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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Microsoft Releases The Sharks Cove, A Raspberry Pi Alternative

Microsoft has joined the mini PC craze, introducing a Windows-compatible development board dubbed Sharks Cove.

First teased during its April Build conference, the device is the result of combined efforts between Microsoft, Intel and product manufacturer CircuitCo.

Available for pre-order, the Sharks Cove development board is designed to facilitate development of software and drivers for mobile devices that run Windows, such as phones, tablets and similar System on a Chip (SoC) platforms.

At $299, this is a board that Microsoft believes will find a home with Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) and hardware enthusiasts alike. That price is significantly higher than its Raspberry Pi or Arduino board counterparts, but Microsoft's proposal covers the cost of the hardware, but also includes a Windows 8.1 image and the utilities necessary to apply it to the Sharks Cove.

The pint-sized PC features a 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor with integrated HD graphics, 16GB of EMMC storage, a MIPI connector for display and camera, HDMI, one USB 2.0 port and a micro-USB power port. Ethernet or Wi-Fi is available only through USB, meaning users will have to connect to the Internet or other networks with a USB adapter.

At $299, the board is priced significantly higher than its Raspberry Pi or Arduino board counterparts. Microsoft said the price covers the cost of the hardware, a Windows 8.1 image, and the slightly vague "utilities" required to apply it to the Sharks Cove.

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