Raspberry Pi 2 and Windows 10 – will there be a UI or not?

Like many people, I was excited when I seen the announcement for the Raspberry Pi 2. I was excited enough at the prospect of better hardware in the existing and well-established form factor and price that I ordered one right away, but then something else caught my attention – it will be capable of running a version of Windows 10.

There has been a lot of confusion over this, however, due in part to the fact that it’s coming from the windows IoT team who have only released headless (No GUI) versions of Windows thus far.

It should be pretty obvious to most people that the Raspberry Pi 2 isn’t going to get a fully-fledged version of Windows 10, for a number of reasons, but that leaves quite a big question unanswered – will the version of Windows 10 that the Rapsberry Pi 2 gets have some kind of UI?

The answer is – yes!

It seems to have slipped under the radar for most people, but in an interview with the register, Ebon Upton himself confirmed that this version of Windows 10 will have some kind of UI and support for Microsoft’s new “Universal” app model:

Although the desktop might not be available, the Windows build will support visual applications. “It is a headed device, HDMI primarily at the moment but then LCD panels in due course.”

There you have it. While the true capabilities of the Operating System haven’t been announced, as well as other potentially important details such as licensing (It’s free to developers, but will developers be able to distribute and sell a Raspberry Pi 2 running this build without a license fee?) but the prospects of being able to run genuine Windows applications, even though they’re not desktop applications, opens up a whole new realm of possibilities.