a presence here, just as they wanted a presence in the phone and tablet market, in the hope that people would say "hey look! It's Microsoft! Let's buy it!" The fact that it worked in their favour in the games market was less about their brand and more about other companies screwing themselves over, something that hasn't happened in the mobile market and something that has yet to happen in the IoT market.

      This is Marketing, not useful platform.

      And that, sad to say, describes Microsoft completely these days.

  4. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Great

    So, I can have Windows 10 on a pi, cool, however, I cannot expect too much, you know, because ... they are Microsoft for a reason.

    Windows IoT, RT, server core^H^H^H^Hnano ... cool on paper, useless in practice™

  5. kmac499

    To paraphrase Sam Johson

    In conversation with the late Dr.Samuel Jonhson

    I told him I had been that morning at a meeting of the people called 'Makers', where I had seen a copy of 'Win IoT on a Pi' .

    Johnson replied : "Sir, a 'Win IoT on a Pi' is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

    (To save you looking it up; in the original the people were the Quakers and the activity a Woman Preaching)

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: To paraphrase Sam Johson

      Already done on a previous Reg forum recently (someone suggested a more modern appraisal should include reference to islam).

      Even should one not be learned in the literate musings of Dr Johnson directly, most British above a certain age should at least be familiar with Blackadder III 'Ink and Incapability' episode which features Robbie Coltrane as Dr Johnson, and a similarly edited quote - Second hand comedy reference is where I got most my knowledge from 80's to 90's.

      Or maybe I'm just weird, where's my cloakroom ticket....

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: To paraphrase Sam Johson

        Even should one not be learned in the literate musings of Dr Johnson directly, most British above a certain age should at least be familiar with Blackadder III 'Ink and Incapability' episode which features Robbie Coltrane as Dr Johnson

        Ah, upvoted for the reference. Living here among the Americans, I have carefully cultivated a reputation for wit and clever word-play - little do they know it's all a lie, I've cribbed it all from British comedy programs with which they are unfamiliar (showed them a clip of Rab C Nesbitt once and they were, um, bemused.)

        Although, pace Edmund Blackadder, I haven't yet managed to use the words "anispeptic", "prasmodic", "pericombobulations" - or even "aardvark*" - in a business meeting.

        Aardvark (n).: Medium-sized insectivore with protruding nasal orifice.

  6. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Really?

    " ... but should we just use Linux?"

    Is it at all possible that such a question is still being raised?

    Come on ...

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Really?

      We are all in agreement then? The answer is Linux, irrespective of the question?

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Really?

        I don't know, lets test it.

        Q. What do people go on about most in Windows articles?

        A. Linux.

        Hmmm, seems it is.

        1. Chemist

          Re: Really?

          "Q. What do people go on about most in Windows articles?"

          From the article's titles - "Neat platform but should we just use Linux?"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Really?

        " The answer is Linux, irrespective of the question?"

        I'm glad that you've finally seen the light !

        1. sabroni Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: AC I'm glad that you've finally seen the light !

          Hiding your posting history because....?

  7. Cuddles Silver badge

    Hobbyist?

    "It seems to have two goals in mind; one is to support the hobbyist “Maker” community in order to attract developers to its platform, and the other is to provide large businesses with an end-to-end IoT solution. It is the latter which has most business potential, but go to Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core developer site and you see sample applications with a hobbyist feel, such as an Air Hockey Robot and a connected clock radio."

    I'm not sure I understand the difference between the two here. The IoT crap large businesses provide aren't generally any more useful than a connected clock radio, and for the most part are significantly less functional and secure than anything a hobbyist might build.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Win10 + IoT

    I think it should have the code name Chimera just so it matches the unlikely mash up of a drunken Greek with a fondness for animals.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think it should have the code name Chimera just so it matches the unlikely mash up of a drunken Greek with a fondness for animals.

      .. and it's the name of a spectacularly virulent virus in a Mission Impossible movie, which also fits. Agree.

  9. RatX

    "Store"

    I'm by no means a developer, but "Microsoft has also added Store integration, though it is not what you are used to on desktop Windows 10. Installing an application from the Store is a multi-step process involving the Windows Imaging and Configuration Designer, creating a package, and then copying it to a special folder on the device before rebooting.",

    doesn't seem to be able to compete with

    $ sudo apt-get install python

    in terms of elegance or efficiency? I've been looking forward to this, but it seems to be mired in Microsoft's notoriously complex and layered development methodology. It's all well and good, but once you've gone and learnt it all they'll just ditch the whole thing and move on to the next thing the marketing department has latched on to. Probably a sound strategy in terms of shareholders, but just never seems to be quite worth the effort to me.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: "Store"

      Welcome to Windows World.

      That smell comes from the Welcome Mat, it's made of Install Shit.

      Problem?

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: "Store"

      > they'll just ditch the whole thing and move on to the next thing the marketing department has latched on to.

      In the IoT world they already did that with the Galileo.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, can it run VS.Net?

    BTW, I thought the ".Net" terminology was dropped/killed?

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: So, can it run VS.Net?

