I recently got a Windows 8 tablet and sitting on the couch yesterday I realized it might be a good idea to install the Windows toolchain for making ESP8266 programs on it, along with Eclipse. Here’s the story on how to do it!
The instructions are largely based on this Russian blogpost by Mikhail Grigoriev. A video of the development kit in action can be found on YouTube:
Step 1: Download and install Mikhail Grigoriev’s Unofficial Development Kit for Espressif ESP8266.
Step 2: Download and install a recent JRE or JDK if you don’t have one installed already. I believe version 7 is the minimum, but go ahead and get 8 since it works perfect too. Get it directly from Oracle.
Step 3: Download and install Eclipse IDE for C/C++ Developers. I’m using Luna SR2, but if a more recent version would be available I’m sure it would work similar. Unpack the archive to the root of your C drive.
Step 4: Download and install MinGW. Get mingw-get-setup.exe from the official SourceForge project. During the installation uncheck the “… also install support for the graphical user interface” option as we won’t be needing it.
Step 5: Mikhail Grigoriev made some awesome scripts to automate the installation of additional modules in MinGW which are needed for compiling. You can download his package here, extract it somewhere and then run install-mingw-package.bat.
Step 6: Start the Eclipse Luna from the directory C:\eclipse\eclipse.exe and in Eclipse, select File > Import > General > Existing Project into Workspace then enter C:\Espressif\examples as the root directory and import the sample projects.
Step 7: If you want autocompletion in Eclipse you’ll need to add the path C:\Espressif\ESP8266_SDK\include\ in your Eclipse settings under Paths and Symbols.
That’s all! Now you’re ready to build any of the sample projects included in this excellent development kit or make your own projects.