I need your suggestion to choose best IDE/SDK for embedded development on windows 10.

I'm a .NET web developer, But I want to work on a compact embedded device as a fun project. I don't have previous experience in embedded development. I have experience in C#, but I'm ready to go with C or C++ as most of the compact devices support C and C++ (As per my knowledge).

Also tell me if anything else is required other that IDE to start with embedded development.

"Windows Embedded Compact" is the only IDE I found, I'm not sure if it's best one.

  • A good text editor, like Emacs or Vim, is a suitable IDE for any language or platform. Mar 10, 2017 at 22:51
  • Thanks @Kodiologist, that's the exact I was looking for. As I don't know which hardware/board I'm gonna use, I want a IDE which should be common for not all but maximum hardware/board (Languages).
    – Shri
    Mar 11, 2017 at 13:24
  • You could also consider Python, in addition to C/C++ Nov 14, 2018 at 15:19

2 Answers 2


Your target platform (the device you want to run code on) will determine your toolchain and IDE as much as anything else.

If you're running very small form-factor PCs (such as the Intel NUC), you can just use the development tools you are used to.

If you go with something like the Arduino boards (popular embedded hobbyist boards) you'd be well served to use their tools & IDE - it's powerful enough to get stuff done, easy enough to use, and there's lots of information on the web. It's not the lowest level programming (the easy to use part comes from the nice libraries, IDE, and bootloader), but it's a great place to start.

If you have your sights set on production of your own embedded hardware, and you want to play with bare-metal systems, you could play with dev boards from a manufacturer such as Atmel. Their embedded dev tools are based on Visual Studio. The downside there is that if you really have no knowledge of embedded, it may be hard to jump in.

  • Thanks @MichaelKohne, Please check my comment on question. I not sure about Device/Hardware I'm gonna use. But your explanation is very useful to understand dependency of Device/Hardware to select IDE. And thanks for you useful links.
    – Shri
    Mar 11, 2017 at 13:28

I agree with everything that @Michael said (and upvoted his answer).

Your IDE will, by and large, be determined by your choice of processor.

Atmel are great, have been around for decades, are reasonably priced and have lots of good peripherals, plus support forums.

However, the "new kid on the block", the Raspberry Pi is now five years old and comes in several versions, plus a few spin offs.

I will just add that the OP might find things simpler with a Raspberry Pi. They have great support and a dedicated site on SE.

Starting at $5 (and only $10 including WiFi and BT), they won't break the bank. You can certainly go with C++ (which is close enough to C#), but Python is simpler and very popular.

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You can also look at the other, more powerful, Raspberry Pi model's. There is a full comparison here.

You can also look at the related Orange Pi (& Orange Pi plus, etc) and Banana Pi.

Also interesting is the $9 CHIP.

There are many more, but at this point I think that listing more would just confuse you. If you want more, just Google for “single board computer”.

Think of a project first, the choose a board to suit. At current prices, there is no reason not to try two or three, perhaps implementing the same basic project on each, before making a final decision.

Choose by needed peripherals (“shields” for Arduino, “Hats” for Raspberry Pi), price and support.

If you can’t think of a project, but a cheap sensor shield/hat (like this one,

  • Possibilities include: Determining orientation
  • Detecting speed
  • Measure environmental conditions (temperature and humidity.)
  • The bright 8 x 8 RGB LED display can be used to display sensor data or games. An on-board directional joystick provides a human interface for navigation and input.
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi B+, A+, and Pi 2

And created a web page eon your PC (use Xampp). Get sensor data from the HAT using the Raspberry Pi and display in on the web page.

You might also want to read my lengthy answer to this IoT question

  • 1
    Thanks @Mawg, As you and 'Michael' explained how IDE selection is depend and Hardware selection, I I'll select a Hardware and get back here. Your given links will help me to choose hardware/board.
    – Shri
    Mar 11, 2017 at 13:34
  • Just curious - what hardware did you select, and why? Oct 10, 2017 at 10:26
  • I guess we will never know :-( A pity, as you could have repaid the help we gave you, by explaining your decision, which would have helped others in future. Also, be aware of sister sites iot.stackexchange.com and hardwarerecs.stackexchange.com Nov 14, 2018 at 15:20

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