updated 10:49 am EDT, Tue July 29, 2014
Sharks Cove takes after Raspberry Pi as SoC board with external connections
Microsoft has worked with Intel and CircuitCo to create a Windows development board in a similar vein to the Raspberry Pi. Available to pre-order, the Sharks Cove is a System-on-Chip "Windows compatible hardware development board" meant to help developers work on software and drivers for smartphones, tablets, and other devices with a similar architecture.
At the heart of Sharks Cove is a quad-core Intel Atom processor with a 2MB cache, Intel HD graphics, and a clock speed of up to 1.88GHz, supported by 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage. While it includes standard connections for USB 2.0, HDMI, micro USB, a headphone jack, and microSD, with Wi-Fi and Ethernet via USB, it also includes GPIO, I2C, I2S, UART, SDIO, and MIPI interfaces for development with external components.
Unlike the Raspberry Pi, the Sharks Cove is relatively expensive at $299, but Microsoft claims this also covers the cost of a Windows 8.1 image and utilities required for it to function on the board. It is also supported by the Windows Driver Kit 8.1 for Visual Studio Express, with both the driver kit and the Windows image also available free with a valid MSDN account.
"This marks a major milestone in our work, and we're all pretty excited about it," writes Microsoft employee Michael Fourre, adding "this board is the product of a lot of collaborative effort amongst various groups."