Microsoft has released the first public build of Windows 10 IoT Core, a slimmed-down version of its new operating system designed for tiny development boards that's free of charge. Specifically, it works with the MinnowBoard Max based on Intel's Atom E38xx series SoC and the Raspberry Pi 2 running the ARM Cortex-A7 based chip.

Windows 10 IoT Core can run on platforms both with and without a screen. The experience on the latter setup doesn't involve a Windows shell. Instead, users can write their own universal Windows app that's used as the interface or the "personality" of the device it runs on.

Those who have been running the public preview released at Microsoft's Build conference earlier this year will perhaps benefit the most as the OS now features a number of new features and improvements.

Microsoft's Steve Teixeira said Windows 10 IoT Core now supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. GPIO performance on the Raspberry Pi 2 has improved by 8x to 10x, analog-to-digital converter and pulse-width modulation are now supported via breakout boards and ICs and the OS has improved support for Python and Node.js.

A complete list of new features and improvements can be found in the full release notes. Microsoft has also shared some project ideas on its blog post announcing the release including how to make a rover robot as well as providing some home automation tips.