Microsoft has signed a series of deals which it hopes will establish its Windows CE .Net version 4.2 operating system as a major platform in the emerging IP-based set-top box market.
The software giant said that silicon vendors ATI Technologies, National Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics and VIA Technologies, together with set-top box software vendors iMagicTV and Stellar One, will build products around the latest version of Windows CE.
Microsoft said that set-top box manufacturers CosTron, HUMAX, NEC and Tcom&DTVro are currently building boxes powered by Windows CE .Net.
Due for release in the second quarter of 2003, Microsoft confirmed that version 4.2 will include Windows Media 9 and Internet Explorer 6.0.
Keith White, senior director of marketing at the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft, said in a statement: "IP-based set-top boxes are emerging as a key delivery platform for multiple service operators eager to offer TV and interactive content services to homes around the globe.
"Windows CE .Net 4.2 delivers a robust real-time operating system platform to enable the delivery of high-quality video services and web capabilities."
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