Microsoft and Arduino: new partnership announced today

Zoe RomanoApril 30th, 2015


It’s a special day for the Makers’ community. Massimo Banzi is in San Francisco attending Build Conference, the biggest developer event of the calendar year for Microsoft and today Microsoft is  announcing a strong partnership with Arduino: Windows 10 is in fact the world’s first Arduino certified operating system!

Arduino Certified’  Windows 10 enables makers to easily create smart objects combining hardware-driving capability of Arduino with the software capabilities of Windows.

For example, a security camera can be built by using Arduino to power the motors controls to tilt/turn the camera and using Universal Windows Platform (UWP) to create great UI, to connect the camera to the cloud, to process the image for motion detection and for adding facial/voice recognition.

The makers’ community can now also enjoy Windows Remote Arduino and Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino technologies – both released as open source libraries.


With Windows Remote Arduino developers can (wirelessly) access the capabilities of  Windows 10 devices as if they were physically attached to an Arduino Shield and leveraging Arduino functions directly from Universal Windows Application.

In this way Microsoft is enabling developers to extend their Universal Windows Platform Application with Arduino commands (that execute on a wirelessly connected Arduino device). Combining the power of Windows 10 devices including features such as Image processing, Speech recognition, Website parsing, Cameras and Advanced Audio pipelines with the power of physical world interactivity through Arduino enables incredible new scenarios to be created. Take a look at this Basic Windows Remote Arduino project to learn how to leverage this technology in any interactive project.

With Windows Virtual Shields for Arduino, users can tap into the incredible power of their Windows 10 devices through wireless protocols. For example Lumia 530 contains a lot of Arduino Shield capabilities and allows designers/makers to connect all those components seamlessly. Imagine being able to create an Arduino project that includes GPS, Web connectivity/parsing, touch display, speech technologies and more! Take a look at this Picture the Weather project created to bring children’s drawings to life!

Arduino is really happy that Microsoft got inspired by the enthusiasm and passion for technology represented by the Maker community and we look forward to see the amazing projects opening up from this unique offering.


77 Responses to “Microsoft and Arduino: new partnership announced today”

  1. GeekRedux Says:

    Will this partnership start to erode the open source philosophy at the core of Arduino’s mission and history. Because, historically, Microsoft has been decidedly proprietary. This announcement is more worrying than exciting, to be honest.

  2. axissys Says:

    i agree with GeekRedux,
    Antonio Torres

  3. oscaralegria182 Says:

    I agree with GeekRedux too… this sucks!

  4. syntaxterror Says:

    Yep, I’m joining that club. First though through my head was “oh no”.

  5. iotshah Says:

    Saw the demo of Lumia being used as a voice input to switch on a light using Arduino Uno … pretty cool stuff !!

  6. dadaumpa Says:

    ugh. sorry to sound negative, people, I understand this may be a good thing for you, but…

    “Windows 10 is in fact the world’s first Arduino certified operating system”

    do you realize how ridiculous and insulting this statement is to the whole Open Source community?

    if you want to make enemies, then you’re doing it right.


  7. Dr_S1m0ne Says:

    “This announcement is more worrying than exciting” i agree with that. this may be a start for the end of open source comunity

  8. Emericg Says:

    Is “closed source is pretty cool and Arduino certified” the message you really want to send?

    I though the whole thing was about making people (including the ones not able to afford a 200$ operating system and associated development tools every two years) independent and capable of realizing their ideas without the need or permission of corporations like this one.
    One more trojan horse for them…


  9. vanderZwan Says:

    So everyone here still thinks Ballmer is in charge of Microsoft or something? Geez, so negative.

  10. olea Says:

    Opening the scope of users while keeping the project values and assets is right for me.

    Good news for the project!

  11. Squonk42 Says:

    First closed hardware with the Yùn, then Arduino fratricidal war, now a partnership with once Open Source worst enemy?

    Time to move to another platform :(

  12. prashere Says:

    Android is Open Soruce. Umm. I will give it a second thought btw.
    Arduino is Open Source too. Umm. Ok.

  13. syntaxterror Says:

    “Opening the scope of users while keeping the project values and assets is right for me.”
    Yes absolutely – but do you honestly think MS as a proponent for said values? This seems more like Amnesty international starting a partnership with IS.

  14. Sarvagnya_Purohit Says:

    I dont think thats the approach Saya Nadela’s Microsoft would take.

  15. icantthinkofone Says:

    So this is the end of Arduino? I’ll forever look at it with a now jaundice eye as these things always meaning being “owned” and partnering with Microsoft means trust is questionable.

