Microsoft considering development boards for Windows Phone, RT

The company hasn't yet said whether it will offer the hardware boards for makers

Microsoft has considered making development boards for Windows Phone or Windows RT in addition to the x86 boards it already makes, but the company isn't saying if it would ever release such products.

Microsoft hasn't yet announced plans to release such boards, which would be platforms for writing applications for Windows Phone and Windows RT, but there has been some talk about the idea, Microsoft representatives said during a webcast on Monday.

"We don't have any plans we can announce ... right now, but rest assured, it's something that keeps us awake at night," Peter Wieland, principal developer at Microsoft, said during the webcast.

"Stay tuned, we'll let you know as soon as we've got plans firmed up," said Viraf Gandhi, senior program manager at Microsoft, following Wieland's comments.

In the past two months, Microsoft has released Windows-based development boards, based on Intel x86 processors, that hardware hackers can use to test and develop products. Those products could be smart appliances, robots, sensors or even tablets.

The boards are a way for Microsoft to tap into the maker community for new ideas about devices where Windows might be used. One such area is the "Internet of things," where data-collecting instruments gather and transmit real-time information for alerts or analysis. Through developer boards, Microsoft hopes to put Windows in more IoT devices, which are expected to number in the billions in the coming years.

Windows Phone and RT run on ARM processors, so Microsoft's x86 development boards don't apply to those OSes. The company offers two boards today: Galileo, which runs on a low-power Intel Quark processor, is for smart devices, robots and Internet-connected appliances; and Sharks Cove, which has an Intel Bay Trail processor, is mainly for tablets and PC driver development.

ARM dominates the smartphone and tablet market and increasingly is being used in development boards from other vendors. For example, the popular US$25 Raspberry Pi board has an ARM processor and runs on Linux.

Thousands of Galileo boards with a pared-down version of Windows 8.1 have been shipped to developers, presenters said during the webcast.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobileMicrosofthardware systemsComponentsMobile OSesWindows Phone

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?