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Microsoft Updates Windows Embedded CE

Microsoft today launched an updated version of its Windows Embedded CE platform with a release that will let developers build new devices that take advantage of some of the APIs and Web services interfaces available on Windows Vista and the company’s forthcoming Windows Server 2008.

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 brings five new functional improvements to the componentized operating system platform:

  • Support for all Web services available on Vista and Windows Server 2008
  • Support for video telephony
  • Improvements to Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player OCX7, which the company says will render Web content much faster
  • A new, pluggable font engine
  • Auto-detection of thin client services available with Windows Server 2008

Microsoft launched the product today at the Embedded Technology 2007 conference in Yokohama, Japan. The update comes exactly one year after the debut of Windows Embedded CE 6.0. With that release, Microsoft added 600 components developers can work with, says Dan Javnozon, Microsoft's senior product manager for Windows embedded. With the R2 release, Microsoft is adding a few dozen more, Javnozon says.

With support for the Web Services on Devices API, those building devices can include them on a network. That would be a boon for corporate developers, who could, for example, add functionality for medical equipment in hospitals that not only would gain connectivity but support for video as well.

"This is a networking component that enables devices to connect to Windows Vista, like they were connected directly to them but over the network," Javnozon says of the Web Services API.

Likewise, support for the latest terminal services in Windows Server 2008 might mean incorporating special-purpose functionality into thin client terminal devices from the likes of Hewlett Packard and Wyse, Janvozon says.

The software is sold only to OEM hardware suppliers who build fixed-function devices like telephones, navigation systems, medical systems, home automation systems, ATM machines -- any hardware that has a processor.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.