  16. Aybert Says:

    Hey guys would you open your minds a bit ? I myself enjoy my Arduino but honestly, leaving it alone does not make so much sense.I did develop a lot on my RaspberryPi, my Mac and iPad to get a whole funny toy. I’m just happy they are opening both ways APIs just to make the whole thing easier. However it’s just an open bridge, nobody’s obliged to cross it. Nobody forces you to use your phone GPS if you prefer to buy one apart.
    @emeric Windows is free on small devices such as phones (and Raspberries too)
    My thought is this is just bridging two worlds together. Some people will use the best of each, some other will stay on their side. And… so what ?

  17. neuromancer2701 Says:

    I would say just relax, this isn’t Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft. I think that Saya Nadela realizes that they need to be moving to a more open model. .Net and VS being open sourced is a start. That said I am not going to jump on any bandwagon just yet.

  18. nothinghere Says:

    Oh no, you sold your philosphy…
    If you really want to work with Microsoft, it needs to be just as open as now, but I doubt it.
    Openess made your success, now you’re goiing in the opposite way, sad.

  19. Poldo Says:

    Does this announcement mean Linux is no longer “certified” to work with Arduino? Will I have to buy a copy of Windows in order to work with Arduino going forward?

  20. Gertt Says:

    Cool stuff, the more I can do with Arduino the better.

  21. icantthinkofone Says:

    @Poldo and others. People need to read the licensing requirements for using Windows software, whether they claim to be “open source” or “free” or what have you:

  22. sblanzio Says:

    Worst. Move. Ever

  23. bichomini Says:

    Massimo, PLEASE don’t turn your back to the community that always supported you.
    If you want to work with windows, it’s ok. But don’t elect it official OS.
    Take notice, for instance, is hosted under apache, contents are managed with WordPress 4, and the programming languages are HTML5, PHP and CSS. I bet that DBMS is mysql or postgres. Arduino IDE is written in java. We use a subset of C.
    Just don’t!!

  24. Poldo Says:

    icantthinkofone , I’m not sure what your comment means.

    My concern is that the announcement seems to imply that operating systems now need to be “certified” for Arduino. I’m actually glad to see more options for people who want to use Windows, but I just want to make sure our existing platform support will not be negatively impacted by this announcement.

  25. soren-kj Says:

    Although I believe this will open up a lot of possibilities (Windows remains the most propagated OS), I for one, will never build a gadget, closely tied up to Win.
    Two reasons:
    1) I like the simplicity of small embedded platforms doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, on their own, without an external OS, and
    2) Security and overview. Bundling your small platform with a massive OS with a known record of vulnerabilities, takes away the simplicity and the shear fact that you know how everything fundamentally works, down to the last interrupt routine, data buffer, etc.
    The example mentioned where you connect an Arduino controlled camera to Win, gives me goosebumps in the bad way.
    I’m a Mac and Linux guy, so Windows virtual shields? No way. Windows remote Arduino? Not going to happen, at least for me.
    Arduino is a magnificent open source concept, combining that with one of the worlds largest inherently non-opensource companies, simply doesn’t sound right to me.
    To the point where I’m almost provoked, although not enough to be ready to quit the platform altogether. After all, I (still) have the choice not to use it.
    Again, I’m sure many will use this to create magnificent things, but the day we see even more Microsoft dependencies, forcing you the use win, I’m off to another platform.

  26. avenue33 Says:

    Is Visual Studio 2015 the next release of the Arduino IDE ?

  27. robbcasanova Says:

    I think the new CEO of Microsoft is enough openmind to understand that the future of hardware and software is in opensource. I hope this is a good news for Arduino.

  28. ricardoquesada Says:

    I think this is very good news.

    First of all, for everyone that says that MS is the open source worst enemy, that is totally wrong. MS is helping a lot of open source projects and releasing lots of projects as open source.
    Was Microsoft 15 years ago the open source enemy? Perhaps… but that was 15 years ago… and companies change. And MS has changed… a lot.

    Secondly: If you don’t want to use MS products, that’s perfectly fine. Nobody is forcing you to use MS. Arduino is not killing its IDE… this announcement is about adding more options for Arduino developers. You like them? Great, use them. You don’t like them? Fine, don’t use them. For me, the more, the merrier.

  29. artag Says:

    Can anybody remember a microsoft partner that survived ?

  30. syntaxterror Says:

    Exactly, artag! That about sums it up. And never forget that microsoft R&D for many, many years has pretty much consisted of a guy with a very, very large checkbook, shopping for entire companies with good ideas.

