REDMOND, Wash. Feb 22, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the first beta release of the Microsoft® Windows NT® Embedded operating system version 4.0 to more than 350 technical beta testing sites, following last November’s alpha release. In addition, the company announced the expansion of the beta testing program and the delivery of new features developed specifically for the embedded systems industry.
Historically, embedded systems vendors have developed closed solutions based on fragmented and proprietary platforms. With Windows NT Embedded 4.0, Microsoft provides a comprehensive set of technologies from which vendors can select and choose operating system features, enabling faster time to market for embedded products. The combination of the Windows® CE operating system and Windows NT Embedded provides support for a full spectrum of devices. Windows NT Embedded 4.0 targets systems in the mid- and high-end of the industry such as high-speed copiers, patient monitors, private branch exchanges (PBXs), point-of-sale terminals and a host of other embedded systems. Windows NT Embedded 4.0 offers many design advantages for embedded solutions that are highly interconnected, require full Win32® API binary compatibility, and are tightly integrated with Microsoft BackOffice® family products in line-of-business systems.
“We have received excellent feedback from our alpha testers on Windows NT Embedded 4.0, and now we are looking to expand the program even further,”
said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of personal and business systems at Microsoft.
“Windows NT Embedded 4.0 will provide vendors with one of the fastest ways to deliver embedded products and solutions to the industry.”
Windows NT Embedded 4.0 delivers new embedded features and target design tools that will help vendors reduce time to market for new devices, lower development costs and improve the functionality of solutions. These new features include support for headless operation (in which no mouse, keyboard or display devices are required), diskless operation (in which users can operate from read-only media such as CD-ROMs or FLASH) and remote management infrastructure.
Additional enhancements based on alpha customer feedback include the following:
Additional componentization of the core Windows NT feature set, including IPX and SPX, AppleTalk, DHCP services, and Internet Information Services, for building a smaller operating system footprint
Improved error recovery, such as message box interception for higher device state availability
Additional device support, most notably for SCSI and NIC
“NEC Corp. views Windows NT Embedded 4.0 as a strategic technology in the success of our future embedded and specific-function devices, particularly in the areas of communications and networked kiosks,”
said Kazuhiko Kobayashi, associate senior vice president of NEC.
“We are impressed with the progress Microsoft has made with the beta of Windows NT Embedded 4.0. The broad functionality and specific embedded features in Windows NT Embedded 4.0 make it an excellent solution for quickly delivering our next generation of products.”
Microsoft is delivering embedded-ready tools such as the Target Designer (for selecting Windows NT platform components) and Component Designer (for adding applications and third-party components) to simplify development of unique embedded solutions and devices.
Beta Application Process
Companies and organizations interested in participating in the beta program for
Windows NT Embedded 4.0 can apply by sending a request via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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