Build Now or Wait for Windows 8?
For partners and enterprises on the fence about whether to build now or wait for Windows 8, Dallas said they should build now. "Intelligent systems are here today," Dallas said in a statement. "They exist all around us. And now you can build amazing intelligent systems today on the Windows Embedded platforms, knowing you'll have a direct path to upgrade and enhance those systems as Windows 8 rolls out."Microsoft is supplying the capability for customers to tap into Big Data. Dallas said the company's Server and Tools unit has created a new service that is part of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. Known as StreamInsight, it enables companies to monitor multiple data streams and analyze the data in real time. Long term, the company envisions businesses having a wide variety of specialized devices that are tied into the cloud as part of a broad intelligent system strategy, allowing them to leverage industry-specific services or data-analysis capabilities that provide greater business insight. Windows Embedded has already made progress through the release last March of Windows Embedded Device Manager. Leveraging the power of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, it gives IT staffs the ability to control intelligent systems that are distributed across the company's IT network. Over the course of the next 18 to 24 months, Microsoft will deliver a series of products and services that accrue to this goal. For example, the company is developing an advanced machine-to-machine (M2M) connection manager, code-named "Pontecchio," to streamline the way devices connect to network services in order to make the data streams more predictable and efficient. In addition, Microsoft is investing in security and identity management technology to ensure the data streams are capable of working seamlessly with on-premises, private and public cloud services. This will help make it easier for IT staffs to maintain the security of a network and its data. "Separate from local analytics, on the back end there is a need for cloud analytics," Dallas said. "So we're working with the Azure team to ensure Windows Azure works with our intelligent systems." Moreover, "If a customer wants to market the data they capture from their intelligent systems, we can provide a market through Azure Data Market," Dallas told eWEEK. "We want to provide a marketplace for data. The revolution that happened around phones and the Internet ... we see the same transformation happening around connected devices and intelligent systems. But it doesn't come together without a strong ecosystem."
Moving forward, enterprises can capture from devices data such as information about end-user collection practices or real-time information for connected cars, Dallas said.