Ok, I admit that this release is pretty much developer focused and most of us will never come in touch with Windows CE as it is but since Windows CE is the underlying core of our Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Smartphone devices, this is an important announcement since it shows the possible way, Windows Mobile might goes. Please note, that this is not the announcement of a new Windows Mobile OS-version but again, Windows CE is the core operating system of Windows Mobile.
In a packed hall of developers and industry partners at Microsoft Corp.'s annual Mobile & Embedded DevCon, Microsoft announced the availability of a beta release of Windows CE 6, the next generation of its industry-leading, real-time software used to build customized operating systems for devices such as Internet Protocol (IP) set-top-boxes, Global Positioning System (GPS)-based devices and industrial automation and medical devices.
With the redesigned operating system (OS) kernel architecture, expanded capacity for simultaneous processes and a newly integrated tool set, Windows CE 6 will help device makers more quickly create devices that support a range of applications for high-demand categories.
"Together with our partners, we're excited to celebrate the 10-year
milestone of Windows CE by offering a new version of our software that will
fuel the future of smart connected devices around the world," said Suzan
DelBene, corporate vice president of the Mobile & Embedded Devices Division
at Microsoft Corp. "Once again, we've improved the technologies and tools we
provide to developers to speed time to market and help to differentiate
their products and services."
Windows CE 6 delivers an even more integrated embedded development
environment that is now available via a plug-in for Visual Studio 2005. Now
developers have a single, familiar tool to help them quickly develop both
operating systems and applications, helping enable them to improve time to
market and reduce development costs. With Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft is
opening the floodgates for over 7 million Visual Studio developers worldwide to
use their existing tools and skills to create innovative, differentiated
"With Windows CE 6, not only do we now have a single unified tool that
allows us to develop software for embedded operating systems and
applications, we have a more powerful and flexible kernel that serves as a
platform for next-generation device requirements," said Chris Tacke, Windows
Embedded Most Valuable Professional, and principal partner at OpenNETCF
Consulting LLC. "These two features alone allow developers to build and
debug the entire device solution quickly and easily, and all without having
to learn two tool sets. This is a powerful tool in improving developer
productivity and helping to decrease product time to market."
The redesigned operating system kernel architecture supports significantly
more simultaneously running processes, from 32 up to 32,000 simultaneous
processes, each of which run in a 2GB virtual memory address space. This allows
developers to incorporate larger numbers of more complex applications into more
intelligent devices that offer advanced multimedia and Web services and wireless
networking than before. Windows CE 6 provides continuity of features and
functionality from previous generations of Windows CE, allowing device makers to
utilize their previous investments in user interfaces, applications, middleware
Windows CE 6 reinforces the shared success model and builds on
Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative, offering developers extensive access to
millions of lines of Windows CE source code. Developers and device makers have
the right to modify and distribute custom components with their Windows CE-based
products. The shared source code license also includes a flexible template that
lets device makers create unique, customized user interfaces to further
differentiate their devices.
"Intel and Microsoft have a long history of working together to improve
the performance and flexibility of devices based on Intel XScale technology
and Windows CE," said Barry Evans, general manager of Intel Corporation's
Applications Processor Business Unit. "We continue that collaboration with
Intel's third-generation Intel XScale technology-based processor family,
and Windows CE 6."
The beta release of Windows CE 6 is available to device makers, developers
and partners at the Microsoft Mobile & Embedded DevCon 2006. More information
about Windows CE 6 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsce.
Cheers ~ Arne