Microsoft pulls Windows support from Intel's Galileo boards

Support for Microsoft Windows for IOT on Galileo boards will end on Nov. 30

Microsoft says it is pulling support for a pared-down, IoT version of Windows from Intel's Galileo board computer platform. The latest version of the board does not have the hardware capabilities to support Windows 10 IoT Core, and Microsoft will end support for earlier versions of the OS on the platform.

Intel's Galileo is an uncased board being used by makers to build robots, appliances, wearable devices and other devices. The latest Gen2 version of Galileo sells for between US$45 and $75.

With support for Galileo boards, Microsoft's goal was to reach more enthusiasts and do-it-yourselfers, and put Windows in more Internet of Things devices.

But the Galileo Gen2 board "does not meet the minimum hardware requirements" for Windows 10 IoT Core, Microsoft said. In addition, support for Windows 8.1 on Galileo Gen1 and Gen2 will end Nov. 30, Microsoft said on its IOT developer page.

Microsoft is recommending that developers move projects to the popular Raspberry Pi 2 developer board, which also supports the slimmed-down version of Windows. The board options outside Raspberry Pi 2 are few and some have issues supporting components needed to build devices. For example, Qualcomm's DragonBoard doesn't support USB hubs, making it impossible to attach multiple USB devices to one port.

The transition from Galileo to Raspberry Pi 2 should be easy and inexpensive. An entry-level Pi 2 board sells for $35, and Microsoft has added support for a wide range of components and peripherals such as screens and webcams.

Microsoft had talked about adding Windows 10 IoT Core support to another Intel board, called Edison, which has been described as a "smaller brother" of Galileo. That may not happen now.

Intel has been adding more features and reducing power consumption with each new generation of Galileo. Microsoft may have pulled Windows support from Galileo Gen2 because of the underpowered Quark X1000 processor, which runs at 400MHz. Issues related to OS support also faced the original Raspberry Pi board, which was considered underpowered, with a 700MHz CPU based on an ARM design from 2003.

Galileo Gen2 users will be able to install Linux on the board after Windows support ends.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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