Microsoft adds support for Arduino in a push to dominate IoT development

Microsoft is looking to make itself the leading platform for IoT developers. Adding Arduino support to its toolbox goes a long way toward that goal.


Image: Microsoft News

Microsoft has been, and continues to be, a major supporter of the Internet of Things (IoT) and all that entails. The company believes that the ability of enterprises to interconnect just about everything and then collect the big data those connected devices create is going to be the next big thing in information technology. To be a part of it, Microsoft needs to make Windows 10 as friendly to IoT development as it possibly can.

To that end, Microsoft announced that as of September 7, 2016, the Windows 10 IoT Core platform will support Arduino, a favorite programming language of IoT developers all over the world.

SEE: IoT developers: Master this coding language if you want to thrive

Developer choices

Developers programming for Windows 10 IoT Core have access to a multitude of programming languages, including C#, C++, Visual Basic, JavaScript, Python, and Node.js. That list now includes Arduino Wiring, one of the most popular platforms in the DIY maker community.

The Arduino Wiring community has created libraries that interface with peripherals such as LED displays, sensors, RFID readers, and breakout boards. Using concepts like wiring sketches, Arduino has become popular because of its general simplicity. Developers using Windows 10 IoT Core can now create or port Arduino wiring sketches that will run on supported IoT Core devices, including Raspberry Pi and Minnowboard MAX.

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Image: Microsoft News

Adding Arduino to the available languages gives developers using Windows 10 IoT Core as their main platform more language options and access to more devices and their controllers. Microsoft is working hard to make sure Windows 10 IoT Core is the preferred platform for as many developers as possible.

Seeing the future

Over the years, one of the major criticisms of Microsoft has been its lack of vision. Some of that criticism has been justified. Bill Gates himself admitted to being late to the internet and world wide web transition, and no one at Microsoft seemed to fully grasp the true potential of the mobile smartphone until just recently.

Microsoft is determined not to make a similar mistake when it comes to the Internet of Things. With its Windows 10 IoT Core platform, Microsoft is out in front of what it feels will be the next evolution in information technology. To connect just about everything to just about everything else, developers are going to need a platform that does not limit their choices to a few proprietary languages. Adding Arduino support gives developers another option and gives Windows 10 IoT Core an edge on the competition.

SEE: How to set up Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi

Bottom line

When it comes to the Internet of Things, Microsoft is determined to overcome the inertia that has held it back so often in the past. By adding support for Arduino and other popular tools important to developers working in IoT, Microsoft is looking to stay ahead of the curve this time.

If IoT--and more important when it comes to enterprises, the data generated by the interconnected devices--turns out to be as big a market as it seems it will be, Microsoft may just be the market leader and not the company trying to catch up. That could be an interesting turn of events.

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