Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

Summary: Microsoft has begun sharing early ship targets for the next, Windows 8-centric versions of some of its many embedded operating systems.

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Microsoft officials have begun sharing some roadmaps for the next versions of its many Windows Embedded operating system offerings, including plans to update some of them so they're based on Windows 8.

Microsoft currently offers a handful of different, customized versions of its embedded operating systems, each aimed at slightly different device types and footprints.

Microsoft is working on the following updates, according to company execs on November 14:

Windows Embedded Enterprise v.Next, its OS for devices such as ATMs and kiosks, will be out a quarter after Windows 8 is generally available for PCs Windows Embedded Standard v.Next, a componentized version of Windows for various devices, will be out in Community Technology Preview (CTP) test form in the first quarter of 2012 and will be generally available three quarters after Windows 8 is generally available for PCs. It will support ARM processors (like Windows 8 will) -- something that it hasn't done traditionally with this SKU -- as well as support for all the management and security features of Windows 8.

Windows Embedded Compact v. Next, its real-time operating system for small-footprint, specialized devices, is due out in the second half of 2012, with support for Visual Studio 2010. Embedded Compact v. Next will likely continue to support ARM and x86 processors, as the current SKU does. (I've put a question into Microsoft to make sure of this, however.)

Microsoft is still not disclosing Windows 8's planned release date, but it is widely expected to be available for PCs by the third quarter of 2012.

Microsoft isn't providing new roadmap dates or details today for its Windows Embedded Handheld, Windows Embedded POSRedy and Windows Embedded Automative platforms. Officials said via a statement that they are "investing in these to include the latest Microsoft technologies" with no further explanation as to what this means.

Earlier this year, Microsoft quietly changed its roadmap for Windows Embedded Handheld -- its ruggedized phone operating system -- eliminating a commitment to provide Windows Embedded Handheld 7, which company officials had said a year ago that Microsoft planned to roll out in the second half of calendar 2011.

There's also no mention in Microsoft's press materials today of Windows Embedded Server or its plans for that particular embedded SKU. I've asked company officials for comment and will update if and when I hear back.

Microsoft moved its Embedded business under its Server and Tools organization a year ago, and has been talking up its Embedded Standard and Embedded Compact SKUs as key to collecting information from a network of intelligent devices -- a k a, "the Internet of things."

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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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17 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

    Gosh! I had really hoped that Microsoft would abandon all the ambiguity that comes along with having so many SKU's for basically the same product. Also, where does Windows Phone v.Next fit in this roadmap?
    windowseat
    • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

      @windowseat<br><br>These are all specialized versions of Windows that typical consumers would never see or have to choose from, so your comment is completely irrelevant.<br><br>When someone buys a Ford, do they have to pick which version of Windows goes into their infotainment system?
      Qbt
      • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

        @Qbt
        +1
        Ram U
      • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

        @Qbt I don't think I ever mentioned consumers. As a vendor, if you had ever had to deal with building on top of WindowCE, Embeddded, POS, etc., you would understand the fustration.

        Now as a consumer/IT Pro, I am sure Windows 8 client OS will have many more SKUs (some market-driven, some margin-driven).
        windowseat
    • Windows Phone &quot;8&quot;

      @windowseat

      The next major version is reportedly Codename Apollo.

      It may or may not be based on an ARM build of the desktop version of Windows 8, although it will still likely be heavily customized for phones (screen resolution, storage, phone support, etc.)

      What I'd like to see is something that adapts Windows 8 well enough that ODM's could create non-phone portable computers with smaller screens that those large 10" tablets. Something around 5" or smaller would be good, but could still run standard desktop Metro apps without modification.
      Joe_Raby
      • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

        @Joe_Raby Microsoft is only concerned with one thing: adding a Microsoft tax on every aspect of daily life. If Microsoft gets what they are looking for, you will have to pay a monthly fee to not only work, but a second fee to get to work.
        Rick_Kl
      • Rick_Kl, why would Microsoft want to adopt the Apple business model?

        @Joe_Raby
        You can not deny that Apple charges the largest tax for their products, and is concerned only with the ability for you to pay a monthly fee to not only purchase their product, but a second fee to continue to use their products.

        To say otherwise would be a lie.
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

        @Mister Spock it is not Apple???s desire to charge monthly, Bill Gates mentioned that 10 years ago. Microsoft has been per suing that dream ever since.
        Rick_Kl
    • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

      [i]Gosh! I had really hoped that Microsoft would abandon all the ambiguity that comes along with having so many SKU's for basically the same product.[/i]

      @windowseat

      That's just their typical smoke & mirrors accounting procedures. Nothing new there.
      ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Consumer Reports recommends iPhone 4S, rates 4G Android devices higher

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  • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

    Windows Server 8 is the major piece to really look-out for here.

    Next year when professionals and entreprises are hit by the scope of Windows Server 8, Visual Studio 11 and Sql Server 2012, they will see what MS has done here, a real "coup de force" !

    Apparently something is coming out of all those new R&D campuses after all. Nice to see a company invest in engineers and innovation and not just taking over open source projects where the innovation was public and academic.
    AlexGrenier
  • Windows 8 = Vista 2.0

    ... except where Vista could only lay an egg on the desktop, now we have the potential on all sorts of devices. Talk about a step forward.

    But for the Ford owners, I guess there's always the hope Sync will finally work right...
    croberts
  • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

    The intersting thing not said in all of this is Phone 8. Will it be tied to Compact 7/8 or be divorced and track with Windows 8? That divorce is probably more distant.
    With respect to the other SKUs, nothing surprising (and wrt"So many SKUs!!"):
    - Windows Embedded Enterprise is just desktop Windows (same binaries etc) with a single purpose license.
    - Windows Embedded Standard is the componentized (I should now say modularized) version of desktop Windows.

    We in the Embedded Windows domain have for some time been waiting for MIcrosoft to get fully behind Windows Embedded Compact (I coauthored the book: "Professional Windows Embedded Compact 7", Wrox). Its good to see them finally give full support. It has different uses to the desktop, the two primary reasons are Real Time and small footprint. In the past ARM has also been a reason to use it but with Win 8 that is no longer a difffernce.
    davidj@...
  • Dimdows Fragmentation

    This is why Microsoft has such a hard time with hardware support--its OS products are so fragmented. See how hard a time Nokia had trying to get Windows Phone running on their new Lumia 800--the Linux-based N9 was able to include a front camera and NFC, and still take less time to market, while the Windows phones lagged behind.
    ldo17
  • RE: Microsoft outlines plans to deliver Windows 8 versions of its embedded products

    They already lost the embedded market years ago. But now they'll be able to threaten every embedded device maker, not just phones.
    deathjazz
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