  31. edcasati Says:

    First, this is a technical, not a financial partnership.
    Second, Microsoft just made it easier for Microsoft devices to talk to Arduino directly. Look at the sample code… a couple of ‘includes’ on the Arduino sketch to listen and talk to the phone.
    Geeeesh, you ‘Open Source’ people sure have a thin skin.
    Basically you are saying “We don’t want Arduino devices to talk to anything but Linux.”

    Here is a scenario:
    Build a box with a lock, that will only unlock under the following conditions:
    a) There must be proximity to a specific device, such as a cellphone.
    b) The box must be located within 100 feet of a specific geographical area.
    c) There must be facial recognition of the person asking to open the box.
    d) A pin must be entered for the box to open.
    e) No external devices (camera, keypad) on the box.
    f) The box only opens during certain time windows.

    As you can see, you need bluetooth for the proximity sensing, GPS for the location sensing, a very complex algorithm with a camera for facial recognition, a keypad for entering the PIN, and (the clincher) no keypad or camera on the box.

    It would take a fairly complex system to implement this into the device on the box itself. Expensive and lots of memory required.

    But what if the box were provided with the following data:

    a) This is the device ID.
    b) This is the GPS location.
    c) This is the user ID according to facial recognition.
    d) This is the PIN.
    e) This is the time.

    Then you only have 5 variables to worry about comparing, and any Arduino can do that!
    All of the data is collected and/or provided by the phone.
    That kind of scenario is what the “virtual shield” provides. And Microsoft is making it VERY easy to implement.

    But I guess that if the phone runs IOS or Win10, it is automatically bad???

  32. Visual Micro Says:

    This is excellent news! It will be exciting to see if this prompts more interest in remote Firmata interfaces and more advanced versions of Firmata.

    For those who would like to extend Firmata, allowing the Arduino to provide more standalone or advanced intelligence, a new release of the plugin for Visual Studio has just been published.

    The free plugin provides the programming and upload features of the Arduino Ide inside Microsoft Visual Studio.

    Visual Micro is a perfect compliment for the new Microsoft/Arduino Windows IoT tools allowing both a windows IoT application and an Arduino sketch project to be developed, deployed, uploaded from within the same Visual Studio solution. Read more at and keep up the great work Arduino!

  33. mateoAparato Says:

    Una puñalada al corazón!

  34. akasarto Says:

    lol… Calm down! Nothing is changing regarding arduino’s IDE and open source availability. This partnership is just part of a set of new platforms windows IoT program is supporting to allow integration with microsoft systems such as cortana and azure (

    They are supporting raspberry pi and galileo as well.. But nothing is being bought and closed forcing to use windows with it.

    If you don’t want to have any MS integration or tool close to your arduino, you don’t need to. It’s just a separate new platform that will allow coding for arduino and easily integrate with windows 10 for IoT.

    Also, the following software are free/open-source:

    – visual studio community 2013+
    – windows 10 for iot
    – vscode (open-source) also runs on linux and mac
    – .net core
    – .net framework (open-source)

  35. rodrim Says:

    Millions of Windows devices and online services interacting with arduino – love that!

  36. WOTLmade Says:

    This is a really sad day for open minded people!

  37. icantthinkofone Says:

    @akasarto Your list is free and open source? You just try and manipulate or misuse any of those and see what happens to you. Read their licenses and you’ll see what I mean.

  38. Sigmoid Says:

    >>Here’s how Visual Studio Community can be used in organizations:
    An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
    For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations, up to 5 users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with >250 PCs or > $1 Million US Dollars in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.<>Windows 10 is in fact the world’s first Arduino certified operating system!<<

    What. The. Frag?!!!!!!!! OMFG!

  39. Sigmoid Says:

    Sorry, it seems the forum needs smarter security hardening. Like escaping smaller/greater signs. So here’s the same post without trying to use smaller/greater for quoting:

    “Here’s how Visual Studio Community can be used in organizations:
    An unlimited number of users within an organization can use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: in a classroom learning environment, for academic research, or for contributing to open source projects.
    For all other usage scenarios: In non-enterprise organizations, up to 5 users can use Visual Studio Community. In enterprise organizations (meaning those with 250 PCs or $1 Million US Dollars in annual revenue), no use is permitted beyond the open source, academic research, and classroom learning environment scenarios described above.”

    This is NOT “free/open source”. It might be open source in a really twisted sense, but it’s not free at all. Not as in free speech, and neither as in free beer.

    Also, this whole ridiculous thing wouldn’t be such a big facepalm if not for this:
    “Windows 10 is in fact the world’s first Arduino certified operating system!”

