One of Microsoft's new moves to make inroads into territories it previously missed out on is Windows On Devices. Now you can sign up and possible get a free Galileo development board.
If you think of easy-to-use embedded development boards then you come up with Arduino and Raspberry Pi rather than devices that run Windows. Microsoft currently doesn't do well in embedded hardware despite having the software to do the job.
Windows on Devices is intended to put Windows, and hence Microsoft, into the Internet of Things (IoT). The only real problem is that it is still being worked on. The first SDK should be out very soon and if you would like to join in then you can sign up for consideration for a free development system based on an Intel Galileo board.
The Galileo board is based on a system-on-a-chip featuring a Pentium class processor, so there is no problem running Windows or any 86x software.
It works with Arduino shields, provided there is a driver. It also somes with a full sized mini-PCI Express slot, 100Mb Ethernet port, Micro SD slot, RS232 serial port, USB host and client ports and 8MByte flash RAM.
Needless to say that flashing a few LEDs with the hardware isn't difficult - the real question is how good is the software.
All you have to do for a chance to get a free development system is provide your email address and answer a few simple questions about what your experience of embedded programming is. You'll get an email that invites you to provide some additional information - your address and what languages, develeopment systems and operating systems you have used.
Next you have to wait to see if you get a development kit.
It isn't clear how many kits are available. It also isn't clear if you can get the software to run on an existing Galileo board, which comes with a version of Linux and costs around $78.