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Windows compatible hardware development boards

Windows compatible hardware development boards (like the Intel Sharks Cove) enable you to develop software and drivers for hardware components commonly incorporated into phones, tablets and other highly integrated or embedded systems.

Development boards

Summer 2014: A new Microsoft initiative will make it a lot easier for hardware engineers to develop and certify Windows drivers using cost-effective boards designed for specific System on a Chip (SoC) environments. Hardware engineers have traditionally faced challenges in creating Windows drivers for SoC platforms. Unlike PCs, which have PCI slots and USB ports, SoC systems like tablets and clamshells use low-power internal buses that lack standard connectors, Plug and Play support, and discovery mechanisms. Often these devices are protected by secure boot and cannot be used to develop or test third-party drivers. That will soon change. Hardware engineers will be able to buy off-the-shelf boards that are designed to work with specific SoC environments.

For more information about development boards, see:

Intel Sharks Cove board

One board that will be available in the second half of 2014 is the Intel Sharks Cove hardware development board.

Picture of the Intel Sharks Cove board

The Intel Sharks Cove board will support development of drivers for devices that use a variety of interfaces, including these:

  • GPIO
  • I2C
  • I2S
  • UART
  • SDIO
  • USB

Download additional Sharks Cove specifications.

Get a hardware development board

Coming soon: Information about how to get a Windows compatible hardware development board. If you are interested in learning more and getting notified about hardware development board availability, send an email to HardwareDevBoard@microsoft.com.

Get kits and tools

To use a Windows compatible hardware development board, you need these kits and tools:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Windows Driver Kit (WDK)
  • WDK Test Pack
  • Debugging Tools for Windows

First download Visual Studio, then download the WDK, and then download the WDK Test Pack. You do not need to download Debugging Tools for Windows separately, because it is included in the WDK.

For information about how to download Visual Studio, the WDK, and the WDK Test Pack, see Windows Driver Kit (WDK).

Windows on devices

At the Build 2014 conference, Microsoft announced an internal project to explore how to bring Windows to small, connected devices. If you are interested in learning more, send an email to WinDevicePreview@microsoft.com. We'll contact you as soon as we have a build ready to share. We're excited to help you build the next big thing!

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