Microsoft, Hitachi Strategic Alliance for Windows CE is Latest Endorsement of New Operating System by Major Consumer Electronics Firms

Microsoft, Hitachi Strategic Alliance for Windows CE is Latest Endorsement of New Operating System by Major Consumer Electronics Firms

REDMOND, Wash., June 30, 1998 – Microsoft Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., have announced a significant expansion of their business and development relationship regarding the Windows CE operating system. Hitachi will establish a dedicated development organization focused on building new Windows-CE based solutions for its customers. Microsoft will provide this new organization with broader access to Windows CE technology, enabling Hitachi to rapidly build a wide range of solutions powered by Windows CE.

“We are very excited about this new level of cooperation between Microsoft and Hitachi,” said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “The real beneficiaries of this combined effort will be the businesspeople and consumers who, in coming years, will be able to incorporate these new products into their daily lives and benefit from the increased productivity and entertainment provided by these intelligent, connected devices.”

Today’s news of the alliance between Microsoft and Hitachi is the latest in a series of announcements by major consumer electronics firms that now endorse Windows CE as a platform for their future plans in digital devices and embedded systems. In January, Motorola announced its plans to work on products that will enable wireless communication around Windows CE. In February, Siemens AG and Microsoft extended their existing relationship to one that will build industrial and consumer applications based around Windows CE, focusing on categories such as industrial control, communications and IT systems. In April, Sony and Microsoft announced they would collaborate in the convergence of PC, DTV and consumer audiovisual technology. Sony said it intends to license Windows CE for future products, and Microsoft plans to license Sony’s home networking module.

The development effort announced today by Hitachi and Microsoft will focus on three major areas:

  • Continuous evolution of PC Companion products designed for mobile professionals. Hitachi recently released its second-generation Handheld PC, the first product in the PC Companion family. Both companies will work on providing additional PC Companion products around Hitachi’s 32-bit SuperH RISC microprocessor.

  • Development of a home multimedia station that can manipulate, integrate, store and play digital data from various sources, including television, satellite broadcasts, the Internet, digital cameras, local storage media and DVD.

  • Real-time capabilities for embedded systems in industrial manufacturing and process control. Microsoft has already announced it will incorporate hard real-time capabilities into Windows CE. Hitachi’s expertise in this area, together with its Dependable Autonomous Hard Real-time Management (DARMA) technology, will provide customers with additional hard real-time solutions, based on Windows CE.

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