Microsoft has released a second Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Embedded Standard 8, an upcoming version of Windows 8 targeting devices and appliances such as thin clients, kiosks, ATMs and point-of-sale-terminals.
Announced at Computex in Taipei, Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP2 will enable Microsoft's vendor partners to evaluate how Windows 8 technologies such as the Metro user interface can help them deliver more capable, connected devices, according to the firm.
Dubbed Intelligent Systems by Microsoft, this approach is designed to link endpoint devices with back-end services, especially those based in cloud computing infrastructure such as Windows Azure, to collect and analyse information to drive better business decisions.
"The big benefit for organisations is that now you can create devices with the confidence that they are able to leverage the powerful enterprise and IT pro tools offered by Microsoft. This is the foundation for building intelligent systems, and it's available today," said Windows Embedded general manager Kevin Dallas.
CTP2 introduces additional capabilities and performance enhancements to help partners extend their design efforts, including device configuration with lockdown and support for technologies such as mobile broadband to help devices stay connected, Microsoft said.
The move follows the first Community Technology Preview, released in March.
Windows Embedded Standard 8 is just part of Microsoft's roadmap for embedded platforms, collectively known as Windows Embedded v.next.
Windows Embedded Enterprise, essentially just a re-packaged version of the full Windows 8, will be the first available and set to ship one quarter after the availability of Windows 8 itself.
Windows Embedded Standard 8 is a more modular, customised version of the platform and is set to be available three quarters after Windows 8 is generally available for PCs.
A third version based on the Windows CE kernel, Windows Embedded Compact, is set to be available later in 2012.
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