Windows 10 Core Starter Pack for Raspberry Pi 2

When we released Raspberry Pi 2 in February this year, we announced that Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Core, a version of Windows 10 for small Internet-of-Things devices that may or may not have a screen, would be available for the device. Since the Windows Insider release of Windows 10 Core in August, we’ve found that lots of people looking for a Pi 2 are arriving at sellers’ websites from sites catering for Windows developers. Many Windows developers are coming to Raspberry Pi for the first time; we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome them, and we hope they’ll encounter much success and plenty of fun building with Raspberry Pi.

Yesterday, Microsoft and Adafruit announced the release of a new Windows 10 Core Starter Pack for Raspberry Pi 2.

Windows 10 Core Starter Pack for Raspberry Pi 2

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. – Steve Teixera on the Windows Blog

The pack is available with a Pi 2 for people who are are new to Raspberry Pi or who’d like a dedicated device for their projects, or without one for those who’ll be using a Pi they already own. The box contains an SD card with Windows 10 Core and a case, power supply, wifi module and Ethernet cable for your Pi; a breadboard, jumper wires and components including LEDs, potentiometers and switches; and sensors for light, colour, temperature and pressure. There’s everything you need to start building.

The Windows 10 Core Starter Pack website provides very clear directions for setting up your PC and programming environment and your Raspberry Pi. It also has links to tutorials for four carefully chosen projects to get you up and running on

You can buy the Windows 10 Core Starter Pack from Adafruit, and Microsoft will be showing it off at a demo area in the Maker Shed at World Maker Faire in New York this weekend, where there will also be packs available to purchase.


EssEffDee avatar

….but are out of stock :(

Helen Lynn avatar

They’ve been an instant hit! Adafruit say they should be available again very soon; they need new stock of just one pack component, which is expected imminently. Sign up for an availability notification on their product page!

EssEffDee avatar

I just might :)

Tzarls avatar

They´ve been out of stock since yesterday!

James Carroll avatar

Interesting to see Microsoft recognize the potential of the Pi for Iot development. The importance of this isn’t lost on me despite my loathing of all things from Redmond.

Yvan T. avatar

Major bug

It appears that you need windows 10 already running on a pc to get the chance to install it on the raspberry…

So for linux only users… it proves expensive as we have to buy windows in the 1rst place…

EssEffDee avatar

I think you also need the latest Visual Studio (free) to link to and upload software to the Pi (actual running programs). There’s no command line interface on Win10IoT, which is a shame. I would have liked to see a Win10 Pi boot to a PowerShell command line.

James Carroll avatar

I thought I saw the starter pack from Adafruit has windows 10 already installed on an SD card?

Helen Lynn avatar

Windows 10 IoT Core, the version that runs on Raspberry Pi 2, has no desktop or development environment. You develop on another computer and deploy to the Pi, so you do need something else running full Windows 10.

Yvan T. avatar

Adafruit does offer windows 10 preloaded.

And all i can see is that you need the visual studio running on a windows machine to produce codes that will then run on the PI. A catch 22 situation i would say.

FoTL avatar

Considering that Windows 10 IoT Core is solely a Microsoft Product it is not surprising they want developers / makers to use Windows 10 Desktop Edition and VS2015.

Why should Microsoft bother with us Linux Users ??

pandora avatar

Wow what a lovely box.

solar3000 avatar

Alright. Wonderful.
Don’t understand why they won’t (yet?) put a GUI on.

Michael Horne avatar

Because that’s not the point of the IoT edition of Windows 10. The point of it is to allow apps to be deployed in that infrastructure rather than be developed in it. It’s not a perfect concept, but it’s an interesting one.

beta-tester avatar

first they (Microsoft) should have full feature support with full hardware acceleration in theire Windows10 IoT Core for RPi2, before whey do that.

mahjongg avatar

they will -never- do that because Internet of Things devices have no need for a GUI! Thinking this will develop in a cheap/gratis Windows 10 device is just wishful thinking.

beta-tester avatar

i am not talking about GUI only…
but PiCam and mp4 coding.
and not all IO protocolls are not fully supported, that the RPi2 has.
and internet of things also includes GUI of cause.

James Hughes avatar

I’m sure MS are working on those things. They are big enough that that can, actually, do more than one thing at a time.

MOB avatar

Well, you can use MonoDevelop in Raspbian on Raspberry Pi and maybe those programs can run in Windows 10 IoT on Raspberry Pi. I linked a calculator for Windows and Linux (Raspbian) in the website.

beta-tester avatar

no, i can’t use Mono on Raspbian, because of totally lack of WPF

eric avatar

No need for GUI ? There so many iot with a screen or LCD ! What’s the need for HDMI in that case ?

Also the concept of developping from an other device is named ‘cross-compiling’ and is at least as old as Linux itself. Really nothing new under the sun. Just bloated by this Ms software suite.

