Microsoft delivers public test build of Embedded Compact 7 operating system

Microsoft delivers public test build of Embedded Compact 7 operating system

Summary: On June 1, Microsoft made available to anyone interested a public test build of its Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system, the product codenamed "Chelan."

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On June 1, Microsoft made available to anyone interested a public test build of its Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating system, the product codenamed "Chelan."

Embedded Compact 7 has been the subject of more-than-usual scrutiny, in that there have been reports that it will be the core of the Windows Phone OS 7.0 operating system that will power Windows Phone 7 devices. (Last I heard from Microsoft, officials were denying that Compact 7 will be at the heart of the first generation of Windows Phone 7 devices, in spite of statements by some Microsoft employees that claimed this would be the case.  Still not clear on why the Softies are continuing to fan the flames of  confusion due to unnecessary secrecy in this matter...)

The new Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Embedded Compact 7 is downloadable from Microsoft's Web site.

Microsoft's positioning of Embedded Compact 7 is somewhat confusing, in my opinion. Via the WMPowerUser.com site:

"With the release of Windows Embedded Compact 7, Microsoft Windows Embedded is taking another innovative step forward by bringing the power of Windows 7 across another family of specialized devices, such as slates, portable media players and others."

I say confusing because Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, when asked recently whether Microsoft might be backing the use of its Windows Phone OS (which is CE at its heart, remember) on tablets, denied that was part of Microsoft's plan. Ballmer said that Windows 7 is Microsoft's tablet-OS play, not any embedded or mobile-centric version of Windows. Yes, there is nothing (as far as I know) to stop any interested Microsoft OEM from building a tablet/slate that would run Embedded Compact and/or the Windows Phone OS as its operating system. But it seems Microsoft won't be pushing anything but Windows 7 as the best operating system for all PCs -- tablets and slates included.

Anyway, back to Embedded Compact 7. There's still no word as to when that product will be released to manufacturing.

Update: The Microsoft press release says Windows Embedded Compact 7 won't be released to manufacturing until the fourth quarter of this year.

(And that's why Microsoft seems to be counting on the currently shipping Windows Embedded CE 6 R3 as the core for Windows Phone OS 7. The Windows Phone OS 7 is at final Release Candidate/escrow stage and should RTM very soon.)

WMPowerUser lists some of the new features of Compact 7. Among them:

  • An update to the mobile version of IE that
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010 AirSync or Exchange Server support
  • Inclusion of Microsoft OFfice and Adobe PDF viewers
  • Support for Windows 7 Device Stage for transferring files between Windows 7 PCs and portable devices
  • Support for Platform Builder, Visual Studio, Expression Blend and Silverlight for building new apps and devloping "customized and branded experiences on the device or outside of the browser"
  • Support for multicore and "the latest ARM-based architecture"

If Windows Embedded Compact 7 is, indeed, not at the heart of Windows Phone OS 7, I'm interested how and whether Microsoft plans to update the first-generation devices that will be based on an older version of the company's Compact operating system....

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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12 comments
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  • Why I'm as confused as a confused person who's got...

    ...something to be confused about.

    Please can you tell poor old me what MS are going to use for pads/tablets/slates (or whatever you want to call them) i.e.:

    Embedded Compact 7
    Windows Phone OS 7.0
    (non-embedded) Windows 7
    Windows Embedded CE 6 R3

    THANK YOU!
    rmac_z
    • RE: Microsoft delivers public test build of Embedded Compact 7 operating system

      @rmac_z - for tablets/slates, MS will most likely focus on Win7 in the short term. The reason is that they expect many businesses to want to adopt tablet/slate type devices for business use. Thus, business apps (3rd party and internally-developed) will need to run on these devices. That means Windows.

      However, expect Win8 to also be specifically engineered to work REALLY well on these more constrained devices with alternative input & control mechanisms.
      de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
      • If Apple has shown anything,

        @de-void: it is that you don't need a desktop OS to run business class apps. You need an OS that is optimized for the platform or form factor that it will run on, with a compelling UI.

        Yes there is always going to be a need for business class desktops for certain tasks, mainly in areas that require much more horsepower. The idea of shoe horn'in an OS to try to make it work in a way that it was never designed for.
        Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
  • Sorry Mary Jo,

    WEC 7 it is. Just had to take a couple of aspirins and re-read! Are Computex 3rd party tablet providers demo-ing with that OS?
    rmac_z
  • here's a story for you...

    what is the WEC7 'updated browser engine'? is WEC7 the 'big July announcement'?
    rmac_z
    • big July annct?

      What "big July announcement"? Is that the rtm of Win Phone OS 7?

      Browser is likely nothing more than a hybrid IE 7/8 as MS has said in past... Unless you know something we don't.. Thanks. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Microsoft still can't get its product naming right

    The naming is so confusing. Embedded Compact 7 and Embedded Standard 7 (the componentized version of Windows 7 which has already RTMed). They should go back to the older less confusing names: Windows 7 Embedded and Windows CE 7.
    xp-client
  • RE: Microsoft delivers public test build of Embedded Compact 7 operating system

    This seems to be incorrect information. The Windows Phone 7 OS is based on the latest version of CE. And there is also official confirmation of this from one of the MSDN blogs.

    http://sreesiv.blogspot.com/2010/05/ces-is-not-dead.html
    sreesiv
  • Deliberate confusion

    Windows CE is not Windows and never was. The name is confusing, intentionally. It is a far less capable product than Windows with some similar appearance.

    Now this... thing... with Windows and 7 in its name, but it is not Windows 7. It is not Windows at all. Windows 7 has, for instance, speech recognition.

    And yes OF COURSE they are doing this on purpose.
    Robert Carnegie 2009
  • RE: Microsoft delivers public test build of Embedded Compact 7 operating system

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  • RE: Microsoft delivers public test build of Embedded Compact 7 operating system

    what is the WEC7 'updated browser engine?

    http://www.bilgis.net/
    sigortasorgulama
  • RE: Microsoft delivers public test build of Embedded Compact 7 operating system

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