    What. The. Frag?!!!!!!!! OMFG!

  40. akasarto Says:


    I understand what you mean and what I was trying to say is that, if I write code for arduino using any of those tools, I can distribute it as open source and anyone that would like to use it will be able to do so. Without having to buy any of microsoft specific tools.

    For commercial use I believe there are some limitations related to the number of users or company revenue.

  41. dpithon Says:

    is this a practical joke ? L

  42. marquinos Says:

    “‘Arduino Certified’ Windows 10″ = The first certified OS is a beta ¬¬
    I have no words for this :(

  43. kolloid Says:

    Well, I wanted to check this, so I downloaded the kit from Microsoft. The image is a file called Flash.ffu. ffu? Yes, some Microsoft format. Undocumented, I guess. Their instructions say that you have to copy it to the SD memory using a program that only runs on … Windows 10. I’m running Linux right now, but there’s no possibility to load the image with dd. So, the usual Microsoft shenanigans: a different image format, a proprietary software to install the image… what else is new? Why can’t these people use a solution that everybody uses since when Raspi started?

  44. N8OHU Says:

    The GNU General Public License is not the only Open Source license, no matter how hard some people try to say otherwise; in fact, there are quite a few people that would rather contribute to projects like Roslyn, .NET Core, or any of the Microsoft open source projects that use the MIT/BSD licenses because of the perception that the GPL is “restrictive”.

  45. longjohn119 Says:

    For one Arduino has pretty much always been a Windows based IDE

    Two there are some very successful Open Source projects based on Windows, for instance XBMC/Kodi and MediaPortal

    I think Microsoft is moving back in the right direction and embracing Open Source because it’s the only way it is ever going to get any marketshare back from the most Proprietary and closed (both hardware AND software) computers and phone out there …. Apple … Most Apple products don’t even have a working USB port for cripes sakes ….

  46. N8OHU Says:

    longjohn119, the reference to Apple isn’t entirely true, as they embraced Open Source about the time Microsoft was developing .NET; unfortunately, I’m not sure there is enough of the source code for Darwin (the UNIX core of Mac OS X) available to compile all of the code.

  47. brian_s_edwards Says:

    Wow – Didn’t realize there’s be so much gnashing of teeth and vitriol. I use Windows and Linux (I don’t like Apple’s business model), so I think the partnership is great!
    For expanding Arduino to n00bs, a Windows interface is the way to go. Huge user base and community support; and so many people are already familiar with Windows. I wouldn’t want to see Linux support for the IDE dropped, but I don’t read that anywhere. I just see Win 10 as having built-in API’s to make the interface easier. To expect a newbie to compile their own O/S and load required packages seems a bit much. The success of some Linux distros (like Ubuntu) is based on simplicity of use and being familiar to Windows users. I also agree with several posters that Saya Nadela is not Steve Ballmer.
    I was riled when MSFT wanted to be paid for Visual Basic, around 30 years ago – I got over it. Today I use the successor in Visual Studio Premium. There are myriad companies that charge big bucks for customized Linux distros (especially for embedded systems), so getting canned API’s in a graphic O/S costing a couple hundred USD is great, to me.
    In any case, I think the partnership can be great. We’ll see what the future holds tomorrow.

  48. lucxxx Says:

    Are you joking, we are already paing royalitis to M$ when we buy an android phone, now with android to. FOFF M$.

  49. lucxxx Says:

    >> An unlimited number of users within an organization can >> use Visual Studio Community for the following scenarios: >> in a classroom learning environment, for academic
    >> research, or for contributing to open source projects.
    Open source projects with M$?? is a joke??, and why to use Visual Studio?? can’t they use QtCreator or something else??

  50. chepecarlos Says:

    which means first and all we have done in other “OS” does not count

  51. toddcarr Says:

    the only thing MS has ever followed through with is their OS. it is the only thing that is important to them. I have many “FAILED” microsoft products including routers, joysticks, HD DVD Player for XBOX, PocketPC and more. i fu@%$#& hate microsoft. maybe it is time to look at another real open source product. Arduino I thought you were smarter than this but i guess i was wrong. Just like IBM you will be assimilated.

  52. toddcarr Says:

    arduino boards will be for sale on ebay today!!!! Cheap.

  53. andyg54321 Says:

    What does it take to be an Arduino certified OS?

  54. RougetChamier Says:

    Really really sad and worryng news . In any case MacOs is more stable and steady.