      "BTW, I thought the ".Net" terminology was dropped/killed?"

      Who wants to be on MS Marketings circular list, just to be 'up' with the new names?

      (sighs) All right, what is it now, .maxpower? directnet?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: So, can it run VS.Net?

      "BTW, I thought the ".Net" terminology was dropped/killed?"

      I'd like to see the entire TECHNOLOGY (of ".Not") dropped off of a tall building, THEN killed. Then torched with a flamethrower. Then sealed in a block of concrete. Then dropped into the Marianas trench. in that order.

      I suppose you COULD run MShaft's latest IDE on it, though I can't imagine it would be able to do much [being that it's a monolithic pig for screen space and resources. like every OTHER ".Not" thing, it would seem]. I would have to wonder whether or not it's USABLE, though. I have trouble with "ATMel Studio" (which is based on DevStudio) having any kind of usable performance on an old laptop, and it's running at 1.6Ghz and has more RAM on it. [running W7 though] I just needed something to run it so I could flash updated firmware onto the ISP/PDI programmer, and also view/use the sample code, and verify proper PDI/ISP communications, things like that, but for every day use? Ugh... and with THAT experience under my belt, I can't imagine how *BAD* it would be, running a "newer" (piggier) version of DevStudio on an RPi.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fairly new arduino compatible boards with build in esp8266 seem a more suitable direction for IoT devices to go in to me. I don't see why a full ARM based computer is needed for what in most occasions is a microcontrollers job apart from the easy use of networking. But now that wifi is built in to some arduino compatible boards the Pi is a lot less relevant.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      RE esp8266 seem a more suitable

      The thing is you can get a zero for less than the price of one of these and you can use it to program itself up in a gui all run from itself. I've been a lover of arduinos for a while but the Pi Pisses all over it for most applications I can think of, and the ones that I cant do on a Pi I'd do with a pic - I can get them for free from my local washing machine repair man.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RE esp8266 seem a more suitable

        Yeah but the pi zero has no wifi built in does it? or even ethernet built in? So not really ideal for IoT without additional expense/addons. When you can get a arduino clone with built in wifi for £6 off ebay, why bother with a zero and effort to add wifi somehow?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE esp8266 seem a more suitable

          >effort to add wifi somehow?

          Eh? USB WiFi/Bluetooth/Ethernet widgets $0.99 each on eBay. Pick yer poison(s).

          I'm sure even you can figure out how to "add [one] somehow" to a USB port, if you really, really try!

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Linux

            Re: RE esp8266 seem a more suitable

            and USB devices like that (the el-cheapo WiFi and bluetooth USB doohickies) typically work 'out of the box' with Linux, no messing with drivers or install CD's [especially since RPi has no CD drive!!!]

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The way Microsoft presents IoT Core is puzzling. It seems to have two goals in mind

    No, they have one, to keep Linux out of the classroom.

    1. TVU Silver badge

      Re: The way Microsoft presents IoT Core is puzzling. It seems to have two goals in mind

      "No, they have one, to keep Linux out of the classroom".

      Well, they've already missed the boat in that respect (in the USA at least) because the most popular computer learning experience in schools is being provided by Chromebooks with their customised Gentoo Linux Chrome OS and they outsell Windows laptops and Apple iPads combined.

      Regarding Rasperry Pis, they've left things so late (bit of a Redmond trait there) that Windows on Pi will just be a minor curiosity only.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The way Microsoft presents IoT Core is puzzling. It seems to have two goals in mind

        "the most popular computer learning experience in schools is being provided by Chromebooks with their customised Gentoo Linux Chrome OS and they outsell Windows laptops and Apple iPads combined."

        Same is happening here in the UK. Lots of Chromebooks being deployed to schools. No idea of total numbers, but they are making inroads quickly. Not sure I'm happy about the Google grabbing all that data, but the alternative is Win10 and all it's telemetry functions. Somewhere between the devil and the deep blue sea is a happy medium but no one seems to have found it yet.

  13. Fatman Silver badge
    Joke

    Windows Update on a Ras Pi

    <quote>As I type, I am watching Windows 10 IoT Core apply a system update on a Raspberry Pi 3. It is taking ages, whereas when I have done Linux updates on a Pi it is generally quicker and does not require a reboot.</quote>

    More evidence of the bloatware that Windows has become.

    And WHY would one WANT to use it?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Windows Update on a Ras Pi

      Have to agree there. If the alternative is building stuff with "known" tools from MS onto a system where the choice is a moving target with enforced updates or pay for a per device licensed "pro" version you can lock to a known state, or just use the current market dominated free Linux, I know which option I'd choose.

      The downside is that so many people are Windows-centric that many will see MS in this market as a plus point with cheaper short term dev retraining costs. They probably won't forecast ahead enough to see the ongoing costs of licensing, especially if someone comes up with a "killer app" and get locked into more MS tithes.. It seems like everyone wants to be in the IoT business and speed to market seem to be the overriding factor.

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    All the potential vulnerabilities of embedded Linux IoT devices plus Windows 10's added-value brand of upfuck for the fail.

