Windows CE 5.0 will offer expanded source licensing, enabling licensees to ship products commercially built from their modifications of the shared source code.
Licensees will maintain ownership of their derivative code and will not be obligated to share modifications with Microsoft, partners or competitors. In addition to expanding the Windows CE Shared Source distribution to more than 2.5 million lines of code, Windows CE 5.0 will also include networking performance improvements that dramatically increase data processing speeds, more than 60 production-quality drivers that increase developer productivity, technology to remotely monitor device performance, and Direct3D Mobile to enable high-intensity gaming applications. Windows CE 5.0, also known as "Macallan", is scheduled to be released to manufacturing 9 July 2004.
As part of the Windows CE Shared Source Program, which is under the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative, device makers have significant access to Windows CE source code, including transparency to the operating system kernel, graphical user interfaces, file system, device drivers, Web server and much more. To date, more than 250,000 members of the embedded developer community have downloaded Windows CE Shared Source code. Run-time licenses must be acquired before shipping derivative works commercially; however, the Shared Source code may be downloaded free of charge as part of the Windows CE 5.0 evaluation edition before purchasing a license.
As part of Microsoft's Shared Success model, device makers are given flexible licensing options and pay no run-time fees until their products are actually shipping to customers. The company says that this flexible licensing, combined with an unified toolkit ($995 estimated retail price), and the option to download a complete version for a 120-day trial, eliminate many of the barriers to entry found in traditional embedded development.