Microsoft Releases Windows Embedded Standard 2011 CTP

Microsoft announces the release of the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 Community Technology Preview, designed for OEMs and developers wanting to port compartmentalized Windows 7 technologies onto specialized devices. Although Windows Embedded Standard 2011 was originally intended for use with Windows Vista, Microsoft seems to have skipped over that operating system entirely in favor of the upcoming Windows 7.

Microsoft announced Sept. 1 the release of the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 Community Technology Preview to OEMs and developers of specialized devices. Originally code-named Quebec, the product delivers compartmentalized Windows 7 technologies.

The Windows Embedded Standard 2011 CTP is available here. It allows OEMs to utilize only those Windows 7-based components they need for the creation of specialized devices. For example, companies in areas such as industrial production or consumer electronics could use the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 to create a highly specialized platform or application for a handheld. A suite of development tools and embedded-enabling features will supposedly lower development costs.

Although Windows Embedded Standard 2011 was originally intended to rely on the Windows Vista platform, it appears that Microsoft is skipping over that much-maligned operating system right to Windows 7.

"To meet the demand for improved user experiences and connectivity among today's rapidly growing categories of specialized devices, Microsoft has strategically planned the release of Windows 7-based technologies to OEMs in the embedded marketplace," Kevin Dallas, general manger of Microsoft's Windows Embedded Business, said in a statement.

"The availability of the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 CTP empowers our worldwide ecosystem of OEMs, partners and developers to take advantage of the next-generation platform's enhanced Windows-7 based features, and provide feedback prior to its general release to manufacturing," Dallas added.

Microsoft's statement offered no finalized general release date. According to a news release, capabilities and features of Windows Embedded Standard 2011 will include:

  • Enterprise equipped with the ability for organizations to seamlessly extend existing investments in technology management and infrastructure to devices by using Active Directory group policies and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, as well as increased interoperability for client server scenarios with Microsoft Terminal Services and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).
  • Latest Windows technology innovations to enhance user experiences on specialized devices through the security of Internet Explorer 8, enhanced media capabilities of Windows Media Player 12, improved client server with Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) 7.0 and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.
  • Rich, immersive user experiences with 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.
  • The ability to develop 'green' solutions with smart power management APIs for developers to build applications that can improve CPU idle time and reduce power consumption.