On June 17. 2010 Microsoft announced their roadmap for the new and improved Microsoft Windows Embedded platform, suited for LOB (Line of Business) type of devices and applications.
One of the major changes from the earlier versions from a developer perspective is the upgrade from the Windows CE 5.x kernel to the 6.0 kernel, which now can handle more than 32,000 simultaneous processes. A huge improvement from the 32 processes the previous 5.x could handle. Each of the 32,000 processes has a upper limit of 2GB of virtual memory space, in 5.x you had 32MB…. Windows Embedded 7 will also support touch, gestures and Silverlight, something that improve the UI and UX capabilities immensely.
he full set of features for Windows Embedded can be found here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsembedded/ce/dd630616.aspx and “What’s new in CE 6.0″ can be found here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa924105.aspx
Windows Embedded will come in 6 base flavors and below is a short description of each copied from http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/products/default.mspx.
This page can also be helpful in choosing the right version for your device and/or needs.
Downloads of evaluation versions are available. The final product is scheduled for release in the 2. half of 2010.
optimized for small devices with limited memory and processing resources, for mobile devices that require power management capabilities, next-generation devices that require rich networking and communications standards, or for real-time devices that require deterministic responses to interrupts. Examples include portable navigation and communications devices.
Embedded Standard 7
Delivers the power, familiarity, and reliability of the Windows 7 operating system in a componentized form for developers to create advanced commercial and consumer devices. Windows Embedded Standard 7 is used in devices such as thin clients and multi-function printers, offers support for all the PC architecture processor families, and is compatible with thousands of certified, production-quality, off-the-shelf applications, drivers, and services.
Your choice when footprint size is not an issue, developers use Windows for Embedded Enterprise for its visual and differentiated user interfaces, connectivity, and reliability in building kiosks, ATM systems, kiosks, complex industrial automation controllers, complex medical devices, and gaming machines.
Windows Embedded POSReady
Flexible OS optimized for the retail industry, with built-in networking capabilities and standards-based plug-and-play support. POSReady supports connectivity between the enterprise, peripherals, and POS devices including self-checkout systems, kiosks, cash registers, fuel pumps, and digital signage.
Provides OEMs with powerful, innovative technologies to help them quickly bring to market smart, connected, service-oriented handheld portable navigation devices that can easily connect to online services, Bluetooth capable mobile phones, Windows-based PCs, and the Internet.
Fully functional versions of Microsoft’s server OS intended for use in embedded solutions consisting of purpose-built hardware and application software. These products allow OEMs to build and deploy dedicated server appliances with smaller footprints, robust networking and support for large storage, aiding in the rapid setup and remote management capabilities of embedded devices.
ZDNet also has an article about “Demystifying Microsoft’s mobile operating system roadmap” that is worth reading.