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In a session outlining Microsoft's evolving embedded strategy, I found this slide that puts three of Microsoft's video/TV platforms all together (something that doesn't happen very often). Microsoft moved its embedded division under its Server and Tools organization during the past few months, and has begun emphasizing the need to manage the growing web of Windows-embedded platforms out there, as a result. When you hear Microsoft execs mention "Connected Media Devices," what they really seem to mean are set-top boxes, DVRs and TVs. Microsoft is licensing various embedded versions of Windows to OEMs who want to put Windows inside these devices, while it also is licensing MediaRoom, its IPTV solution, to broadcasters worldwide.
As the Windows team continues to labor on Windows 8, which will be Microsoft's 'real' operating system for tablets, Microsoft and its PC partners are continuing to try to make a purse out of a sow's ear and sell Windows 7 tablets for the next year-plus. At TechEd, Microsoft officials pitched yet again why Windows 7 makes a good tablet operating system. Microsoft is playing up the security, manageability and customizability features of Windows 7 tablets that are coming to market in the next few months as what users really want and need. Microsoft's salesforce is using an almost identical slide in pitching customers who are buying and/or thinking of buying iPads to try to convince them that Windows 7 tablets are more versatile and business-ready.