  55. Isaac96 Says:

    What’s so bad about Microsoft?
    I run W7 Ultimate.
    The only problem is that IE is terrible. So I’m writing this from Chrome, which took 30 seconds to install

  56. wellton Says:


    SAD… SAD…. =(

  57. Mr_Funkyman Says:

    i alsow agree with GeekRedux which postet the first comment. MS and Arduino?, well thats a bad idea.

  58. golemik Says:

    This is the saddest news … Realy windows ?

  59. ku4tp Says:

    Kind of makes you wonder what Arduino got from MS to pull this one. Between this and Raspberry Pi MS is buying up open source all over the place. And before anyone accuses me of being ‘closed minded’ let MS put its money where its mouth is and open Wndows first. Then I might believe that MS has ‘seen the light’. Anything less and they are only wanting to play the open source community, IMHO.

  60. Isaac96 Says:

    Hey- You can get Windows for Raspberry Pi! :)

  61. uzhiel Says:

    @syntaxerror: that was the first thing that went through my mind also.. Microsoft is trying to spread its influence where it doesn’t belong. I think at the end of the day this is part of their grand scheme to be on a billion devices by 2017. Still sad news though..

  62. m_amien Says:

    :) othinking some $$$ for next project :(

  63. gomestai Says:

    c’mon guys, whats so bad/sad about microsoft? Partnership with microsoft is no “ridiculous”. what “ridiculous” is being a fanboy of anything. i agree whit that opinion says, if i can do more with arduino than it’s better, if you want open source at all like virtual shields go program yourself in ubuntu

  64. Liamthe1st Says:

    Code bender is a browser on Google and Firefox for programming your arduino but never allowed on IE so kiss off windows 10 with Edge when Firefox and codebenders does fgor me.

  65. kimaya Says:

    i think it’s a good news. widening the scope for the developers.
    MS is not that badd…!!!
    lets not make the prediction at so early… we will wait n watch.At the end if it comes up with something productive … will be better.

  66. jalmasi Says:

    So Microsoft finally included FTDI driver in their OS?
    That’s good news indeed, like, woohoo!
    But bad news is, whoever makes strategic partners with Microsoft
    and makes big deal of it, ends up dead.
    Reality check:
    DEC? Dead.
    SGI? Dead.
    And so on; you know they say – leave all hope you who enter here.
    Err, but was it Arduino LLC or SRL?
    I mean, the other one maybe survives longer.
    Oh, will new windows automatically recognize both SRL and LLC cards?
    Or we’ll get ‘unidentified board, go buy from us’ popup in IDE?
    But who cares after all. There’s so many derivatives and manufacturers already, we don’t really need either Arduino anymore.

  67. kerbingamer376 Says:

    How come the arduino, perhaps the embodiment of open source and making, is partnered with microsoft, the absolute kings of proprietary? as for “Windows 10 is in fact the world’s first Arduino certified operating system!” iI remember that windows users used to install mingw in order to use arduino!
    what next? arduino IDE in C# and overexpensive?

  68. kerbingamer376 Says:


  69. equ7 Says:

    Just not excited to make Ardunio work easily with the very low number of windows phones in existence (sales figures going down not up as % market share). Uploading data to a cloud server, so last year, and great if you want the NSA and the Chinese to have access to it. The new thing is small servers that can exchange data directly and will continue to work without an active Internet connection. Just another case of Microsoft being behind the times and using its big check book to play catch up.

  70. martin1971 Says:

    Let’s face it. Only reason MS want to jump on the bandwagon is because of $$$. If they can’t produce decent operating systems after so many years, I doubt they will bring anything new to Arduino. If they can make Arduino even cheaper and better and keep it open source it will amaze me. Let’s hope

  71. stanralphdotcom Says:

    PLEASE say it ain’t so!

  72. Mayagi Says:

    Time to move another free island until they find us again! $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  73. aleza Says:

    I agree with GeekRedux too. Does this means having the skype over linux story again? All cool development goes to specific platforms…. ? I hope not.

  74. Arduino Wiring, A New Choice for Developers On Windows 10 IoT Core - Electronics-Lab Says:

    […] year, Arduino and Microsoft announced a strong partnership and Windows 10 became the world’s first Arduino certified operating system. This partnership made […]

  75. npa62 Says:

    Great news.

  76. jeffestocky Says:

    I don’t want to see any great developments for Arduino not be open source just because Microsoft was part of the development.

    Will the agreements made between Arduino and Microsoft be “open-source” for everyone to look at? Is this agreement tech only, or financial?

    It’s not too late to return some of Arduino’s virtue. If not, it looks like I will be finding another platform.

  77. Module 6—Simple Automation Systems - Says:

    […] Microsoft and Arduino Partnership Announced […]

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