Microsoft Corp. used the annual Mobile & Embedded DevCon, to announce the availability of a beta release of Windows CE 6, the next generation of its 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 a redesigned operating system (OS) kernel architecture, expanded capacity for simultaneous processes and newly integrated tool set, Windows CE 6 promises 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 integrated embedded development environment that is now available via a plug-in for Visual Studio 2005. Developers have a single, familiar tool to help them develop both operating systems and applications.
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 intelligent devices that offer advanced multimedia and Web services and wireless networking than before.
The software also reinforces the shared 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.
The beta release of Windows CE 6 is available to device makers, developers and partners at the Microsoft Mobile & Embedded DevCon 2006.