Microsoft has worked with a number of vendors to build a series of starter kits to help you get your internet "thing" up and connected to Azure with minimal effort. These are in essence kits which contain a hardware board of some description, a breadboard, a number of connectors and sensors.
The board that is contained in these kits all support running Windows 10 IoT Core, the minimal version of Windows 10 for small devices with low memory onboard.
Microsoft Premier Services uses the Adafruit Raspberry Pi 3 Kit with all our customer engagements when helping them get started with IoT and Azure.
Here you'll find a great walk through of the kits available.
The Maker Show: Azure IoT Starter Kits
You can read more at: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/develop/iot/starter-kits/
The kits available are a follows....
Adafruit Raspberry Pi 3 Kit
Powered by Windows 10, this credit-card sized computer is capable of many of the things that your desktop PC does, such as spreadsheets, word-processing or even playing video games. This kit provides all the necessary sensors and components to get started using Raspberry Pi and Azure IoT.
Adafruit Feather M0 Kit (Arduino-compatible)
Feather is the new development board from Adafruit and, like its namesake, it is thin and light. Adafruit designed Feather to be a new standard for portable microcontroller cores. This is the Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi w/ATWINC1500 – our take on an ‘all-in-one’ Arduino-compatible, high-speed, reliable WiFi with built-in USB and battery charging.
Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 Kit (Arduino-compatible)
Designed for those who want to use the new low-cost Adafruit Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266 WiFi microcontroller and are comfortable with using that platform to explore Azure IoT. An Arduino or other microcontroller is not required.
Seeed – Intel Edison Kit
Designed for expert makers, entrepreneurs and some industrial IoT applications, the Intel® Edison compute module provides ease of development for a range of prototyping projects or commercial ventures when performance matters.
SparkFun Thing ESP8266 Dev Kit (Arduino-Compatible)
Designed around the ESP8266 SOC, the Thing Dev board is a cost-effective, and very capable WiFi-enabled microcontroller. This kit provides all the necessary sensors and components to get started using the ThingDev microcontroller and Azure IoT.
Seeed – Grove IoT Commercial Gateway Kit
Intel and Microsoft have partnered to create a kit for rapid prototyping commercial gateway scenarios. Using an Intel® NUC gateway ensures that you can connect new and legacy devices, and perform edge analytics, whilst the Azure IoT Gateway SDK easily ingests data into the cloud for processing and analytics, meaning you can get started quickly on the Azure IoT.