bit-tech.net

Microsoft launches Windows on Devices

Microsoft launches Windows on Devices

Windows on Devices is now available for the Intel Galileo as a free download, as part of Microsoft's attempt to break into the Linux-dominated embedded market.

Microsoft has officially made what it describes as a 'non-commercial' version of its Windows 8.1 operating system, dubbed Windows on Devices, available for free download to all Intel Galileo owners.

Microsoft announced Windows on Devices as part of an offer to give free Intel Galileo boards to developers, but it was vague in the extreme as to what it was actually offering. The company's Windows Embedded product requires a system far more powerful than the Galileo, which comes as standard running an extremely paired-down version of GNU/Linux courtesy the Yocto Project. The company would later clarify that yes, it was intending to ship the devices with a specialised version of Windows more suited to the 32-bit 400MHz Quark chip found on the Galileo.

For those wanting to try the new software, a distinct departure from the company's usual fare, Microsoft has officially released it for download. Unlike its usual Windows launches, the software is being offered entirely free of charge via its GitHub repository. Before you get too excited, however, there are several caveats. The initial release supports the original Intel Galileo exclusively; anyone with the new Intel Galileo Gen 2, a vastly improved design over its predecessor, will need to wait for a future software update. More importantly, the neither model of Galileo includes any easily-accessible video output unless you're willing to start hooking display panels directly to the board.

The new Windows on Devices platform, of course, isn't designed for use as a cheap desktop system. It's Microsoft's effort to stem the tide of embedded devices which run real-time code on microcontrollers or Linux variants on microprocessors by offering its own embedded platform that will be accessible using the familiar Windows application programming interfaces (APIs) - making it easier, in theory, for desktop software developers to make the move into the embedded space. Whether the company will succeed in breaking into the market remains to be seen.

17 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Guinevere 19th August 2014, 15:41 Quote
Oooohh a 'new' version of Windows. Just what the world has been asking for, there's never ever been enough different versions for my tastes.
Nexxo 19th August 2014, 18:33 Quote
I'd settle for a decent media centre. Seriously, can't we just have a Galileo with a dual TV tuner plug-on board running a dedicated lightweight version of Windows MCE or XBMC? Is that too much to ask? Or is this going to be another glaringly obvious market that Microsoft fails to exploit?
RedFlames 19th August 2014, 20:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Seriously, can't we just have a Galileo with a dual TV tuner plug-on board running a dedicated lightweight version of Windows MCE or Kodi? Is that too much to ask? Or is this going to be another glaringly obvious market that Microsoft fails to exploit?

FTFY [link], and MS would probably argue that's what the XBone is for... even though it only has the one tuner [iirc], and even then it's an optional extra... that isn't on sale yet...
Nexxo 20th August 2014, 08:05 Quote
Sure, a huge power-hungry box that can only have a single tuner added as a dongle. I mean, they built a console on PC architecture in a big, spatious box; can't even implement add-one as internal PCIe cards, like, you know, a PC.

Epic fail all around.
Gareth Halfacree 20th August 2014, 08:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
I'd settle for a decent media centre. Seriously, can't we just have a Galileo with a dual TV tuner plug-on board running a dedicated lightweight version of Windows MCE or XBMC? Is that too much to ask? Or is this going to be another glaringly obvious market that Microsoft fails to exploit?
I recently reviewed the Matrix Mini-PC: quad-core Freescale i.MX6 ARMv7 with a mini-PCIe slot suitable for digital TV tuners (with more tuners supported via USB) and a pre-loaded version of XBMC (as it was known back then.) That the sort of thing you're after?
Nexxo 20th August 2014, 08:35 Quote
That is the droid I'm looking for. Thanks! :)

EDIT: although why do they always have to have only one SATA port?!?
Anfield 20th August 2014, 11:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
EDIT: although why do they always have to have only one SATA port?!?

So you still buy a NAS:D

Or to put it differently: Why has no NAS manufacturer thought of integrating TV Tuners and XBMC yet?
Nexxo 20th August 2014, 12:22 Quote
Indeed. Would seem such an obvious thing to do!
jinq-sea 20th August 2014, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anfield
So you still buy a NAS:D

Or to put it differently: Why has no NAS manufacturer thought of integrating TV Tuners and XBMC yet?

They are supporting TV tuners streaming to XBMC (sorry, whatever it's now called), via this:

DVBLink
Nexxo 20th August 2014, 12:38 Quote
Still not an all-in-one package. We just need a NAS with dual TV tuner running some media server software. Seems a simple idea, but in practice we just get a lot of different boxes (each needing their own power supply) doing a few tasks but not all of them, having to be set up in an elaborate network.
IvanIvanovich 20th August 2014, 15:38 Quote
I wonder if it's possible to get that running on an old slot1 Pentium It is essentially the same thing as a Galileo ignoring the vast differences in physical size.
Gareth Halfacree 20th August 2014, 15:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by IvanIvanovich
I wonder if it's possible to get that running on an old slot1 Pentium It is essentially the same thing as a Galileo ignoring the vast differences in physical size.
Slot 1 was Pentium II, a different microarchitecture; the Pentium on which Quark is based was Socket 7.
RedFlames 20th August 2014, 20:17 Quote
Wonder if I still have my skt 7 Pentium... a whopping 100MHz [t'was my very first pc]...
IvanIvanovich 20th August 2014, 20:55 Quote
Whoops my bad, but you get my gist.
Corky42 21st August 2014, 07:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Still not an all-in-one package. We just need a NAS with dual TV tuner running some media server software. Seems a simple idea, but in practice we just get a lot of different boxes (each needing their own power supply) doing a few tasks but not all of them, having to be set up in an elaborate network.

So a PC then ?
EDIT: Not sure if this is the kind of thing you mean...
http://dvblogic.com/wiki/index.php/FAQ
Nexxo 21st August 2014, 07:55 Quote
Except a low power, passively cooled, really compact PC with built-in dual tuner.
GuilleAcoustic 21st August 2014, 08:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Except a low power, passively cooled, really compact PC with built-in dual tuner.

Something like this pico-ITX Bay-trail Atom (single, dual or quad cores):

http://www.kontron.com/products/boards-and-mezzanines/embedded-sbc/pitx-25-sbc/pitx-e38/specification

http://de.ies-gmbh.de/Bilder/bild_1_365.jpg
The picture shows an IDE connector, but it's also available with a SATA only or both PATA and SATA.

With one of those mPCIe tuners: http://shop.digital-devices.de/epages/62357162.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/62357162/Categories/TVCard_Octopus_Serie/Octopus_fuer_miniPCIe

http://shop.digital-devices.de/WebRoot/Store2/Shops/62357162/4CD2/8FF4/C7A3/5CB7/9A50/C0A8/28BE/B933/minimicronasctneu.jpg

If you need a CAM module, they are also available on their site and need no extra PCIe slot (plug directly of the tuner): http://shop.digital-devices.de/epages/62357162.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/62357162/Categories/Zubehoer/CAM_Module
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums