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Watch out Raspberry Pi, you're now swimming in Shark infested waters, or at least you soon will be. For those interested, Microsoft's Sharks Cove development board is now available to pre-order. A U.K. vendor has it listed for £192.99, or just a little shy of $330 in U.S. dollars. That's quite a bit more expensive than Raspberry Pi, though it's also more fully featured, hence the higher price tag.
Sharks Cove sports a x86-based Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor clocked at 1.33GHz (1.83GHz Burst) with 2MB of L2 cache, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC flash storage, HDMI connector, and a memory card reader. The actual board measures just 6 inches by 4 inches.
Microsoft's banking on the added horsepower being incentive to spend a premium on Sharks Cove versus a much less expensive Raspberry Pi. It also comes with a Windows 8.1 image and the utilities necessary to apply to Sharks Cove. According to Microsoft, Sharks Cove is ultimately intended to facilitate development of software and drivers for mobile devices that run Windows, such as phones, tablets, and similar System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms.
"When you additionally consider that the Windows Driver Kit 8.1 can pair with Visual Studio Express and are both free with a valid MSDN account, the initial outlay for Windows driver developers is a lot less cost prohibitive than it once was," Microsoft says.
Microsoft said it plans to post articles related to Sharks Cove in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, you can check out SharksCove.org, a site dedicated to the development board. And if you want to pre-order one, just head over to the Mouse Electronics website.