Microsoft has released a technical preview of Windows Embedded Standard 2011, the next version of its platform for embedded applications and the first to be based on the Windows 7 code.
Formerly codenamed Quebec, Windows Embedded Standard 2011 is now available as a community technology preview (CTP) for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) developing next-generation devices, the company said. It can be downloaded from the Microsoft Connect web site.
"The availability of the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 CTP empowers our worldwide ecosystem of OEMs, partners and developers to take advantage of the next-generation platform’s enhanced Windows 7-based features and provide feedback prior to its general release to manufacturing," said Microsoft's Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business.
However, release to manufacturing, whereby the platform is code complete, is not expected until sometime in the second half of 2010.
Existing versions of Windows Embedded are widely used in equipment such as thin client terminals, network appliances, bank ATMs and kiosks.
Like existing versions, the new release is a more modular build of the standard Windows code that allows developers more freedom to customise it to meet their requirements.
Windows Embedded Standard 2011 delivers the latest Windows 7 technologies, including Internet Explorer 8 and Windows Media Player 12, improved thin client access with Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 7.0, plus the .Net Framework 3.5.
It also includes support for 64bit processors and Microsoft's gesture-based Windows Touch user interface alongside the Aero user interface and Windows Presentation Foundation.
Microsoft said an updated Windows Embedded road map will be disclosed as part of the company’s keynote presentation at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston later this month.
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