I really admire Microsoft selling old ideas like they are brand new or even theirs :)

JanW avatar

Am I the only one having the impression that this Starter Kit is horribly expensive? But overpriced starter kits seem to be all the rage lately…

I don’t know a thing about Windows IoT, but the more I read about it, the less I understand. Did I get this right: No command line _and_ no GUI?

kusti8 avatar

There is no local command line, you have to connect from a Windows 10 PC with PowerShell and there is no GUI per say like normal Windows 10. It is only for developing apps whichcan display stuff on the screen, but you need to make the program first.

Janw avatar

So but presumably the apps that will be programmed can react to some kind of input. Otherwise this would be good for non-interactive applications only, which I find hard to believe.

Assuming there is some kind of input, that input would need to come from some graphical or non-graphical UI. So that means that if I want to program an app for Windows 10 Core, I need to create the (G)UI myself, given some components that are likely provided? Any chance there could be an “app” providing a Windows desktop?

Is there or could there conceivably be a FOSS ecosystem for Windows 10 core devices? Right now this sounds awfully closed – but again, I don’t know a thing about Windows 10.

James Hughes avatar

For IoT devices, input is from sensors rather than a GUI. Usually they will have some sort of remote interface though, to get data from the IoT device to some sort of host. E.g. A central heating controller would talk to lots of IoT boards around the house – but the individual boards don’t need a GUI.

Janw avatar

Yes, a central heating controller was the kind of application I thought about. That would presumably show current temperature at various locations in the hose to the user, by means of a display, and allow input as to the desired temperatures, programming day/night rhythms etc.

If someone needs a raspberry Pi for that task, not just any old thermostat, that’s because they will probably also want it to factor in some downloaded weather forecast in the control algorithm or provide access from their smartphone to control the whole thing. Surely such an appliance will have some GUI to interact with the user, not just with the sensors.

I guess my question is, is Windows 10 Core necessarily headless? Is there not a way to drive a display and get input from the user who is looking at that display?

Joe Gruce avatar

and I just got Raspian to run on my 900 Mhz Pi-2’s. I ditched the NOOBS install due to space limitations on the 8GB SD Card. Not looking to use Windows, just yet….

Niall Saunders avatar

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong:
1.) You run Win10 and VS2015 on a host windows machine, and you get your code functional
2.)The code is compiled over to the Pi (running Win10 IoT)
3.)Your code then runs on the Pi – but presumably can only communicate via the Internet’
4.)If you then need some form of GUI, this must (I suppose) be in some form of Java-based web-page

Is this what is supposed to be happening?


Stewart Watkiss avatar

> Someone please correct me if I’m wrong

Fairly close, this is how I understand it.

1/ The software is developed using Visual Studio on a Win10 host computer.
2/ The code is compiled on the host computer and is then transferred to the Pi (running Win10 IoT).
3/ The code runs on the Pi and can connect to the Internet (hence IoT), but can also communicate using other communication media (eg. BlueTooth).
4/ There is no native GUI that can use the screen, but it is possible to use a web based GUI using any web-based technology, including Java or client side JavaScript, or by having it communicate with another computer which has a GUI / web interface (eg. using SOAP or REST)

This compares with Raspbian where in addition you can develop either on the Pi or via a host computer and where there is a native GUI (including TouchScreen support).

I think Windows10 IoT may be useful for those that are already a “Microsoft developer”, but Linux is probably easier to get started for those that have little or no programming experience. In addition Linux provides more options (such as a GUI to interact directly with the Pi) and has the advantage that you can develop on the Pi itself.

Yvan T. avatar

so if understand correctly you need to:
1- ditch Linux
2- ditch windows XP and/or 7
3- buy windows 10
4- get a good antivirus subscription
5- install visual studio

so you can develop apps without any GUI?
isn’t it the basis of windows to have a GUI, then interact with the rest of the world?

James Hughes avatar

Er, this is IoT – internet of things. For Windows. Not apps on desktop or mobile devices with a screen.

And you can do the same with Linux if you want. No rules that say you have to use MS.

Mino avatar

Am I the only one to find that’s very expensive ???

75 $ for that … Even on the corner shop items are cheaper.

James Hughes avatar

If you add up all the individual parts from Adafruit, it comes to considerably more than the asking price here. As with all kits, you pay for convenience.

apemberton avatar

Is the internet going to cope with all the Windows10IoT security updates? Microsoft are quite good in fixing security holes but won’t tell you about them. So good that desktops need a security package to watch for nasties. I rejected W10 desktop because it requires signing up to all sorts of unwanted ‘services’ and will convert completely to Linux as my desktops need replacement. In view of the enthusiasm for W10IoT, I say good luck. But I would keep an eye on traffic to and from your Internet gateway (which may be difficult with the new FCC rules on Internet routers) to avoid becoming an unwanted spam or virus server on your IoT device. Paranoid? Moi?….

Yvan T. avatar


As their recent telemetry “service” in windows 10 that send all sort of info’s back to MS corp.
I do not need Microsoft corp to breath on my back.
No wonder you need more and more bandwidth from your internet provider.

James Hughes avatar

I’d suggest sticking with Raspbian. There is no law/rules that says you have to use Win10IoT.

a d00d avatar

My blood ran cold when I read this. LadyAda has sold out. Guess she had bills to pay.

