REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 20, 2010 —The embedded industry is rapidly evolving, and the proliferation of specialized devices is simply staggering.
Historically, connectivity to the Internet began with mainframes, extended to PCs and ultimately fueled the advancement of smartphones. We’re now entering the fourth stage of the Internet with the embedded industry and specialized devices becoming inherently connected. By 2015, industry analysts, including VDC Research, forecast that more than 10 billion connected devices will ship. These devices range from in-car infotainment, digital signage, enterprise handheld, point of service and thin client to smart meter, server appliance and connected TV.
During his industry keynote address (“The Cloud as a Competitive Advantage”) at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Boston, Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft, will announce the alignment of Windows Embedded within the Management and Security Division (MSD) of the Microsoft Server and Tools Business (STB). Moving forward, Microsoft will deliver end-to-end solutions from specialized devices to the cloud and meet the evolving needs of OEMs building devices and enterprises managing devices — this includes accessing data and consuming services, as well as exposing services that are used by other devices, applications and cloud services.
Simply, Windows Embedded’s alignment with STB will help OEMs take advantage of the tremendous opportunity to develop devices that are built with the advantages of Windows and harness the extensive set of Microsoft technologies for inherent security and connectivity. This will empower users with access to apps and data at anytime, anywhere and on any device. For enterprises, this also translates into the opportunity to more effectively manage devices as part of their IT infrastructures in the cloud or locally.
For example, the MSD suite of products and services includes the Microsoft System Center family of products, management infrastructure components in Windows and Windows Server, and software plus services through Windows Intune, Forefront Endpoint Protection and Microsoft Security Essentials. This alignment with Windows Embedded offers the ability to harness Microsoft assets across a wide range of devices and scenarios to provide a compelling set of solutions to customers and partners, coupled with device management and protection capabilities via Microsoft System Center and Forefront, management and other server roles, cloud services such as Azure, and Visual Studio and Expression Blend tools for building rich device experiences.
In addition, Kevin will announce that Microsoft Hohm, the free online application that helps consumers conserve energy, will be integrated into the Windows Embedded Business. Today, Hohm provides an energy score (the “Hohm Score”) for more than 60 million homes in the U.S., offers tools to track home energy usage information, provides recommendations to help consumers reduce their energy costs and hosts a vibrant community of consumers that shares ideas and information with others. Many industrial controls, smart appliances and vehicles currently incorporate the Windows Embedded platforms, and offering the combination of Hohm technologies may enable additional device offerings in the future for energy, as well as other sectors.
Hohm’s partner efforts are also a natural fit with Windows Embedded. The collaboration between Hohm and Ford to deliver a cloud service will help electric vehicle owners optimize their vehicle recharging needs and better manage their home energy use. Microsoft’s relationship with Ford is longstanding, as the two companies have been working together for more than four years on efforts including Ford SYNC, the voice-controlled communications and infotainment system developed on the Windows Embedded Automotive software platform.
Kevin will also discuss Windows Embedded’s ongoing collaboration with Microsoft System Center to help enterprises extend their existing Microsoft enterprise infrastructure through an intelligent device management (IDM) solution. Whether on premise or in the cloud, the upcoming IDM solution from Windows Embedded will deliver unified and consistent manageability, business efficiency and intelligence for specialized devices. Some common scenarios in the enterprise could include remote servicing and preventative maintenance to reduce the need for emergency calls and expenses associated with deploying technicians for every support incident. An IDM solution from Windows Embedded will be available in 2011.
Several key device scenarios will be featured during Kevin’s keynote as examples of where Microsoft is extending the value of Windows and the full potential of the cloud to the world of specialized devices, including connected media devices. Last week Barb Edson, senior director of marketing for Windows Embedded at Microsoft, joined Douglas L. Davis, vice president and general manager of the Embedded and Communications Group at Intel, for a keynote address focused on emerging consumer devices. Barb’s participation underscored Microsoft and Intel’s “Collaboration [to] Bring New Options to [the] Connected Device Market” — prototype set-top boxes (STBs) from Acer and Asus leveraging the Windows 7-based Windows Embedded Standard 7 platform were also shown.
Others showcased by Kevin at ESC will include digital signage, thin client and devices for industrial automation and connected media devices from Intel, Reycom, Wyse, Siemens and Beckhoff, as well as other OEMs and partners.
Please join Kevin’s keynote address on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 10:30 a.m. EDT and come visit the Windows Embedded team at booth 400. Please also follow @MSFTWEB and the Windows Embedded News Center for updates from the event, as well as other materials.