Microsoft Azure now provides an online simulator for the Raspberry Pi. Developers can use the simulator to build different projects and try it out without needing to have an actual Raspberry Pi.
At the moment, the Raspberry Pi simulator on Microsoft Azure is still in its early stages. In fact, the actual visualization of the Raspberry Pi on the simulator is just a static image for now, but the code you run on the simulator is still being executed on a virtual Raspberry Pi.
Microsoft is also planning on expanding the capabilities of the simulator. Microsoft’s Xin Shi stated that the company plans on adding a wider range of inputs and outputs along with other sensors to the simulator. The simulator will, therefore, include a drag-and-drop experience that will let users expand the features of their virtual Pi by adding different components — kind of like plugins.
If you are interested, you can find the full tutorial for setting up the virtual Raspberry Pi on Azure here.