I would suggest staying away for windows as the operating system.
It is a closed system and can cost quite a bit.
It is not as robust as it should be.
Windows is also not open source and perhaps this is the biggest reason for avoiding it.
Certainly no planes will crash if it fails but I happen to think linux is our answer.
So we can use linux it is open source, stable , and cost nothing to use.
It drives the web, mission critical systems and most embedded system.
This perhaps is the time to think about programming also.
I would shy away from c however powerful it takes longer to program and is harder for the lay person to undrstand.
Quite honestly to me the is only one choice and that is python.
It is flexible , powerful, open source, has many libraries available and perhaps most important is easy to understand and even learn by the lay person.
So my first decision has been made. I think we need to use linux as the operating system and to use python as the programming language.
Having made the choice of python means that any linux os will be sufficient,
I would probably also suggest using python 2.x as it is still the python of choice for many however 3 is starting to be used more. The argument for the linux distro will probably need to be made on ease of setup, available of others who use it and ease of updating. It is true however we can make prepackage os isos for the less technical inclined. Again Ease of obtaining and support should also be factored in. It would be nice if the os could be installed on the sd card fom any other system i.e. windows, osx , linux and yes even from our device itself. This is a much harder choice for me and so I going to dalay picking for a bit. Using python portability will allow me to do this.
Please please think about this and comment, To me it is obvious but community thought and comments are vital.
The hardest part of design is to set goals and needs before implantion and not have to bend something to fit what you did not think of to begin with. You will not bother me by presenting ideas, probably not even by calling me names
. If you touch my aquariums however I will find you.