Microsoft Launches Raspberry Pi-Like Windows Board – For £200

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Shark’s Cove aims to take a bite out of Raspberry Pi’s market, but at £200, and with Windows included, it’s really aming for developing apps for tablets

Microsoft has entered the development board market, popularised by devices such as the Raspberry Pi, and has teamed up with Intel to produce the Shark’s Cove – a more upmarket Windows-based board which, at $326 (or £193), is some ten times as pricey as the Pi.

The Shark’s Cove board was revealed in April, but a blog post this week announced it is now available for pre-order frorm US-based Mouser Electronics.

The device is made for Microsoft by CircuitCo and, for the price, is significantly beefier than the Pi, with more memory and a faster processor. The price includes a Windows 8.1 licence, and support to get the system running, but the Shark’s  Cove can also be used for Android systems, says Microsoft, at the new SharksCove.org site.

microsoft sharks cove windows boardSharks bite Raspberry Pi?

The Microsoft device is intended “to facilitate development of software and drivers for mobile devices that run Windows, such as phones, tablets, and similar System on a Chip (SoC) platforms,” according to the site, which lists the full specs. The board is based around a 1.33GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G, and has 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage and a microSD slot. That compares with the Pi’s 700MHz ARM processor and 512M of RAM.

UK customers may have to give more information and pay import duties, but Mouser is set up to accept payment in dollars, pounds or euro.

The development board market5 also includes other players, notably Arduino, and Intel has its own Arduino-compatible offering called Galileo, launched in 2013, based around the Quark X1000 system-on-a-chip (SoC) and costing around £40.

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