Microsoft has announced the official release of their ARM-based embedded OS, Windows Embedded Compact 7, probably better known as Windows CE 7. Windows CE7 will be the core of Windows Phone 7 (or 8), the current version running a combination of Windows CE 6 and 7 to ensure the product reached market on time.
Windows Embedded Compact is a componentized, real-time operating system used to create a wide range of small footprint enterprise and consumer devices.
New features in Windows Embedded Compact 7
Silverlight for Windows Embedded
The power of Silverlight gives developers and UI designers the tools to rapidly create declarative, multi-touch user interfaces that are powered by the speed of native code. Separation of the UI from the business logic makes it easy to iterate on device and application UIs without affecting core development tasks.
Internet Explorer Embedded
The Internet Explorer browser runs a combination of IE7 and IE8, much like Windows Phone 7, but Integrated Flash 10.1 in browser powers playback of Flash content and Flash content can be run full-screen without browser UI.
Touch, multi-touch and gesture
New multi-touch support adds to existing plug-in engine enabling intuitive, natural input capabilities and gesture-based interactions.
Connection Manager & Windows Device Stage
Connection Manager provides infrastructure technology to manage multiple network transports on the device. Use Windows Device Stage to allow users to easily transfer media and content between devices and PCs. Windows Embedded Compact 7 provides developers with the connectivity support needed to create seamless connections to PCs, servers and online services. Compact 7 offers updated NDIS 6.1, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, Kerberos v5 and USB networking, accelerating the creation of always-connected devices and applications.
Microsoft Office and PDF Viewers
Updated applications render Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Adobe PDF. Includes support for Microsoft Office 97, 2000, 2003, XP & 2007. Also updated AirSync and Microsoft Exchange support.
New Media Player Support
New DLNA and HD support, as well as MTP and media library for simplify media management with new Media Library provide the foundations to create new entertainment experiences.
New Hardware Support
With support for latest ARM v7 architectures as well as X86 and MIPS, increased graphics performance with Open GL ES 2.0 and higher performance with multicore architecture and support for Symmetrical Multi-Processor
Recent Windows Embedded Compact devices include:
- Barcode and RFID Scanners
- Personal Navigation GPS devices
- Digital Picture Frames
- Set-top boxes, Media Adapters home media servers
- Gaming devices
- Ruggedized Handheld Terminals
- Home and commercial building automation gateways
- Industrial Controls
- Vending Kiosks
- Mobile Point of Service devices
- Health Monitoring Devices
- Remote metering and monitoring devices
- Thin Clients
It is widely expected the new features of Windows Embedded CE7 such as DLNA and multi-processor support will also come to Windows Phone soon, either as part of Mango or the next iteration of the OS.
Read more about Windows CE 7 at Microsoft here.