Windows Embedded Compact Integration with Visual Studio 2013 Announced
The update is supposed to be out this spring.
Windows Embedded Compact 2013 has been available since June of last year. As the name implies, it's for writing embedded systems software like point-of-sale machines, RFID scanners and consumer electronics devices. A version of the platform is available for Visual Studio through Visual Studio 2012, but developers on the latest version, Visual Studio 2013, haven't had an iteration of Windows Embedded Compact that works with it. That will soon change.
Microsoft announced on an MSDN blog that "this spring" will see an update to Windows Embedded Compact that works with Visual Studio 2013. The integration happens "through an updated platform builder and application builder, an in-box iMX6 SABRE lite BSP, and an in-box Wi-Fi device driver for TI SDP44xx," the blog, written by Senior Product Manager Partha Srinivasan, states.
The integration allows developers to work on Windows Embedded Compact projects within the confines of an IDE they're comfortable with, including familiar tools, Expression Blend for UI design and the enhancements that come with Visual Studio 2013.
Windows Embedded Compact has been known in the past as "Windows Embedded CE" or just "Windows CE". It's not a "lite" version of desktop Windows; rather, it's a separate operating system with its own kernel. Its original release was in 1996. It currently supports x86, ARM (32-bit) and MIPS platforms, and is licensed under the standard Microsoft End User License Agreement.
No date was set for the release of Windows Embedded Compact 2013 beyond the "spring" reference. Windows Embedded Compact 2013 will be free, as are all versions.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.