Microsoft Announces Worldwide Availability of Sixth Generation Windows Embedded CE 6.0

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 1, 2006 — Today, Craig Mundie, Microsoft Corp. chief research and strategy officer, announced the availability of Windows® Embedded CE 6.0, the latest version of the company’s industry-leading software toolkit used to build real-time operating systems for devices such as Internet protocol (IP) set-top-boxes, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), wireless projectors, and a variety of industrial automation, consumer electronics and medical devices.

In conjunction with the 10-year anniversary of Windows Embedded, 100 percent of the Windows Embedded CE 6.0 kernel is now available through the Microsoft® Shared Source program, an overall increase of 56 percent from previous versions of Windows Embedded CE. The Shared Source program provides full source-code access for modification and redistribution by device-makers (subject to the terms of a license agreement), who are under no obligation to share their final designs with Microsoft or others. Although the Windows operating system is a general-purpose computing platform designed for creating a consistent experience, Windows Embedded CE 6.0 is a tool kit device-makers use for building customized operating system images for a variety of non-desktop devices. By providing access to certain parts of the Windows Embedded CE source code, such as the file system, device drivers and other core components, embedded developers are able to choose the code they need, compile it, and build their own, unique operating systems, quickly bringing their devices to market.

Visual Studio® 2005 Professional Edition is also shipping as part of Windows Embedded CE 6.0. This marks another first for Microsoft; Platform Builder, an embedded-specific integrated development environment, will now be included as a powerful plug-in for Visual Studio 2005 Professional. This brings the entire development chain together in one, easy-to-use tool, from device to applications, shrinking time to market for device development.

“Windows Embedded CE has not only defined a generation of small-footprint device development, but is the foundation for much of Microsoft’s non-desktop strategy,” Mundie said in a live webcast to thousands of developers worldwide today. “Over the next 10 years, Windows Embedded CE will continue to focus on creating new industry and design opportunities for device-makers and partners, while giving them the tools and technologies they need to create smarter, more connected scenarios.”

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 boasts a re-engineered kernel with capabilities such as a capacity for 32,000 simultaneous processes and 2 GB of virtual memory address space per process while maintaining the software’s real-time capabilities. This enables developers to incorporate larger numbers of robust applications into more intelligent, complex devices used on the road, at work and or in the home:

  • On the road. With the introduction of new cell core data and voice components, Windows Embedded CE 6.0 will enable devices to establish data connections and voice calls over cellular networks, enabling the development of connections for machine-to-machine communication scenarios to build devices such as parking meters, vending machines and GPS devices.

  • At work. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 includes components designed to easily build projectors that use the built-in capability of Windows Vista™ to wirelessly access the desktop experience.

  • In the home. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 takes advantage of multimedia capabilities to allow the development of networked media devices, digital video recorders and IP set-top boxes.

“Embedded devices are everywhere, and, as the number and variety of connected devices with embedded intelligence continues to grow, so does market demand for cost-effective, scalable, real-time operating systems that can support complex applications,” said Daya Nadamuni, research vice president at Gartner Inc. “Vendors that break down barriers to development by offering advanced tools and community support to device-makers and developers stand to benefit from this growth. Further, as developers are able to view source code, they can debug devices more quickly and ultimately get unique devices to market faster.”

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 is launching with worldwide support from device-makers, many of which will bring new Windows Embedded CE 6.0-based devices to market this quarter. These companies include Taiwan-based Unitech; Netherlands-based Commodore International Corp.; Taiwan-based Advantech Co. Ltd.; and U.S.-based Applied Data Systems Inc., General Software Inc., Intelligent Instrumentation Inc., MICROS Systems Inc. and Wyse Technology. Systems integrators around the globe have also been involved in the testing and integration of key Windows Embedded CE 6.0 technologies, including France-based Adeneo Adetel Group; Germany-based 3SOFT GmbH and CDR Consulting; U.K.-based Pace Micro Technology Ltd.; and U.S.-based Atheros Communications Inc. and BSQUARE Corp. Chip-makers include Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors, Taiwan-based VIA Technologies Inc., U.K.-based ARM and U.S.-based Intel Corporation.

“An industry-leading platform for creating small-footprint connected devices, Windows Embedded CE has been a strategic element in our customers’ device road maps for years, and we’re already seeing strong demand for Windows Embedded CE 6.0,” said Dr. Stephen Oh, vice president of Application Processor Development, Samsung Electronics’ System LSI Division.

“The Samsung Windows CE 6.0 BSP will include support for our ARM9- and ARM11-based application processor series, allowing for streamlined development and, ultimately, faster time to market for consumer electronics devices like portable navigation devices, media players, remote monitoring equipment, IP phones and gaming devices.”

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 uses a volume-based royalty licensing model; so device-makers can evaluate the entire product for 180 days, and purchase runtime licenses only when their devices start shipping. Microsoft provides the assurance of intellectual property (IP) indemnification (subject to the terms of a license agreement) and a 10-year product Support Lifecycle, helping ensure the integrity of its offerings so device-makers can rest assured that they have the support and protection for success.

A free 180-day trial of the complete Windows Embedded CE 6.0 is available for download.

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

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