The Raspberry Pi 2 has been confirmed to run Microsoft Windows 10. Can the nano-sized computer be just the thing Microsoft was looking for?
Raspberry Pi has always been a dream-come-true for hardcore developers and coders who wanted a complete device to test the potential of their creations, but couldn’t afford high end hardware. Though created primarily to spur interest for coding in kids, the miniature computer-on-a-board was a huge success in the hands of enthusiasts, who built multiple intelligent devices. Essentially, the Raspberry Pi was a Swiss army knife for DIY tech, reported Christian Science Monitor.
However, Raspberry Pi had to move beyond the hobbyists’ desks and into mainstream computing. This is where Microsoft and its next flagship OS iteration, Windows 10, enter the picture.
Since the introduction of the HDMI Sticks that run complete copies of Android, Google’s mobile operating system, the idea of running an entire OS off a miniature slab of a computer has taken strong roots. Though there are miniature PCs that currently run Windows 8, the hardware still consumes a lot of desk-space and requires a relatively powerful power-supply. On the other hand, Android Sticks, as these miniature sticks with an HDMI output running Android are called, can run off the power from the USB port that a majority of today’s LED TVs have.
Raspberry Pi 2 is not only more powerful than its predecessor: it has been optimized to support Microsoft Windows, a platform traditionally reserved to desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
From a commercial perspective, Raspberry Pi 2 is touted to be six times faster than its earlier iteration, but costs just about the same ($40). While a quad-core 900MHz power-plant, supported with 1 GB of RAM, may not be powerful to run a full-fledged desktop version of Windows 10, it is still powerful to run a version that is custom-fit for the hardware.
And get this: Microsoft is planning to offer Windows 10 for free. Moreover, the Raspberry Pi 2 specific version is completely free, unlike the desktop based version, which will demand money after a year.
The Raspberry Pi 2 platform, given its ultra-low power requirement, is ideally suited for the emerging Smart TV market, which relies heavily on internet streaming. While Smart TVs are costly to begin with, they are often stuck with OS that is rarely, if at all, updated. Fitting a Raspberry Pi 2-based HDMI stick to a dumb TV instantly converts the “idiot box” into a Smart TV that will have the latest updates, always. Moreover, this PC-on-a-chip is completely portable and mobile, one that fits in the front pocket.
Microsoft isn’t openly discussing the immense potential Raspberry Pi 2 can offer, but perhaps a complete PC that is ultra-portable and will run on a large-screen TV will certainly brighten any Windows user’s day.
[Image Credit: PC World, Google+]