In a move designed to garner vendor support for its besieged operating system, Microsoft has announced the Windows CE Porting Partner Programme. Manufacturers signing up as an official Microsoft Porting Partners will be authorised to port Windows CE and tools to any new semiconductor processor architectures.
A spokesman for Microsoft Windows CE said that it had been approached by numerous companies, such as Philips and Siemens, looking for support on their 32-bit processor platforms. "This is part of our strategy to enable as many 32-bit processor cores to support Windows CE as possible," the spokesman said.
The first company to sign up is BSquare, a provider of software and services for the development of intelligent devices. The new porting programme also allows, for the first time, microprocessor manufacturers to select complete platform ports or specialised ports on an individual project basis. Once approved by Microsoft, specialised ports can include new operating system features or subsets of the whole Windows CE platform.
To complement the programme, new versions of Windows CE-based tools will feature a CPU plug-ins model to enable support for new processor architectures. The CPU plug-ins will hold all microprocessor specific components needed to support the CE operating system and tools.
This means new microprocessor architectures can be added when ready, instead of waiting for the next operating system and development environment upgrade. This in turn could help the adoption of Windows CE for new devices.