Microsoft uncages 'Sharks Cove' mini-PC board to take on Raspberry Pi

Sharks Cove
Fishy business

Developers can now pre-order Sharks Cove, Microsoft's version of the Raspberry Pi.

Microsoft will be hoping to emulate the success of the popular ARM-based computer, which has sold like hot cakes, with its barebone motherboard.

Aimed at enthusiast and developer communities, at £193 (around $114, or AU$349), Sharks Cove costs more than five times that of the Raspberry Pi but packs significantly more features and firepower.

Manufactured by CircuitCo, the board - which can also run Android - runs on an Intel Atom Z3735G with four cores clocked at up to 1.88GHz with 2MB of cache.

Ports of call

Other features include 1GB of RAM, 16GB onboard storage, a HDMI display connector and a card reader, as well as a whopping 22 other connectors spruced over the motherboard.

The price includes a Windows 8.1 image as well as related utilities. First unveiled at BUILD 2014 back in April, Microsoft says that the board is "able to facilitate development of software and drivers for mobile devices that run Windows".

Intel also produces a motherboard called Galileo which is based on its 32-bit Quark X1000 processor and retails for about £42 (around $71, or AU$76). It sports fewer connectors and doesn't come with a copy of Windows 8.1, but it has an Ethernet port which is lacking on Microsoft's offering.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.