Raspberry Pi 2 is out, gets free Windows 10

— 9:18 AM on February 2, 2015

Today's a good day for tweakers and tinkerers. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the release of the Raspberry Pi 2, a new version of its diminutive mini-PC with faster hardware and a rock-bottom $35 price tag. In a parallel announcement, Microsoft says it will offer a version of Windows 10 that supports the system, and that version will be free of charge through the Windows Developer Program for IoT.

The Raspberry Pi 2 is powered by a Broadcom BCM2836 system-on-a-chip with four ARM Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 900MHz, apparently delivering a 6x performance increase over the older Raspberry Pi Model B+. The amount of built-in memory has doubled, as well, to 1GB of LPDDR2. Connectivity is the same as on the Model B+, which means four USB ports, HDMI out, Ethernet, a combined 3.5-mm audio and composite video jack, a microSD card slot, a general-purpose I/O header with 40 pins, and camera and display interfaces.

According to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the new hardware delivers faster performance without breaking compatibility with the Raspberry Pi 1. The system runs the "full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions" like Snappy Ubuntu Core—in addition, of course, to Windows 10. "For the last six months," says the Raspberry Pi Foundation, "we've been working closely with Microsoft to bring the forthcoming Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 2. . . . Microsoft will have much more to share over the coming months."

Exciting stuff.

You can order the new Raspberry Pi through this page on the Foundation's website. The site seems to be getting hit pretty hard at the moment, though, so you might have to refresh a few times.

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