LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2002 — Today in his keynote address at the 2002 International CES in Las Vegas, Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corp., announced the launch of Microsoft® Windows® CE .NET, the robust, real-time embedded operating system for rapidly building the next generation of small-footprint smart devices such as handhelds, smart phones, set-top boxes, retail point-of-sale devices and displays. In addition, Microsoft announced new promotional pricing of $995 for the Windows CE .NET tools, as well as free availability of Evaluation and Emulation editions of the tools and platform, and source access to additional Windows CE .NET components. The company also detailed the new Windows CE .NET training curriculum. All of these will help bring developers up to speed quickly on the Windows CE .NET platform and tools, jump-starting their development process.
"Windows CE .NET lets developers build Microsoft .NET-enabled devices that deliver on our vision of making information available any time, any place and on any device," Gates said. "Windows CE .NET delivers the next-generation embedded platform, and the programs and services announced today will enable developers to bring smart Windows Powered devices to market even more quickly."
Robust Embedded Operating System for Developing Smart Devices
Windows CE .NET delivers a robust, high-performance platform for developers building smart mobile devices, while allowing them to optimize their operating system footprint to as low as approximately 200K. To enable developers to build the richest mobile devices, Windows CE .NET provides support for the latest wireless technology such as Bluetooth and 802.11 and delivers a complete multimedia and Web browsing experience with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media (TM) 8 and DirectX® 8 technologies. Windows CE .NET allows developers to select the optimal hardware architecture for their projects by supporting a broad range of processor families, including x86, Xscale, ARM, MIPS and the SH series. Device bring-up is now faster than ever with Windows CE .NET providing numerous board support packages and features such as the Platform Wizard, which provides preconfigured design templates for embedded devices such as handhelds, smart phones, Web pads, retail point-of-sale devices and set-top boxes.
Microsoft is providing a number of programs and initiatives to help embedded developers get started quickly on building their Windows CE .NET-based devices:
Windows CE .NET Emulation Edition will enable developers to build and test their Windows CE .NET-based designs on workstations running Windows 2000 or Windows XP without requiring the target hardware, saving them time and money. The Windows CE .NET Emulation Edition is available as a free download at http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/ (connect-time charges may apply).
Windows CE .NET Evaluation Edition will enable embedded developers to quickly start their evaluation of Windows CE .NET for their next embedded project. Developers can order the Evaluation Edition today (shipping and handling charges will apply) at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/Embedded/ce.NET/evaluation/trial/evalkit.asp
Windows CE .NET training curriculum will help educate device developers and show them how to create devices using the new platform and tools. The three hands-on training courses are Introduction to Windows CE .NET, Developing Embedded Solutions for Windows CE .NET, and Windows CE .NET Driver and OAL Development. Information on the training curriculum can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/ce.NET/using/training/default.asp .
The 90-day Windows CE .NET promotional price of $995 is available to distributors acquiring Windows CE .NET with Platform Builder, the comprehensive tool set for building Windows CE .NET-based operating system images.
Windows CE .NET Source Code Access
Windows CE .NET continues to build on the success of the Microsoft Shared Source License for Windows CE (WCESSL), which allows source modification and redistribution for noncommercial purposes. Windows CE .NET provides access to additional source code that, for the first time, is packaged with Windows CE .NET. In Windows CE 3.0, Microsoft provided source access for more than half a million lines of code. In Windows CE .NET, Microsoft has tripled that by including many new components such as HTTP Web server, Microsoft message queuing, USB, Bluetooth and other wireless network drivers, and SOAP and uPNP protocol implementations.
Writing Rich Applications and Web Services for Windows CE .NET
Devices are increasingly requiring smart applications and services that enable them to be part of the Microsoft .NET infrastructure. The ability to access information at any time on any device is critical to the .NET vision, and Microsoft is ensuring that its latest embedded operating system has the functionality to enable these types of smart devices. To that end, Windows CE .NET raises the bar for application development by including the .NET Compact Framework (currently in Technology Preview release), an application development platform for building applications and XML Web services for smart devices. The .NET Compact Framework supports multiple languages including Visual Basic® .NET and Visual C# (TM) .NET, handles essential plumbing chores such as memory management and security, and improves the reliability of device applications. With the addition of Smart Device Extensions for Visual Studio® .NET, more than 4 million developers using Visual Studio will be able to develop applications for Windows CE .NET-based smart devices running the .NET Compact Framework with the same tools that they already use to build desktop and server applications.
About the Microsoft Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group
The Microsoft Windows Embedded operating systems and tools provide comprehensive software platforms for building the next generation of intelligent, 32-bit connected Windows Powered devices that demand rich applications and Internet services for a wide range of flexible solutions. In addition, Microsoft offers a wide range of programs and services designed to meet the specific needs of Windows Embedded customers, industry partners and developers. Windows Embedded operating systems currently shipping include Windows CE .NET and Windows XP Embedded. The Server Appliance Kit for Windows 2000 helps OEMs build Windows Powered server appliances, including Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Web servers. Currently in development is "Mira," which is the code-name for a set of Windows CE .NET-based technologies that will extend the Windows XP experience throughout the home with wireless smart display devices.
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