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Pre-Order Microsoft's Sharks Cove Developer Board

Microsoft’s Michael Fourre announced on Tuesday that the company’s answer to the Raspberry Pi, the Sharks Cove developer board, is now ready for preorder for $299 on the Mouser Electronics online store. The board was first introduced and demoed by Peter Wieland and Viraf Gandi during Microsoft’s BUILD conference back in April.

“At $299, this is a board that we believe will find a home with Independent Hardware Vendors (IHVs) and hardware enthusiasts alike,” Fourre writes. “That price not only 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 board, measuring just 4 x 6 inches, includes a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor (1.33 GHz, 1.88 GHz), 1 GB of DDR3L-RS-1333 RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and an SD card slot for expanded storage. The board also has an Ethernet port, a full-size HDMI connector, a USB 2.0 type “A” connector, and a microUSB connector for debugging.

Also provided on this board are twelve (5x2) shrouded pin header connectors, one (2x10) header for sensors, two 60-pin MIPI connectors for display and camera, and five (2x2) pin headers for power. The audio is handled by a Realtek ALC5640 chip.

In addition to the board, the Sharks Cove team has launched a dedicated website for the developer board, providing the specifications, a developer’s guide, the UEFI firmware, and more. The site states that Sharks Cove is primarily used for the development of subsystems and Atom-based tablets and mobile devices. However, like the Raspberry Pi, there will likely be plenty of customers who have better plans.

“This board is the product of a lot of collaborative effort amongst various groups from Microsoft, Intel, and the product manufacturer, CircuitCo,” Fourre writes. “This ‘Windows compatible hardware 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.”

Mouser doesn’t provide an actual ship date for Sharks Cove. The SharksCove site says its will be available on July 28, 2014, but obviously the board has missed that launch date.

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  • hannibal
    If this is Raspberry Pi alternative, then the price is quite steep... about 10 times...
    Reply
  • WithoutWeakness
    If this is Raspberry Pi alternative, then the price is quite steep... about 10 times...
    I don't think it's meant to compete with RPi in the consumer and hobbyist spaces. It seems to be a (relatively) cheap x86 board that can run Windows OSes and has plenty of IO for custom development projects for teams and companies that don't have to funding to have prototype hardware built for them. There are cheaper options for hobbyist x86 boards but having Microsoft design and build it specifically for the needs of developers is likely what drives the price up.
    Reply
  • sean1357
    It's still cheaper my Altera FPGA board in $400 - $3000....
    Reply
  • JOSHSKORN
    But can it run Crysis? I didn't think so.
    Reply
  • sonofliberty08
    pay $250 and get a crappy atom ? thanks but no thanks, i better buy the Nvidia Jetson TK1 for just $192 !
    Reply
  • sonofliberty08
    13832106 said:
    If this is Raspberry Pi alternative, then the price is quite steep... about 10 times...
    I don't think it's meant to compete with RPi in the consumer and hobbyist spaces. It seems to be a (relatively) cheap x86 board that can run Windows OSes and has plenty of IO for custom development projects for teams and companies that don't have to funding to have prototype hardware built for them. There are cheaper options for hobbyist x86 boards but having Microsoft design and build it specifically for the needs of developers is likely what drives the price up.
    VIA already have the native x86 pico-itx board out for age, and if mini-itx size suit the requirement, AMD C-70 APU onboard was still the cheapest and best native x86 solution u can get at this moment.
    Reply
  • sb1370
    The specs are really great for the price.
    pay $250 and get a crappy atom ? thanks but no thanks, i better buy the Nvidia Jetson TK1 for just $192 !
    Intel Atom has improved a lot since Bay Trail series.
    Reply
  • shriganesh
    Only if this board costs 1/4th of it's current price, people will actually buy it like Pi. Else it's bye ;)
    Reply
  • ikefu
    The real Raspberry Pi competitor with Bay Trail silicon is the MinnowBoard v2 (http://minnowboard.org). Its $99 which is three times a the cost of a Pi but 1/3 the cost of Sharks Cove. It will also blow the computing power of the Pi so far out of the water it isn't even in the same ball park. Its a great Pi alternative if you need Intel level computing power.
    Reply
  • ichigokunbaka
    mwah hahaha lol my 1080p 17in c2d laptop with nvidia 9800gt cost that much when i purchased it came with leather bag and car charger .
    Reply