REDMOND, Wash., July 30, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the latest update to Windows® CE .NET, version 4.1, a robust, real-time embedded operating system for building the next generation of mobile and small-footprint devices. The update enhances Windows CE .NET with new features such as IPv6, the latest networking technology; Speech API (SAPI) 5.0; support for viewing popular file formats including Microsoft® Word, PowerPoint®
, Excel and Adobe Acrobat; and performance improvements to Web browsing, remote display protocol (RDP) and Windows Media (TM) Technologies. Hitachi Ltd., NEC Infrontia Corp., Samsung Information Systems America and ViewSonic Corp., as well as many other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), are developing devices based on the update to Windows CE .NET as part of the Joint Development Program. Microsoft also highlighted its collaboration with Lancaster University in Lancaster, England, which has resulted in Lancaster’s use of Windows CE .NET source code in its curriculum and development of the new IPv6 implementation released today.
“Windows CE .NET continues to be the platform of choice for building ‘smart,’ connected mobile devices that require rich applications and services. This update underscores our commitment to quickly deliver the latest technologies to our Windows Embedded customers,”
said Todd Warren, general manager of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft.
“We’re excited to see strong momentum in the embedded marketplace with rapid adoption by top OEM customers of Windows CE .NET, with many customers cutting their development time in half. Moreover, our collaboration with Lancaster University is a great example of growing interest in Windows Embedded platforms within the academic community.”
The strong momentum of Windows CE .NET is demonstrated by the more than 125,000 downloads of the Emulation Edition and shared source code. In delivering this update, Microsoft is responding to customer demand to have specific functionality made available before the next major release of the Windows CE platform. New operating system, toolset and performance enhancements delivered today include the following:
Operating System Enhancements
Support for IPv6. OEMs can support this standards-based Internet protocol in Windows CE .NET-based devices. IPv6 increases the address space from 32 bits to 128 bits, providing a virtually unlimited number of networks and systems. IPv6 also supports quality of service parameters for real-time audio and video streaming.
File viewers. Users can view popular document types including Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel and Adobe Acrobat, as well as formats such as GIF, BMP and JPG.
Speech API. Windows CE .NET includes the Microsoft Speech API, which application developers can use to create speech-enabled applications. SAPI 5.0 also makes it easier for independent software vendors to offer speech engines that can work with many speech-enabled applications without having to rewrite the engine code to support each one. Similarly, application vendors gain the flexibility to link their software to any compatible engine.
Updated .NET Compact Framework beta. The .NET Compact Framework is the smart device development platform for the Microsoft .NET initiative. The .NET Compact Framework brings the world of managed code and XML Web services to smart devices and is part of Microsoft’s goal of providing customers with great experiences — any time, any place and on any device.
Platform Builder Tool Set Enhancements
Improved device emulator. Updated technology supports emulation of inbound connections, enabling testing of devices such as set-top boxes and residential gateways.
Additional shared source code. Source code for new components, including the Windows CE Test Kit technology, is now available. Windows CE Test Kit is a component developers can use to automate the testing and troubleshooting of devices. The source code for the Windows CE Test Kit is being released in response to developer demand.
Improved source code browsing. Source code browsing allows the integrated development environment to display the location of the source code supporting a feature, as well as the code itself. This makes it easier to understand which source code sections contribute to a particular operating system feature, thus speeding up the customization of targeted devices.
Web browsing. The performance of Microsoft Internet Explorer in Windows CE .NET devices has been improved by 15 percent since Windows CE .NET was launched in January 2002 and by 60 percent over the performance of Internet Explorer in Windows CE 3.0.
Remote display protocol. The performance of thin clients built using RDP has been improved by 20 percent since Windows CE .NET launched.
Windows Media. The performance of Windows Media video playback has been improved by 20 percent since Windows CE .NET launched.
Joint Development Program
Building on the success of the Joint Development Program, Hitachi, NEC, Samsung and ViewSonic have been working with the Windows CE .NET update and already are in the planning and development stages for devices that will be based on Windows CE .NET.
“The ability to accept rich content and broadband services is a key design goal for Hitachi’s mobile devices,” said Shigeru Matsuoka, general manager of the Mobile Information and Communication Appliance Division at Hitachi.
“Windows CE .NET allows us to accomplish these goals with its great performance and rich interoperability, and allows us to prepare for the future with support for IPv6, voiceover IP and .NET Compact Framework.”
“We selected Windows CE .NET as the best platform for our upcoming wireless communication handheld device because of its broad support for wireless connectivity, rich application support and small footprint,”
said Eiichi Kumagai, associate senior vice president for NEC Infrontia.
Collaboration With Lancaster University
As part of the Windows Embedded Academic Program, Microsoft gave Lancaster University researchers access to Windows CE .NET source code to share ideas and collaborate on projects. The result is the successful implementation of IPv6 into Windows CE .NET. This collaboration originated from the desire among Lancaster’s senior academics to develop an alternative research platform to Linux- and UNIX-based operating systems.
“IPv6 is a key technology that will come into regular use over the next five to 10 years, as more devices become connected and as extended IP address support becomes a key requirement for Internet clients,”
said Andrew Scott, senior lecturer at Lancaster University.
“Working with Windows CE .NET provides us with a far richer platform and set of applications than working with just UNIX, and allows us to carry out far more realistic experiments, particularly in the area of mobile devices.”
Lancaster University was honored yesterday by Microsoft with the Microsoft Windows Embedded Academic Excellence Award for its invaluable development contributions to the Windows CE .NET platform.
The update is available immediately from authorized Windows Embedded distributor partners. Windows CE .NET availability and licensing information can be found online at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/ce.net/ . This update to the Windows CE .NET operating system includes language support for Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), English, French, German, Japanese and Korean.
About the Microsoft Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group
The Microsoft Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group (EAPG) delivers the Windows Embedded operating systems and tools, which are comprehensive software platforms for building the next generation of intelligent, 32-bit connected Windows Powered devices that demand rich applications and Internet services. In addition, Microsoft offers a wide range of programs and services designed to meet the specific needs of Windows Embedded customers, industry partners and developers. Windows Embedded operating systems currently shipping include Windows CE .NET and Windows XP Embedded, as well as the Server Appliance Kit for Windows 2000. The EAPG is also working on a new device category, Windows Powered Smart Displays, which will be available for the 2002 holiday season and will extend the Windows XP experience throughout the home.
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