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The Raspberry Pi 2, announced yesterday, is a second generation of ultra-cheap ARM computers packed full of ports and connectivity. The first generation Raspberry Pi was for the most part a Linux machine, with the recommended operating system being a specially modified version of Debian. The Pi 2's upgraded processor opens up more operating system possibilities. One of these is Ubuntu for ARM.Another is Windows 10. The $35 machine will run Windows 10, and Microsoft has confirmed that the operating system will be free. The "free" part isn't actually a surprise; the company said that Windows would be free on Internet of Things devices at BUILD last year. Microsoft has been making efforts to engage with the maker community, supporting Windows on Intel's Galileo boards. Adding the Raspberry Pi 2 is a logical extension of this, with the cheap ARM boards more popular than Intel's offerings.Supporting the Pi 2 means, of course, that Microsoft is continuing to support Windows on ARM. But it's probably not the same kind of Windows that Windows RT was. At TechEd Europe last year Microsoft described its Windows 10 IoT offerings, and Mary Jo Foley has a picture of a slide describing three different Windows 10 releases: "Industry", "Mobile", and "Athens".
Microsoft discontinued the Windows RT tablets because they didn't sell. The Pro tablet worked much better, it had the pen input, it ran all existing software and games and it allowed unsigned code to run.