Microsoft Expands List of Supported CPUs for Windows CE Platform

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 4, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is working with Motorola Inc. and Advanced RISC Machines (ARM) to port the Microsoft® Windows® CE operating system to the Motorola Power PC and ARM microprocessor families. Microsoft also announced it is working directly with ARM partners including Digital Equipment Corp. and Cirrus Logic Inc. to port Windows CE to those company’s ARM-based processors. Today’s announcement reinforces Microsoft’s commitment to working with a variety of semiconductor and intellectual property vendors to establish Windows CE as a robust and comprehensive platform for a broad range of communications, entertainment and mobile computing devices.

Windows CE support for the additional PowerPC and ARM processor families increases the availability of high-performance semiconductors upon which OEMs can build new Windows CE-based embedded system, mobile computing or multimedia product lines. It will also increase the value and variety of Windows CE-based products available to consumers. Microsoft previously announced that Windows CE has been ported to the SH-3 processor from Hitachi Ltd., the VR4101 processor from NEC Electronics Inc., and the TwoChipPIC, the PR31500 and UCB1100 from Philips Semiconductor. The first Windows CE-based product built on these processors, the handheld PC, was officially launched by Microsoft at COMDEX/Fall on Nov. 17.

“Working with a broad range of industry CPU partners – companies with expertise in related non-PC technologies – is critical to the success of the Windows CE platform,”

said Harel Kodesh, general manager of the consumer appliance group at Microsoft.
“The portable architecture, small footprint and modular design of Windows CE make it an ideal operating system for use in a variety of non-PC and information-appliance product categories. Support for these additional processors will provide OEMs a wide choice of high-performance semiconductors upon which to build these new devices.”

“We are delighted that Microsoft plans to port its latest software technology to the ARM architecture,”
said Robin Saxby, CEO and president of ARM.
“Several of our semiconductor partners plan to incorporate this new platform into system-chip silicon solutions. As the emerging de-facto standard in embedded RISC microprocessors, we believe this collaboration will further fuel this industry’s rapid growth.”

“Motorola’s strength and technical leadership in the microprocessor and communications environments provide customers excellent solutions for the next wave of Windows CE-based mobile and embedded systems,”
said Tom Beaver, corporate vice president, Motorola SPS World Marketing.
“Combining the Windows CE operating system with our expertise in mobile computing and communications will give both manufacturers and end users the very best of two industry leaders.”

“Digital’s StrongARM microprocessor and Microsoft’s Windows CE platform together will offer manufacturers and consumers the highest performance and widest choice of applications in the handheld personal computer, smart phone and interactive video markets,”
said Ed Caldwell, vice president, Digital Semiconductor.
“The StrongARM SA-110 has the industry’s best embedded processor performance, delivering the advanced user interfaces and Windows interoperability features made possible by the Windows CE platform.”

“As the leading worldwide supplier of ARM-based embedded systems on a chip, Cirrus Logic looks forward to the availability of Microsoft’s Windows CE on ARM architecture in the coming year,”
said George Alexy, senior vice president of marketing for Cirrus Logic.
“The combination of ARM and Windows CE offers an excellent environment for Windows 95-based companion devices and other information appliances.”

Windows CE is Microsoft’s new compact and portable operating system built from the ground up to be appropriate for a broad range of business and consumer devices that can communicate with each other, share information with Windows-based PCs, and connect to the Internet. Categories of devices that Windows CE is suitable for include small form-factor mobile computing devices such as the new handheld PCs,
PCs, wireless communications devices such as digital information pagers and cellular smart phones, next-generation entertainment and multimedia consoles including DVD players, and purpose-built Internet access devices such as Internet TVs, digital set top boxes and Internet
“Web phones.”

Handheld PCs are being developed by seven leading personal computer and consumer electronics manufacturers and are currently available from Casio Computer Co., Compaq Computer Corp. and NEC Corp. Handheld PCs from Hitachi Ltd., Hewlett Packard Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Philips Electronics are expected to be available in the first half of 1997.

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