Microsoft is providing developers with a Windows-Update-like service via which they'll be able to "discover, download and install updates" to help them stay up-to-date with the latest revisions and updates to Microsoft's embedded operating systems.
The new service, known as Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU), is available as of June 28 for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and "within the calendar year" for Windows Embedded Compact 7. (Embedded Compact 7 is due to launch in the fourth calendar quarter of 2010.) WEDU is free to developers.
The new Embedded update service, like Windows Update, can run in the background in "scan mode." If an update is available, developers will receive a notification bubble indicating availability. Developers also have the option to use the new service in manual update mode.
Windows Embedded Standard 7 is a modular version of Windows 7 that some OEMs license from MIcrosoft and make the heart of various equipment, kiosks, TVs, set-top boxes and other devices. Embedded Compact (the successor to Windows CE) is another embedded OS, and one which Microsoft and various third parties use in various products, including Zune HD, Windows Phones (including the upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices) and the recently announced Windows Embedded Handheld platform.
Microsoft is expected to make some kind of "over the air" update capability part of its Windows Phone 7 platform, but the WEDU service is not connected in any way to that functionality, a Microsoft spokesperson said.
"The (WEDU) service is purely for developers. Instead of having to scour various sources to ensure they are leveraging the latest technologies from Microsoft when building devices, Windows Embedded Developer Update aggregates updates (e.g. Windows Embedded innovations, features and product updates) by categorizing the available downloads and readying the product updates for download," the spokesperson said.