Microsoft Corp. announced the release of its Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 offering, designed for developers and device-makers wanting to quickly build smart, connected, hard real-time commercial and consumer electronics devices. With new features, including the Web Services on Devices API, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) telephony capabilities and thin-client technology enhancements, Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 enables devices to seamlessly connect to computers running Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 as well as other devices. In conjunction with this announcement, Microsoft also announced the launch of its community-focused initiative, code-named “SPARK,” a joint offering between Microsoft and select hardware vendors. The program is designed to bring the benefits of embedded development on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 and Visual Studio 2005 to hobbyist developers and the academic community.
“Together with our partners, we’re delivering on our vision for the new world of smart, connected, service-oriented devices with new innovations in Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2,” said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft. “Microsoft continues to make significant investments in the embedded space to help developers and device-makers enter new markets, speed time to market, and differentiate their products and services. Over the past two years, Microsoft has invested more than $100 million in Windows Embedded product development and associated R&D. In this year alone, we are increasing that commitment by 33 percent to $75 million, including $5 million in community and academic development. The Windows Embedded Business is absolutely committed to being a leader in investment and innovation within the embedded industry.”
Driving Connected Experiences With New Technology Enhancements Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 is an important building block for smart, connected, service-oriented devices, delivering new features, updates and enhancements that focus on five main areas:
- Web Services on Devices. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 provides the full Web Services on Devices API that is available on Windows Vista. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can provide richer experiences and product differentiation when their devices connect virtually to a Windows Vista-based PC over the network and yet behave as if they were connected directly.
- New VoIP video telephony capabilities. These enable device-makers to quickly and easily add exciting device scenarios such as VoIP, video and three-way audio to existing CE 6.0 designs.
- Internet Explorer enhancements and Windows Media Player OCX 7 support. The release delivers significantly faster rendering of pages and Web sites, and enhanced on-device sound with new support for rich text editing and the new ActiveX Control.
- New pluggable font engine. With new support for pluggable font engine technology, Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 provides OEMs with a greater choice of third-party font engines to use as they develop devices with even smaller footprints.
- Latest thin-client technology components with auto-detection capabilities. These help thin clients seamlessly connect to the latest version and key features of Windows Server 2008.
“Windows Embedded CE has been a proven real-time operating system for countless consumer electronics and devices since its inception more than 10 years ago,” said Jong Dae An, vice president of LG-Nortel Co. Ltd. “LG-Nortel’s telecommunications equipment and networking solutions will benefit highly from the release of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2, ultimately resulting in smoother enterprise compatibility and connectivity, streamlined development, and faster time to market for our solutions.”
“As one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, STMicroelectronics is continually looking for new growth opportunities to bolster our presence within the industry,” said Bill Raasch, vice president of market development at ST Microelectronics. “We’re excited to be shipping our board support package for our flagship single-chip STi7109 decoder with the new features and enhancements included in the box with Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2. This offering will undoubtedly assist us in expanding our reach into the set-top box market, and play a key role in enabling device-makers to deliver connected experiences to end users.”
“Windows Embedded CE 6.0 has already been widely adopted by many of our consumer electronics device-maker customers,” said Dr. Yiwan Wong, vice president of marketing for the System LSI Division of Samsung Electronics. “Microsoft’s Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 board support package together with Samsung’s ARM9- and ARM11-based series of application processors will allow even faster time to market for our customers that want to bring differentiated features and innovative value-added-services to GPS navigation and other consumer electronics devices.”
Continued Community Investment
With the announcement of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2, Microsoft is also launching its new community initiative, a partnership between Microsoft and select hardware vendors to bring a complete package offering of hardware and software to hobbyist developers and academics through a simple and affordable engagement model. Currently, under its MSDN Academic Alliance Program, Microsoft provides software and materials for students and faculty in the technology and design fields. Through the “SPARK” Initiative the company is adding complementary offerings and extending them to the greater nonprofessional developer community.
Microsoft has a long history of investment in the developer community, through its academic programs such as Imagine Cup and the embedded courseware and textbooks it provides to university professors and students. The “SPARK” Initiative aims to complement those offerings by extending access to the complete set of developer tools, embedded operating systems, and board packages for nonprofessionals to create any type of embedded device they can imagine. As part of the “SPARK” Initiative, Microsoft will offer the following:
- Windows Embedded CE 6.0 and Visual Studio 2005 Standard will be offered with select boards from participating hardware vendors and made available to academics and hobbyists at price points optimized for nonprofessional users.
- BSP certification. As part of the “SPARK” Initiative, Microsoft will begin offering board support package (BSP) certification at no charge, which will now apply to both commercial and noncommercial use.
Embedded Technology 2007 Presence
Following Dallas’ keynote presentation at the Embedded Technology 2007 show on Nov. 16, the Windows Embedded Business will host the following free technical sessions, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in rooms 301 and 302 in conference tower 3F:
- Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 Overview
- Service-Oriented Device Development
- Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Operating System Development
- Application Development
- Testing Drivers and Applications on Windows Embedded CE
- Device Driver Development
Windows Embedded Booth F-29 will also feature special demo stages for more than 18 Windows Embedded OEMs and partners, and free hands-on labs will be available in room DM. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 is available for download today in English and Japanese.
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