Microsoft debuts Sharks Cove, a costly Raspberry Pi alternative

Microsoft debuts Sharks Cove, a costly Raspberry Pi alternative

Summary: First teased during its April Build conference, the Raspberry Pi-ish device is the result of the combined efforts of Microsoft, Intel and product manufacturer CircuitCo.

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TOPICS: Microsoft, Hardware
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4571.Sharks-Board-Close-440.jpg-550x0

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

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

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It's designed to facilitate development of software and drivers for mobile devices that run Windows, such as phones, tablets and similar SoC platforms, although it can also be used for Android development. 

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 wifi 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.

Still, Microsoft hopes the board will find a home with Independent Hardware Vendors and hardware enthusiasts willing to shell out eight times the cost of the $35 Raspberry Pi Model B. Even Intel's own Galileo board, which also targets developers, is significantly cheaper.

Microsoft ended its Sharks Cove blog post like this:

We're very excited and proud of the work done to make the Sharks Cove a reality. We are looking forward to seeing the amazing things that can be done with these boards!

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Topics: Microsoft, Hardware

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62 comments
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  • Though raspbery pi is 35, its not all the time

    This is the article says how $35 is not the one most of us needed.

    http://www.zdnet.com/raspberry-pi-how-i-spent-almost-150-on-a-35-computer-7000020574/
    Mac_Win
    • Same applys to the Microsoft alternative

      All those additional costs would apply to the Microsoft board anyway so I dont see your point.
      timothyja
      • Not so sure about that..

        I think you are jumping to some odd anti Microsoft conclusions here.

        Lets see.

        Raspberry Pi:

        Now, add in the cost of a 4GB (at least) SD card, a mini USB power adapter, an HDMI cable, RCA cable, RCA to S-Video adapter, or whatever mashup cable mess you can come up with to get from either the RCA jack or the HDMI port to a monitor, TV, or some other video device. You'll need a USB keyboard and a USB mouse. You'll also need to plug it into a wired network. That is unless you're clever, like me, and you buy a wireless USB network adapter. If you have to purchase all those things new, you might spend upwards of $200 or more depending on the quality of your peripherals."

        http://www.zdnet.com/raspberry-pi-how-i-spent-almost-150-on-a-35-computer-7000020574/

        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 wifi is available only through USB, meaning users will have to connect to the internet or other networks with a USB adapter."

        Umm...sorry timothyja, sounds like the Sharks Cove is simply a much better unit over all with most of what you need built in.

        As usual, we have people ready to dive head first into the pool without knowing what end is up and why they hate Microsoft soooo much they feel compelled to engage in this quick to condemn behavior I just don't know.

        It hardly takes a degree in IT to figure out that depending on what you might want, and/need in this kind of device either one might be the better choice per any particular individual.

        But the Sharks Cove certainly seems to be the much better off unit all the way around while the Pi seems to be lower end and requires many more "add-on" peripherals just to get it to do anything.

        Why jump to conclusions just because you want to stick it to Microsoft. It only ends up back firing because it so seldom works.

        When Microsoft does do something really wrong, Im sure we will find out quick. No need for half baked guess work.
        Cayble
        • Ken's article is rubish

          > http://www.zdnet.com/raspberry-pi-how-i-spent-almost-150-on-a-35-computer-7000020574/

          Ken's article on the Pi is one of the dumbest I've ever read here at ZDNet, and that is saying something. He bought a lot of extra crap he didn't need and complained about ridiculous stuff.

          > "the Sharks Cove is simply a much better unit over all with most of what you need built in."

          Ignoring the fact that these two devices are not meant for even slightly similar purposes: I don't see that it comes with anything more significant than the Pi except CPU power. It has some built in flash storage, but lacks the built-in ethernet of the Pi. The Pi has analog audio and composite video outs as well as support for any capacity SD card you want to use.

          You are comparing apples to oranges.

          If you want to develop a Windows based phone or tablet or peripheral, then I suppose the Shark's cove would be the better bet.

          For a hobbyist it's ridiculously overpriced and takes up FOUR TIMES the space of a Raspberry Pi. The size difference alone would make it near useless for a big chunk of Pi projects. Additionally, the power usage of an entire Pi is less than the rated power consumption of the Shark's cove CPU alone.
          :x
        • It's nice to see...

          ... someone from the Microsoft Sales department joining in the discussion.
          troyrr
  • Craze?

    Does anyone beyond hobbyists or prototypers actually use these?
    Buster Friendly
    • Raspberry sold 3 million units

      An interesting number, but I guess you are right these kind of products are great academic tools and nice for hobbyists.

      As for this new computer on a board, it's no challenge for Raspberry Pi, they have a different target, don't even know why MS is trying to relate both products - one costs 300 the other 30.
      AleMartin
      • Did they?

        Did they relate it or is that just the people articles?
        Buster Friendly
        • They've mentioned some common targets

          ... like hardware enthusiasts.... But maybe it's a bit stretched.
          AleMartin
    • as a professional developer EVK the price is typical, probably

      relatively cheap. But to the hobbyist its too expensive. Typical of MS to always be jumping on some "craze", always a follower.
      I have no interest whatsoever. The fact that the 'image' and utilities are all closed source proprietary stuff really takes the fun out of it. Embedded linux is fun once you know what you are doing.
      drwong
      • More like Michael Fourre Doesn't know what he is talikg about

        These are not experimenter boards like the Pi, but full blown Intel engineering development boards. The look familiar.
        Richardbz
    • This isn't for hobbyists.

      The RasPi or Arduino are still more flexible (and even expendable) devices for hobbyist experimentation. This seems more like a micro-PC than an embedded controller. As a micro-PC, there are better devices to get these limited capabilities for a similar cost. I don't see much of anyone buying this at $300. If it were under $100, they might have something here.
      BillDem
      • Don't forget...

        ... Sharks Cove also comes with Windows 8.1.
        troyrr
  • Microsoft debuts Sharks Cove, a costly Raspberry Pi alternative

    I'll take one of these over a raspberry pi any day. Microsoft is known for having great developer tools and community. Plus it won't be linux which makes it better.
    Loverock.Davidson
    • LoveWrong scores again

      Loverock, you wouldn't know what to do with this if it bit you on the arm.

      A cheap "loyalty scream" is pretty pointless when you're way out of your depth.

      You won't take one of these OR a Raspberry Pi, willyou?
      Heenan73
      • "Please do not feed or annoy the trolls."

        Hasn't anyone told you that yet?
        Rick_R
        • Speaking of feeding the trolls

          Heenan73 looks to be very well fed indeed...

          :)
          William.Farrel
        • LD isn't a troll

          He's a comedian. He's much funnier than Mike Cox, in my opinion.
          Smalahove
  • Amazing

    M$ continues to see other companies make successful products and tries to copy the product and it's success. But somehow M$ keeps completely overlooking the appeal of the product and makes a completely screwed up copy.
    How can so big a company be so pathetic?
    FrankInKy
    • Amazing

      Amazing how pointless that was.
      Buster Friendly