Microsoft Partners with Adafruit for IoT Starter Kits

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Microsoft Partners with Adafruit for IoT Starter Kits


Windows 10 IoT Core is a stripped down version of Microsoft’s flagship Windows operating system aimed at simple, Internet of Things-oriented devices. Today, the software giant announced that it will be teaming up with Adafruit to produce a kit to highlight the new operating system’s capabilities.

“We’re proud to announce that we are partnering with Adafruit to release a new Starter Kit designed to get you started quickly and easily on your path of learning either electronics or Windows 10 IoT Core and the Raspberry Pi 2,” wrote Microsoft spokesperson Steve Teixeira.

The starter kit will include a set of sensors and electronics, and will come with an SD preloaded with Windows 10 IoT Core, documentation, and sample code. The kit will be on display at Microsoft’s booth at the World Maker Faire in New York on September 26 and 27.


Adafruit and Microsoft have historically had a chilly relationship. Back in 2010, Adafruit offered a $2,000 bounty to any hacker who could write an open source driver for the recently-released Kinect, a motion-sensing input device for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console.

Microsoft, however, wasn’t pleased with Adafruit’s offer.

“Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products,” a Microsoft spokesperson told CNET of the Adafruit challenge in response. “With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”

Adafruit, impishly, responded by increasing the bounty to $3,000.

The partnership between the two companies could signal a thawing of that relationship — or perhaps not. Asked whether the starter kit indicated that relations between the two companies had warmed since 2010, a Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment.

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Jon Christian is the co-editor of the Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection between makers and business. He's also written for the Boston Globe, WIRED and The Atlantic.

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