Microsoft's custom Windows OS now on Galileo Gen2 board

Microsoft has expanded its program to put Windows on smaller, power-constrained devices

Intel Galileo Gen2

Intel Galileo Gen2

Microsoft's stripped-down version of Windows 8 is coming to the Intel Galileo Gen2 developer board.

The board, which started shipping in August, is used in smart devices, robots and Internet-connected appliances that run on Windows.

Do-it-yourself enthusiasts, also called "makers," are big fans of developer boards, often using them to make experimental devices. But Microsoft hopes the maker community will come up with ideas that will put Windows into more products. Thus, Thursday's announcement that Windows for Galileo Gen2 is available for download from Microsoft's Github site.

The stripped-down OS was used with the original Galileo board, which developers put in a smart fan, a piano that connects to Microsoft's Azure cloud service, and a robot that will deliver drinks to a specific room. The under-the-radar effort is part of Microsoft's plan to expand in the Internet of Things market, which could represent a huge opportunity with the number of such connected devices expected to reach up to 50 billion by 2020.

The IoT developer program is growing fast, which bodes well for Microsoft's plans to put Windows in smaller devices, said Steve Teixeira, the director of program management for IoT at Microsoft.

"While we've been running as fast as we can to get all of this done, the hardware has also moved forward," Teixeira said in a blog post.

Microsoft has said it will put the OS on Intel's faster MinnowBoard Max and indicated it may release developer boards for Windows RT and Phone.

The Galileo Gen2 is an incremental upgrade over the original Galileo board. Robots can move more accurately and 3D printers will have finer control with the improved PWM (pulse-width modulation) control line, which delivers more bits of resolution for better movement control. The general-purpose input/output port is more responsive and there is more support for expansion boards to create more electronics.

The developer board runs on a 32-bit Quark X1000 chip and has a clock speed of up to 400MHz. Other features include slots for USB, mini-PCI Express and Micro-SD cards, and support for Power over Ethernet. It supports the Arduino scripting framework -- which is used to define device behavior -- within the Windows environment.

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

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftComponentssoftwareprocessorsBoards -- otheroperating systemsintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?