NEW ORLEANS, May 6, 2003 — Today at the 12th annual Windows® Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC), Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft Corp., announced new low pricing and updated packaging for Microsoft®
Windows CE .NET version 4.2. Windows CE .NET combines the most advanced, real-time operating system with powerful tools for rapidly creating the next generation of
connected and small-footprint devices. Gates introduced a new low-cost license, Windows CE .NET 4.2 Core, with an estimated retail price (ERP) of $3 (U.S.). This new low-cost offering enables device manufacturers to utilize the rich capabilities of Windows CE .NET 4.2 across the breadth of their products, including their low-cost commercial and consumer devices. In addition, Microsoft announced a new free, noncommercial distribution license for Windows CE .NET 4.2, which helps embedded partners, developers and device manufacturers share device images based on Windows CE for free or noncommercial devices, leading to greater innovation and cooperation throughout the development community.
“Smart, connected devices are playing an increasingly significant role in everyday life and are a key part of our Digital Decade vision,”
“Our new low-cost Windows CE .NET 4.2 Core license is a rich platform that enables manufacturers and developers to quickly utilize Windows CE across a broad range of these devices, and our free noncommercial license and tools will help foster innovation.”
“The features and capabilities of Windows CE .NET 4.2 — providing real-time technologies, networking, video and audio codecs, graphics, and remote desktop support — enable us to standardize our development process and to quickly deliver today’s rich multimedia products while providing a flexible base for the RCA Scenium and RCA entertainment products of tomorrow,”
said Eric Meurice, executive vice president of Worldwide TV at Thomson SA.
“The Microsoft commercial model provides customers such as Thomson with accountability for the quality, support and ongoing enhancement of core software products.”
“Siemens Automation and Drives Group (A & D) uses Windows CE .NET to build industrial automation devices,”
said Dr. Rainer Besold, head of the Automation and Drives Division (A & D) at Siemens.
“With the new Windows CE .NET 4.2 Core operating system, we will have the next step of the standardized platform that will enable us to extend our applications to even smaller, low-cost devices.”
“Windows CE .NET 4.2 will provide cost savings for NEC Infrontia by enabling us to scale our development over a range of devices for our handy terminals for vertical market and next-generation IP phone systems,”
said Eiichi Kumagai, associate senior vice president and general manager of the Second Operations Unit of NEC Infrontia Corp.
“The new low-price license will help reduce costs overall and provide NEC Infrontia with rich technologies to deliver a series of handy terminal devices for vertical market and VoIP solutions, with the assurance of quality, support and ongoing enhancement of the operating system.”
Pricing and Packaging
The new pricing and packaging of Windows CE .NET 4.2 gives device manufacturers enhanced levels of flexibility in utilizing the rich features of Windows CE .NET 4.2 across the breadth of their product lines, while helping reduce development and licensing costs. The new Windows CE .NET 4.2 Core license has an ERP of $3 (U.S.) and provides a hard real-time operating system kernel with robust file system, extensive networking and communications technologies, rich multimedia capabilities, and a powerful application development platform. The new Windows CE .NET 4.2 Core license is ideal for low-cost devices such as gateways, entry-level VoIP phones, industrial automation equipment and consumer electronic devices such as CD players, digital cameras and networked DVD players.
Microsoft provides additional value-added components via the Windows CE. NET 4.2 Professional license, which includes software and services such as Windows Messenger, WordPad, the Remote Desktop Protocol and Internet Explorer 6. The Windows CE. NET 4.2 Professional license is ideal for devices that require the richest user interface, multimedia and browsing capabilities, including set-top boxes, advanced VoIP devices, mobile handhelds and digital media players. Viewers for the most popular Office documents, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint®
; as well as PDF and image viewers also are available for an additional cost.
“The world of intelligent devices is growing in richness and diversity every day, branching out into numerous categories of home entertainment, industrial automation, consumer electronics and more. In fact, over 80 percent of 32-bit processors are now going into embedded applications, and that percentage will increase over time,”
said Bob O’Donnell, director of personal technology at IDC.
“Device vendors need sophisticated, media-savvy operating systems in order to help build these new-generation devices. By having a low-cost offering coupled with low-cost, widely used development tools, device vendors can bring new levels of capabilities at price points that were not previously attainable.”
Free Noncommercial License and Tools
The new noncommercial distribution license for early development included in the free Windows CE .NET 4.2 Emulation Edition and Evaluation Kit enables embedded developers and device manufacturers to prototype and freely distribute Windows CE .NET images for noncommercial purposes, fostering innovation and collaboration in the community.
The free downloadable Windows CE .NET 4.2 Emulation Edition enables developers to build and test their Windows CE .NET-based designs without requiring the target hardware. The free Windows CE .NET 4.2 Evaluation Kit allows developers to quickly start their evaluation of Windows CE .NET with the full Platform Builder tool and complete operating system components. Microsoft also now provides more than 2 million lines of source code under the Shared Source Program for Windows CE, allowing developers to view and modify the source code for noncommercial purposes. Noncommercial use is when no compensation is received for a device image or a product using that image.
The flexibility offered by these enhancements supports collaborative and iterative device development, which often requires partnering with numerous companies and testing of prototype and sample units. For the broader community, including academics, researchers and hobbyists, these enhancements promote innovation by providing easy and free access to the operating system, tools and redistribution licenses.
Long-Term Support and Enhancement
The Windows CE platform provides embedded device manufacturers with the benefits of the commercial software model, including more than 10 years of Microsoft investment in Windows CE technologies, a clear long-term road map for future versions, and a commitment to 24x7x365 professional support services for up to seven years on Windows CE .NET. The commercial model gives customers a single point of accountability for the quality, support and ongoing enhancement of software products they license for their use, which is critical for embedded devices with extended life cycles.
Windows CE .NET 4.2 licenses and tools will be available through Microsoft Windows Embedded Distributors starting June 1, 2003. The full version of the development tools, Platform Builder for Windows CE .NET 4.2, is available for an ERP of $995 (U.S.). The Emulation Edition is available for free via download from the Microsoft Download Center, and the free 120-day Evaluation Kit can be ordered from the Windows Embedded Web site (shipping and handling charges will apply). More information about evaluating and acquiring Windows CE .NET 4.2 can be found at the Windows Embedded Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/ce.net/ .
About the Microsoft Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group
Microsoft Windows Embedded operating systems and tools provide comprehensive software platforms for building the next generation of intelligent, 32-bit connected Windows Powered devices that demand rich applications and Internet services for a wide range of flexible solutions. 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. The Windows Embedded operating systems currently include Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded. The Server Appliance Kit for Windows 2000 helps OEMs build Windows Powered server appliances, including Network Attached Storage and Web servers. Windows CE was honored at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show for innovations in the category of Software/Embedded Technologies. The Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group also delivers the Windows CE for Smart Displays software technology that powers a wide range of Smart Displays to extend the Windows XP experience to any room in the home. Currently in development is
which is the code name for a new device platform for powering the next generation of portable media player devices that enable consumers to enjoy their videos, music and pictures on the go.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
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