Raspberry Pi 2 and Windows 10 explained

The Raspberry Pi 2 is a full-powered PC built on a credit card-size piece of circuit board - and it will run Windows 10. We have the full story...

06 Feb 2015

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny, cheap computer that's revolutionising how schools teach children about computing - and now it will run Microsoft's Windows 10.

The newly announced Raspberry Pi 2 is 6 times more powerful than its predecessor, and able to run the Windows 10 operating system - effectively turning it into a full-powered PC.

What is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberrry Pi 1

(Raspberry Pi 1, released in 2012) 

Raspberry Pi is a tiny, credit card-sized computer built on a piece of circuit board. There is no keyboard, monitor or cables included. It's incredibly cheap to buy - around £25.

How is it used?

It is used to help teach children to program in schools, and by a community of coders who design everything from robot butlers to music makers.

How does it work?

It runs on an operating system that you plug into the computer's SD card slot. To power it you connect it to a USB phone charger. You attach a mouse and keyboard, plug in a monitor and away you go.

How is Raspberry Pi 2 better?

It gets a much faster processor and more memory. It now runs on a quad core processor, which means it can call on additional power when necessary. The 1GB RAM is double the internal memory of the previous Raspberry Pi.  More RAM = smooth running.

Its makers say this turns it into a full-powered PC. So as well as programming, you can smoothly browse the internet, watch online video and play games.


Windows 10 and Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi 2 will be able to run Windows 10 - Microsoft's latest operating system for PCs, smartphones and tablets. This means you could have a full powered PC for £30. But we do not know yet how Windows 10 will function on Raspberry Pi.

Microsoft has so far announced plans to offer Windows 10 for free to the Maker community for Raspberry Pi through the Windows Developer Program for IoT. The program offers a place for coders and developers to share ideas and find resources to develop applications for internet-connected devices.

Kevin Dallas, general manager, Windows IoT Group, says: 'We see the Maker community as an amazing source of innovation for smart, connected devices that represent the very foundation of the next wave of computing, and we're excited to be a part of this community.'

What is the Maker community?

Makers use Raspberry Pi and other devices to make projects and applications.
These projects are far-reaching and, once published by the makers, are often used as lessons in schools.

They include a:

  • small robotic butler controlled by remote
  • music box where different buttons offer a different sound
  • stop-motion animation machine
  • Jelly Baby sweet that screams when you squeeze it


What about Windows 10?

Windows 10

(credit: Microsoft) 

Windows 10 is Microsoft's newly revealed operating system. It is designed to offer a seamless experience whether you are using a laptop, PC, tablet or smartphone. It also includes:

  • A design that automatically adjusts to suit typing on a keyboard or swiping on a tablet
  • Voice-assistant to dictate emails and make calendar appointments  
  • The Start menu, which is back for easy opening and closing of programs and shutting down the machine


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