Microsoft Rolls Out XP Embedded OS

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-10-22

Microsoft Rolls Out XP Embedded OS

LAS VEGAS—Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced the release of its Windows XP embedded operating system with Service Pack 1, meeting its promise to deliver new Windows XP Embedded technologies within 90 days of the client release.

Keith White, senior director of Microsofts Embedded and Appliance Platform group, told a press briefing on Tuesday morning here at the Windows Embedded Developer Conference that this release will continue the rapid development of things like medical devices and set top boxes.

This componentized version of Windows XP SP1 includes a number of new features, such as remote boot, which allows an embedded-based client device to boot remotely using an image downloaded from a server. The new device update agent allows embedded devices deployed in the field to be remotely managed and updated.

The system deployment image manager enables users to quickly deploy runtime images to Windows XP Embedded devices, with support now available in more than 20 languages, including Arabic, Czech, Hebrew and Russian.

New communication protocols and services include IP version 6 and USB 2.0. The evaluation version of Windows XP Embedded with SP1 can be found here.

Also on Tuesday, VIA Technologies Inc. announced that its C3 E-Series processor and VIA Eden Platform are supported in the Windows XP Embedded with Service Pack 1.

Microsoft dropped the price for the Windows CE .Net and Windows XP Embedded tool suites, known as Platform Builder and Target Designer Windows Embedded, from $2,999 to $995, until March 31, 2003, White said.

"Our business model is not predicated on tool sales and our goal is to get these into developers hands as easily and affordably as possible. It is not a move to counter other competitive threats," he said.

In his keynote address here on Tuesday morning, Todd Warren, general manager of Microsofts Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group, told hundreds of attendees that devices are becoming ever smarter and more connected and that going forward that environment will be more accessible and hassle-free.

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The players and their roles are also changing as customers demand and define the experience and environment they want. A convergence of functionality, better tools and more standardization has already led to faster time-to-market, greater efficiencies and more differentiated devices, Warren said.

"Microsofts overall vision is to build platform software that everyone will want to make an integral part of their lives and to make it possible to get those experiences to market and create tools so that rich applications can be built on top of this. Underlying all of this is the power of XML," he said.

The device experience is also expanding through its relationship to the PC, a link that is creating new opportunities for both devices and the PC. "Our role is to develop the software platform for building the next generation 32-bit connected applications and devices," he said.

Attendees were also shown a smart car, manufactured by DaimlerChrysler and primarily sold in Germany, with front- and rear-mounted cameras and an entertainment center that can play DVDs as well as MP3s and the like. Also on show was a smart exercise bike, complete with gaming capabilities in which cyclists can improve their game scores by pedaling faster.

Microsoft is also proud of what it has achieved in the embedded space, Warren said, pointing to the fact that it now has more than 1,600 partners in 55 countries in the embedded space; there are now 17 partners in the Windows Embedded Startup Program; the number of Windows CE .Net drivers had grown 164 percent year-on-year; and 675 third-party Windows Embedded Solutions are now available in its marketplace.

"Also, since the release of Windows CE .Net, more than 107,000 downloads of the Emulation Edition have taken place while more than 1.5 million lines of source code have been released, which will be increased over time. Our focus going forward is to continue to innovate around the platform, and youll see things like the maturing of the file system over time. We are also tremendously committed to componentization at the core," Warren said.

There are a slew of products coming out later this fall and winter, including the Tablet PC, the Media Center PC and Windows-powered smart displays. McKendric, the code-name for the next version of Windows CE .Net, is targeted for release in early 2003.

"We are also already working on Macallan, the code-name for the next major generation of Windows CE .Net that will take advantage of the features and functionality found in the next-generation Longhorn version of Windows," Warren concluded.

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