Microsoft Previews Windows CE 6 Operating System

LAS VEGAS — May 8, 2006 — In a packed hall of developers and industry partners at Microsoft Corp.’s annual Mobile & Embedded DevCon, the company announced the availability of a beta release of Windows® CE 6, the next generation of its industry-leading, real-time software used to build customized operating systems for devices such as Internet Protocol (IP) set-top-boxes, Global Positioning System (GPS)-based devices, and industrial automation and medical devices. With the redesigned operating system (OS) kernel architecture, expanded capacity for simultaneous processes and a newly integrated tool set, Windows CE 6 will help device makers more quickly create devices that support a range of applications for high-demand categories.

“Together with our partners, we’re excited to celebrate the 10-year milestone of Windows CE by offering a new version of our software that will fuel the future of smart connected devices around the world,” said Suzan DelBene, corporate vice president of the Mobile & Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. “Once again, we’ve improved the technologies and tools we provide to developers to speed time to market and help to differentiate their products and services.”

Windows CE 6 delivers an even more integrated embedded development environment that is now available via a plug-in for Visual Studio® 2005. Now developers have a single, familiar tool to help them quickly develop both operating systems and applications, helping enable them to improve time to market and reduce development costs. With Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft is opening the floodgates for over 7 million Visual Studio developers worldwide to use their existing tools and skills to create innovative, differentiated embedded devices.

“With Windows CE 6, not only do we now have a single unified tool that allows us to develop software for embedded operating systems and applications, we have a more powerful and flexible kernel that serves as a platform for next-generation device requirements,” said Chris Tacke, Windows Embedded Most Valuable Professional, and principal partner at OpenNETCF Consulting LLC. “These two features alone allow developers to build and debug the entire device solution quickly and easily, and all without having to learn two tool sets. This is a powerful tool in improving developer productivity and helping to decrease product time to market.”

The redesigned operating system kernel architecture supports significantly more simultaneously running processes, from 32 up to 32,000 simultaneous processes, each of which run in a 2GB virtual memory address space. This allows developers to incorporate larger numbers of more complex applications into more intelligent devices that offer advanced multimedia and Web services and wireless networking than before. Windows CE 6 provides continuity of features and functionality from previous generations of Windows CE, allowing device makers to utilize their previous investments in user interfaces, applications, middleware and drivers.

Windows CE 6 reinforces the shared success model and builds on Microsoft’s Shared Source Initiative, offering developers extensive access to millions of lines of Windows CE source code. Developers and device makers have the right to modify and distribute custom components with their Windows CE-based products. The shared source code license also includes a flexible template that lets device makers create unique, customized user interfaces to further differentiate their devices.*

“Intel and Microsoft have a long history of working together to improve the performance and flexibility of devices based on Intel XScale technology and Windows CE,” said Barry Evans, general manager of Intel Corporation’s Applications Processor Business Unit. “We continue that collaboration with Intel’s third-generation Intel XScale technology-based processor family, code-named ‘Monahans,’ and Windows CE 6.”

The beta release of Windows CE 6 is available to device makers, developers and partners at the Microsoft® Mobile & Embedded DevCon 2006. More information about Windows CE 6 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsce.

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Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Subject to the Shared Source License terms.

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