How long until the Pi gets a signed bootloader and runs M$ only, as M$ is doing with PC’s?

James Hughes avatar

Ah, this old chestnut. Always amazes me that people get so…emotional…about this. Come on, think it through – the Pi is a pretty open platform, anyone can use it to do with what they want, INCLUDING Microsoft. But that doesn’t mean MS have any say over the hardware. You will be able to continue to use WHATEVER you want on your Pi. It’s not going signed, it’s not going MS only. It an educational platform that anyone can use. The Foundation themselves concentrate on Linux. That should tell you everything you need to know.

Kulgyth avatar

The problem here is that using a Microsoft OS subverts everything. It is controlled by a private corporation and undermines the freedom available with the current Pi setup. Free software is more than just something that doesn’t cost anything. There is a social and political dimension to this. If you don’t understand this or don’t care then OK, but understand that it is a *Bad Thing*. From a purely profit making perspective, it might make sense, to hook up those programmers who won’t or can’t move out of the Microsoft fold into using a Pi, but for anyone else, there is no benefit in enslaving your Pi with Windows(TM) and it undermines the educational thrust of the foundation. There are many current “IT” teachers firmly wedded to M$, a HUGE problem in the UK as this means that children are taught by teachers with little or no skills in using the software that could benefit their charges the most. This will seem like familiar territory to them, an easy option. It will cast a long shadow over the free principles of the Foundation.

Heinz Schmidt avatar

Why? Why on earth would you want or need Windows on a RaspberryPi?

Anyone? Please, one example of an actual use case for it, that cant be done on Linux or Android on the Pi?

Let’s face it, even the RaspberryPi 2 is not powerful enough to perform well running any flavour of Windows.

My wife’s Core i5 laptop is as slow as molasses running Windows 8.1

My little Core 2 Duo laptop running Mint outperforms her machine by miles! On startup, shutdown, running applications, opening and using a web browser and even using graphics-heavy applications.

Can anyone help me with the logic behind this?

James Hughes avatar

Look up Win10Iot.

This Windows is based on the embedded version, not the desktop version.

Rainer ADAM avatar

It is okay that you are a real Linux junky, there are small parts that makes linux for me not really likeable, partionally REALLY small things, but I want it.

Always if you see a screen with a running Linux, you are able to identify, in my opinions the fonts.

And the useablity, linux is always linux. Why did you think that Windows is the most used desktop environmental? It is clear for all people, not only programmers and freaks….

It’s the look and feel it makes it better for the most people. Try to discuss with a fan of german cars why he should buy a japanese car, you will run against walls with no real chance. In this case linux is the japanese car…..

1 avatar

I am going to have to agree with Heinz Schmidt and others… I think Windows 10 is not only not any better than other OS’s for internet of things but also carries with it negative connotations. Just reading about the features of Windows 10 for a desktop x86 computer is scary.
What is wrong with Raspbian or Archlinux?

James Hughes avatar

Nothing. Why does everyone seem to think that they HAVE to use Win109IoT? Or that it’s aimed at them? It’s entirely optional! Use whatever OS you are happy with.

Yvan T. avatar

All i can see is that peoples has a huge grudge against M$.
And that are concerned that M$ will take over and it will be the end of the freedom of choice.

M$ has even struck a deal with Intel to lock non MS OS out of the current x86 based systems. Peoples are rightly concerned that this may happen on arm based devices as is happening now with the tablets and smartphones.

Berney Villers avatar

As one who spent most of my career developing in Microsoft languages, and the last several in .Net / XAML, etc.. I am elated to be able to use my existing skillset and participate in communities such as this.

I’m familiar with C# / .Net. I’m familiar with Windows. Quite honestly, I don’t really have the time or desire to learn Linux and the associated new development tools / programming languages.

Given that C#/VB.Net/F#, etc.. are among the most widely used languages on the planet, I can’t help but think that I’m not alone in not wanting to completely revamp my skillset to participate in this hobby.

Many of the comments here make it seem like there is some kind of who’s is bigger / pissing contest and frankly, the sense I get as a whole is that we .Net developers aren’t exactly welcome.

I’m surprised that anyone is wrroed about Microsoft taking over ARM. In the first 10 years of my career, my decision to learn Microsoft technologies paid great dividends. Microsoft enabled us all to do some very cool things. In the last 10 years of my career, Microsoft has done anything but enable me. They frankly haven’t done much of anything right. The Google / Apple / Linux / Open Source movement is kicking their butt all over the place. My point here is, that they are very far behind and playing catch-up under new management. We’ve seen signicant efforts from the new management to head in a cross platform directiomn, Open source .Net and other key technoliogies to Linux and Mac, etc.. From my little view of the world, it seems that while they are very late to the party, the are headed in a good direction. If Microsoft wanted to lock down the ARM, they would simply start buying companies but I really don’t see that level of “sheistiness” from their new management.

In any case, I’m elated to be able to participate in your Rasberry Pi project and I hope that by embracing the millions of .Net developers, that this project will benefit.

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