Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.
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Eric Weddington has quite clearly stated that he will not be continuing development of WinAVR, as he is now working on a similar toolchain to be released by Atmel.
As of this date, there is a beta available (http://www.atmel.no/beta_ware), but no offical release. The beta does not appear to be a full release yet, as it is missing the patches that have been applied to the GPL software contained within (I am sure that Atmel will include them in the full release).
Regarding your second point, yes, you can build the toolchain yourself under Linux, that doesn’t really help on Windows though, which was the whole point of WinAVR. In the article, in addition to the binary package, I also provide all the scripts required to set up a build environment under Windows, as well as the build scripts & patches to reproduce the package.