    Why in Azathoth's secret last syllable would anyone put Windows 10 on any IoT device? Isn't it bad enough that the world plus its dog can't understand how to secure Linux properly. Now they have to add an O/S with a well-known and growing exploit dictionary in the wild so that even if you DO know how you'll be backdoored by some fucking driver exploit or yet another buffer overrun?

    And I say that as someone who has used Windows happily up until about four weeks ago, when some stupid Windows 7 update fucked up ... the update mechanism.

    Getting Windows 10 to run on a Pi was a great example of misplaced ingenuity: They said it couldn't be done - what they meant was it SHOULDN'T be done.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Bah!

      "All the potential vulnerabilities of embedded Linux IoT devices"

      vulnerabilities? [only if poorly configured]

      yes, change your user/pass from 'pi:pi' and re-config sudo, and make sure you can't be ssh'd into as root. then you're fine.

      some things just require user intelligence.

    2. PNGuinn
      Trollface

      Re: Bah!

      "Why in Azathoth's secret last syllable would anyone put Windows 10 on any IoT device?"

      For Security, natch.

      It's a perfect match .....

  15. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Why?

    I mean I can understand running Linux on a Raspberry Pi, essentially it gives you a full developmental platform where you have all the tools to directly develop and debug your software. In the area where the Raspberry Pi and platforms like the Arduino overlap, that's the big advantage of the Raspberry Pi...

    But here we have a "headless" Windows, a Windows without windows. You cannot even run Visualstudio or VisualBasic on it. Just like on an Arduino you need to develop on a PC and then "flash" it to your Rasperry Pi.

    I could understand if they would have simply ported a slimmed down Version of Windows to it. Something like a Windows 2000, perhaps with x86 emulation for non-native software. That would have had some use.

  16. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    One benefit...

    At least on a headless device you won't ever see the BSOD!

  17. Stoke the atom furnaces

    BSODing IoT devices.

    Can a headless Windows 10 device automatically reboot itself when it BSODs?

  18. nilfs2
    Devil

    Nano BSOD

    Great, now Microsoft can make the life of IoT developers miserable as well dealing with their shitty OS.

  19. martinusher Silver badge

    So you want .NET on a Pi?

    Pretty straightforward -- install Mono. Takes a couple of minutes. Then you can run your PC applications on the Pi -- provided you remember its a Pi.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: So you want .NET on a Pi?

      WHY!!

      Whenever you give Mono a second chance, Harambe dies again.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: So you want .NET on a Pi?

        "Whenever you give Mono a second chance, Harambe dies again."

        mono. ugh. I (and apparently many others) screamed BLOODY MURDER when 'tomboy' [added to gnome desktop] hauled all of that cruft (100Mb or so) into Debian's release, and jumped for joy when the requirement was SUBSEQUENTLY REMOVED from the gnome desktop install...

        and then a supervisor at the time decided we would use a MONO application on Linux, written by HIM in 'C-pound', and the first time we tried it, it wouldn't work because mono didn't support all of the "new, shiny" in that particular devstudio version (it was around 2007 or 2008 as I recall). I snickered a bit, played along. The application NEVER went ANYWHERE, either.

        I can only imagine how *PIGGY* your average C-pound application using ".Not" would be on an RPi. You know, like seconds' worth of response time to mouse clicks...

  20. PNGuinn
    FAIL

    "This is Windows, then"

    Yup.

  21. Richard Plinston Silver badge

    > but there are some attractions. In particular, you can build applications in Visual Studio

    That is not an attraction, not for me at least. For a start it won't run on the Pi, not even on a Pi3. In fact no development system (that I know of) does, it needs a full Windows 10 desktop PC.

    With Linux on the Pi the development can be done directly on the machine using many different tools and languages to suit your needs. There is no need for additional computers. The Pi can even run development for Arduino.

    > you can easily connect IoT Core with Azure services for processing data.

    But you can't connect to any other service, it is a lock-in to Azure, even if you don't want any external services.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Serious question:

    What's the point?

    Like ... you've already got Linux, which is way more "developer friendly" in these areas. Without the "run windows programs" what's the point? Like if you were to try and sell me Windows for small devices like these what would you say?

    I'm being completely serious are there any advantages to it?

  23. xyzabc

    I've had similar experiences as the reviewer. Purely for learning, setup an RPI2 with windows IoT core, and experimenting with a brand new surface pro 4 + Visual Studio. Took me about 4-5 hrs to get Blinky working on a circuit board attached to the RPI (granted, my first time on Win10 + VS). I can definitely see the potential, it has a reasonable amount of "cool" factor. But it feels madly more complex and out of control than running Raspbian on my pi-zeros. It ties in with Azure quite nicely, and is about on a par with AWS IoT + Raspbian clients. But Azure are shooting themselves in the foot because the cost of more than one IoT device is prohibitive compared to AWS. I am enjoying playing, and MS does seem to have changed its stripes quite a bit since the last time (>5 yrs ago) I last used their kit but the sheer convenience of Pi's + AWS is hard to beat.

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