Microsoft Adds APIs to Win Embedded CE

Component-rich upgrade for Windows Embedded CE 6.0 released.

Microsoft has updated its Windows Embedded CE platform with a release that will let developers build new devices that take advantage of some of the APIs and Web services interfaces available on Windows Vista and the company's forthcoming Windows Server 2008.

Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 brings five new functional improvements to the componentized operating system platform: support for all Web services available on Vista and Windows Server 2008; support for video telephony; improvements to Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player OCX7, which the company says will render Web content much faster; a new pluggable font engine; and auto-detection of thin-client services available with Windows Server 2008.

Microsoft launched the new release at last month's Embedded Technology 2007 conference in Yokohama, Japan. The update comes exactly one year after the debut of Windows Embedded CE 6.0. With that release, Microsoft added 600 components developers can work with, says Dan Javnozon, Microsoft's senior product manager for Windows Embedded. With the R2 release, Microsoft is adding a few dozen more, Javnozon says.

With support for the Web Services on Devices API, developers building devices can include them on a network. For corporate developers, this could enable adding functionality to medical equipment in hospitals that not only would gain connectivity but support for video, for example.

"This is a networking component that enables devices to connect to Windows Vista, like they were connected directly to them but over the network," Javnozon says of the Web Services API.

Likewise, support for the latest Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 might mean incorporating special-purpose functionality into thin-client terminal devices from the likes of Hewlett-Packard Co. and Wyse Technology, Javnozon says.

The software is only sold to OEM hardware suppliers who build fixed-function devices, including telephones, navigation systems, medical systems, home automation systems, ATM machines and any hardware that has a processor.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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