Microsoft is a step closer to delivering the final version of the Windows 7-based version of its Embedded Standard 2011 product that is codenamed "Quebec."
On February 15, Microsoft made available to testers the Release Candidate (RC) version of Windows Embedded Standard 2011 -- a product the company has decided to renamed Windows Embedded Standard 7. The RC is available to select testers via the Microsoft Connect site, according to an email sent to those testers on February 15.
Windows Embedded Standard is targeted at OEMs and specialized device makers who want to build platforms and applications that use various Windows components. In other words, it is the componentized version of Windows 7.
Microsoft delivered a first test build of the product in September 2009. At that time, company officials said to expect the final release in the second half of 2010 (in spite of the name, at that point, being Embedded Standard 2011).
Windows Embedded Standard 2011, when Microsoft first outlined its feature set, was described as the embedded version of the Vista platform. But more recently, the Softies have said it will be a subset of Windows 7, not Vista. Among the features in the initial Community Technology Preview (CTP) were support for Active Directory group policies, better interop with Terminal Services and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and support for Windows 7 features like Aero, Windows Touch, IE 8 and more.
Windows Embedded Standard 7 is not to be confused with Windows Compact Edition 7 (the product codenamed "Chelan"). The Compact Edition product, also due out this year, is what's been embedded inside Windows Mobile and the Zune product lines, as well as in a variety of third-party devices.