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Microsoft unveils Windows CE.NET 4.2

Posted: 25 Apr 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft? windows 4.2? .net strategy? windows .net?

Microsoft Corp. has rolled out Windows CE.NET 4.2, an embedded OS update aimed primarily at developers of STB, residential gateways, and VoIP devices.

The new software, unveiled at the 2003 Embedded Systems Conference, was developed in conjunction with 60 partner companies, almost all of which are working on advanced devices.

"We've specifically focused on delivering features and capabilities for solution areas with compelling data and voice requirements," noted Debby Fry Wilson, director of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group. "Developers who are building communications devices and network devices will care about this release."

Wilson said that the new version of CE.NET, previously code-named "McKendric," will include enhancements, such as Windows Media 9 Series codecs and digital rights management Version 7.1, which should help developers of STBs.

Windows Media 9, along with Internet Explorer 6.0 for Windows CE, are suited for such applications because they offer instant-on, always-on playback of digital media.

Similarly, the new software will employ a new Windows CE.NET-based VoIP product announced by Microsoft at the Voice on the Net Show on April 2. The VoIP solution, which integrates voice communications into a variety of IP-based client devices, includes a telephony user interface, VoIP application interface layer and enterprise infrastructure integration services.

Microsoft said a large swath of device and equipment manufacturers are developing VoIP devices using CE.NET, including Symbol Technologies, Casio Computer Co. Ltd., Hitachi Ltd., NEC Infrontia Corp., Samsung Electronics, and Tatung Co.

The company is also working with such silicon vendors as Advanced Micro Devices Inc., ARM Ltd., Broadcom Corp., Conexant Systems Inc., Intel Corp., MIPS Technologies, Inc., and Texas Instruments Inc. on optimization of CPUs for VoIP devices running CE.NET.

Wilson said the enhancements aimed at residential gateways will not be announced for one to two months.

Microsoft said that more than 60 companies participated in the Windows CE.NET 4.2 Joint Development Partner Program, starting as far back as the release of "Talisker" (Windows CE.NET 4.0), in January 2002. Participants included Hewlett-Packard, NEC, Panasonic, ToshibaTEC, Samsung, Hitachi, Mitsubishi and JVC.

"They've been giving us feedback and we've talked to them on an ongoing basis," Wilson said. "That's how we decided on the feature set and the focus of the particular enhancements."

Microsoft executives said the rollout of CE.NET 4.2 is not as significant as another CE.NET rollout expected approximately a year from now. That update, code-named "McCallan," will probably be designated Windows CE.NET 5.0.

- Charles J. Murray

EE Times

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