ESC West 2000: Microsoft Debuts New Programs for Connecting Windows Embedded Partners, Developers and Customers

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 25, 2000 — Microsoft displayed its strongest presence ever at the 11th annual Embedded Systems Conference 2000 (ESC West 2000), taking place this week in the San Jose Convention Center, showing an estimated 17,000 engineers, developers, project managers and other attendees what Windows Embedded Family has to offer.

The Microsoft booth features demonstrations of the Windows CE 3.0 embedded operating system and its companion set of development tools in Platform Builder 3.0 and eMbedded Visual Tools 3.0, as well as the Windows NT Embedded 4.0 operating system and accompanying Target Designer development tools. The booth includes an “Ask the Experts” center, a series of technical discussions and presentations by Microsoft Embedded developers where attendees can get answers to specific questions about Windows Embedded technologies. Nearby, the Windows Embedded Device Wall showcases some of the many devices — ranging from handheld computers and Web-enabled cell phones to industrial automation controllers and small-business servers — built on the Windows CE 3.0 and Windows NT Embedded 4.0 platforms.

The Microsoft Embedded Partner Pavilion will feature nearly 20 companies demonstrating their Windows-based solutions and answering questions. Participating partners include Accelent, BSquare, Embedded Planet, Entrek, MediaQ, NMI, Storlogic, VenturCom and others. At the Windows Embedded Hands-On Demo Lab, sponsored by VenturCom and Embedded Planet, attendees can test drive Windows CE 3.0 and Windows NT Embedded 4.0. Participants can use development tools to build a solution, then load it into a computer and bring the solution to life in a test environment. Two labs each for Windows CE and Windows NT Embedded will be offered daily throughout the conference.

On Wednesday, Bill Veghte, vice president of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group (EAPG) at Microsoft, will give a guest lecture called,
“Enabling a Web of Connected Devices.”
Veghte’s speech will examine how the technology market is shifting away from individual Web sites and devices connected to the Internet, and moving toward an environment in which constellations of computers, devices and services will work together to deliver broader, richer solutions. He will explore what this vision means to the people who design smart, embedded devices, and how new tools and technologies can help. Microsoft is the first vendor invited to present a guest lecture at ESC West 2000.

Connecting Windows Embedded Partners, Developers and Customers

The embedded systems market has been growing at a tremendous rate, fueled by technological advances and customer demand for embedded devices that enable rich applications and Internet services. Competitive pressures are driving the embedded community of developers, software partners and device manufacturers to bring their solutions to market faster than ever. To keep up, they need instant access to the most current development tools and technical information on embedded operating systems, as well as an inside track on opportunities to partner with each other in delivering the next wave of embedded devices and services to customers.

The Embedded Ecosystem, a new Microsoft initiative announced today at ESC West 2000, aims to build stronger connections between Windows Embedded developers, partners and customers. Specific offerings include the Windows Embedded Partners Program, the addition of a dedicated Embedded Developer Center within the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site, and the Windows Embedded Online Customer Marketplace. Microsoft also released the Windows CE 3.0 Add-On Pack containing new operating system components, advanced system analysis tools and new extensibility software development kits (SDKs), to give developers even greater options and allow them to more quickly develop Windows-powered devices.

Currently, Microsoft has roughly 200 embedded partners, and the company expects the number to reach 300 by next year. New resources within the Windows Embedded Partner Program include a partner extranet at where companies can find product, support and event information in one central location. A dedicated email alias will provide direct contact with Embedded Partner Program representatives and other Microsoft staff for rapid responses to more detailed questions.

Roy Kok, vice president of marketing for VenturCom, said his company already enjoys a close relationship with Microsoft that will become even better with the addition of the partner extranet and other outreach programs. VenturCom, a leading provider of extension technologies and consulting services for Windows-based embedded applications, has been a Microsoft technology partner and reseller of Windows Embedded products since 1995.

“We’re constantly promoting Microsoft products on our Web site, so having direct access to new training and marketing materials from Microsoft through the extranet is going to save us valuable time,”
Kok said.
“Regardless of who is managing that product and support information at Microsoft, we can log onto the extranet 24 hours a day and find what we need instead of waiting for someone to respond to an email.”

Kok added that he looks forward to using the extranet and the Partner Training Summits as
“a two-way street where VenturCom can keep Microsoft up to speed with our technologies as well.”

Online Marketplace Provides a One-Stop Shop for Customers

Later this year, Microsoft will introduce an online marketplace specifically for connecting prospective buyers of embedded technologies and services with pre-qualified Windows Embedded partners. Customers can enter their specific business needs or other search criteria and view profiles of individual partner companies with offerings that match those needs. They will also be able to post online requests for proposals to which partners respond, and both sides can even use the marketplace to initiate a business deal.

“The Windows Embedded Customer Online Marketplace is a winning solution for customers and partners,”
said Keith White, director of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft.
“Windows Embedded partners will have a new vehicle for demonstrating their product or service offerings, and customers are assured that each of these partners has a high level of familiarity and expertise in working with the Windows Embedded Family of technologies.”

Microsoft has assembled a new Windows Embedded Family Evaluation Kit containing evaluation copies of Windows CE 3.0 and, for the first time, Windows NT Embedded 4.0.

MSDN Launches Technology Conferences, Embedded Developer Site

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) now features a Web site specifically for embedded developers, providing timely access to accurate technical information that can help developers move their Windows Embedded designs from development to market faster. The new Embedded Developer Center on MSDN will offer biweekly feature articles, training resources, downloadable source code samples and monthly online chats with Microsoft staffers and other industry experts.

In addition, Microsoft is planning three Worldwide Windows Embedded Developer Conferences for developers starting next year. Modeled after the well-received Windows CE developer events, the conferences will feature technical sessions on the entire Windows Embedded family of products including Windows CE 3.0, Windows NT Embedded and Windows 2000 for the Server Appliance Kit. The first Embedded Developer Conference takes place next Feb. 6-8 in Las Vegas, followed by events in Europe and Asia later in the year.

Windows CE 3.0 Add-On Pack Delivers Operating System Components and System Analysis Tools

New operating system components and advanced analysis tools in the Windows CE 3.0 Add-On Pack will further shorten development times for Windows Powered embedded devices and broaden the array of components available for developers to build into their devices. The new functionality will be included in Windows CE Platform Builder 3.0, and current Platform Builder 3.0 customers will receive the Add-On Pack free of charge.

The new operating system components include support for eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML), which allows developers to connect their embedded devices to servers, PCs or other devices over the Web and is the first step toward enabling a platform for embedded devices in the Microsoft .NET framework. Remote Desktop Protocol 5.0 functionality enables footprint-sensitive Windows CE 3.0-based devices to access the Windows line of business applications running on a central Windows 2000 Terminal Server.

In addition, the Add-On Pack includes new system analysis tools to provide further assistance to developers in debugging and developing their embedded devices, and additional extensibility software development kits that allow third parties to use an even broader range of tools and technologies within the Platform Builder 3.0 Integrated Development Environment.

Flexibility For A Rapidly Evolving Market

As Microsoft continues to deliver the richest set of building blocks for embedded systems, White stressed that the company also is looking for creative ways to both educate the market about Windows Embedded offerings and learn more about the future needs of the embedded community.

“We want to be out there meeting with people, highlighting our rich and comprehensive products and promoting our partners’ achievements,”
White said.
“This is a relatively new market with unique needs, and Microsoft is deeply invested in making the Windows embedded community successful through rich products and flexible programs that keep pace with those needs.”

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