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Windows XP Embedded Enters Beta 2

Windows XP Embedded entered Beta 2 Tuesday, and Microsoft Corp. representatives say the embedded operating system remains on track for release within 90 days of the general Windows XP release.

Windows XP Embedded is a componentized version of the client operating system for building "full featured" client devices. "Talisker," the next version of Windows CE, is aimed more at devices that require less client-side power.

The Windows XP Embedded version is the follow on to Windows NT 4.0 Embedded, which shipped long after Windows NT 4.0 hit the market.

Microsoft scrapped a plan to market an embedded version of Windows 2000, which would have lagged behind the general release version of that operating system by at least 18 months. Redmond opted instead to time its next embedded release to coincide more closely with a general operating system release -- in this case Windows XP.

Windows XP Embedded has been in Beta 1 testing since December. Windows XP Professional and Home Edition have been released to manufacturing and are due to ship Oct. 25.

Windows XP Embedded consists of more than 10,000 components that developers can mix and match to create operating systems for devices ranging from thin clients to residential gateways to retail point-of-sale devices to set-top boxes.

New features in Beta 2 include enhanced security through the Encrypting File System, IPSec, Kerberos and Windows File Protection; Internet Explorer 6.0; Windows Media Player 8; additional networking protocols and management capabilities; and new development tools.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.