Microsoft says Windows Embedded Standard 7, which manufacturers can use to create specialized devices that run Windows 7-based components, has been released to manufacturing. Manufacturers can use the platform for everything from thin clients to digital signage and industrial controls for the enterprise. Code-named Quebec during its development and Windows Embedded Standard 2011 during its beta release in September 2009, Windows Embedded Standard 7 should be available for download within the next few days.
Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing April 27 of its Windows
Embedded Standard 7, which allows manufacturers to utilize Windows 7-based components
for the creation of specialized devices such as industry-specific handhelds.
The company had originally released a beta of the platform under the name Windows
Embedded Standard 2011
in September 2009.
"With the release of Windows Embedded Standard 7, Microsoft has
furthered its commitment to the integration of Windows 7 technologies in the
specialized consumer and enterprise device markets by providing OEMs with the
latest innovative technologies," Kevin Dallas, Microsoft's general manager
of the Windows Embedded Business Unit, said in an April 27 statement. "The
addition of the Windows Media
Center feature in Windows Embedded
Standard 7 is driving the set-top box, connected media device and TV markets by
providing OEMs with opportunities to develop uniquely branded experiences and
service providers with capabilities to explore additional revenue streams with
unique content through a centralized media hub in the home."
In addition to televisions, STBs (set-top boxes) and CMDs
(connected media devices), Microsoft intends for Windows Embedded Standard 7 to
be used in thin clients, digital signage and industrial controls for the
enterprise. A few companies, including Hewlett-Packard, YCD Multimedia and DT
Research, have already begun issuing devices built on the platform.
"Through Windows Embedded, we provide high-performance and reliable
platforms that help OEMs deliver specialized devices with rich user experiences
and seamless connections to the world of Windows," Steve Guggenheimer,
corporate vice president of Microsoft's OEM division, wrote in an April 26 post
Official Microsoft Blog.
embedded technologies fill the gap between phones and PCs for a world of
specialized commercial devices, such as thin clients and industrial
controllers, as well as consumer Internet devices (CIDs) and other emerging
categories for consumers."
Guggenheimer added, "This dynamic market is expected to reach more than
16 billion embedded devices this year and exceed 40 billion by 2020, according
to Artemis Embedded Computing Initiative."
Originally code-named Quebec during its development, Windows Embedded
Standard 7-back when it was still Windows Embedded Standard 2011-was originally
supposed to rely on the Windows Vista platform, at least until executives
decided to shift the company's ecosystem to Windows 7. The platform's features
include support for 64-bit CPUs, Windows Aero user interface, Windows
Presentation Foundation, Windows Touch (multigesture touch interfaces and
context-aware applications) and Windows Flip 3D navigation.
Windows Embedded Standard 7 will be available for download at an
as-yet-unannounced point within next few days; an e-mail alert for
its release can be signed up for here.