Windows CE 6 Arrives with 100 Percent Kernel Source

Microsoft launches the sixth generation of its flagship device software platform, Windows Embedded CE, boasting for the first time 100 percent availability of CE's kernel source code.

Microsoft officially launched the sixth generation of its flagship device software platform Nov. 1. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 boasts kernel architecture enhancements, new software stacks targeting three high-volume device categories, enhanced development tools and, for the first time, 100 percent availability of Windows CEs kernel source code.

Underlining the significance of Windows CE to Microsofts overall business plans, Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie delivered the keynote address at the CE 6.0 launch event, which was streamed over the Web from Microsofts Web site and attended by some 60 media representatives.

Microsoft characterizes Windows CE—released at Version 1.0 10 years ago this month—as an embedded, real-time operating system aimed at a wide variety of application-specific systems and devices, including consumer electronics, industrial automation, and medical and scientific equipment.

Windows CE also forms the core of Windows Mobile, Microsofts embedded OS for smartphones, PDAs, multimedia players and automotive infotainment systems. A future Windows Mobile release, currently code-named Photon and expected within two years, will be built on top of CE 6.0, according to a road map presented by Microsoft at its MEDC developer conference in May.

Todays full release of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 follows the "preview release" of CE 6 at MEDC in May, and introduces several additional new features beyond what was contained in the preview release.

In developing CE 6.0, Microsoft has added various enhancements that aim to make the OS more useful in next-generation devices that require features such as wired and wireless networking, advanced multimedia, access to vast memory resources, and greatly extended multitasking capabilities.

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