Windows Embedded Compact 7 is finally out. But doesn’t it really matter anymore?

After much delays Windows Embedded Compact 7 (formerly known as Windows CE 7) is now finally available to the public. But the real question now is: Does it still matter?  Lots of things have changed in the past couple of months that make this late release a bit underwhelming. First you have to remember that Windows Phone 7 is based on a different CE kernel (which is close to the CE 7 Kernel though) and developed by teams that are not even in the same business unit at Microsoft. As of right now the Windows Phone teams are probably closer to the Windows crew than the relatively small CE team. Secondly, the announcement that Windows 8 will run on ARM architectures is also seen as a nail in the coffin of Windows Embedded Compact primarily because Microsoft tablet strategy will be focused on bringing Windows 8 to the slate form factor and not CE + UI shell on top.

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Windows Embedded Compact 7 delayed


Microsoft is apparently delaying the launch of Windows Embedded Compact 7 according to company’s spokesperson. Embedded Compact 7 formerly known as Windows CE 7 was rumored to be the kernel on which Windows Phone 7 is based on but so far Microsoft has never officially commented on this matter and today’s statement doesn’t shed any new light on this matter:

“The general availability date for Windows Embedded Compact 7 has been moved from the fourth quarter of this year to the first quarter of next year (2011). ”

Windows Embedded Compact 7 is also supposed to be used to build ARM based tablets and slates, unfortunately there’s nothing new on this front either besides the early prototypes that Asus unveiled a few months go. Microsoft seems to be focus on Windows 7 instead and hoping that Intel’s upcoming Oak-Trail CPUs will enabled OEMS to build iPad competitors (Windows 7′s UI isn’t gonna cut it IMO and we probably won’t see anything really competitive before the launch of Windows 8 in 2012).

Continue reading Windows Embedded Compact 7 delayed →

Microsoft shows off Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Windows CE 7) tablet with Metro-Like UI

It looks nice, it is made by Microsoft themselves and it will never see the light of the day. Nice isn’t it? The boys at Engadget had the opportunity to get a closer look (really close and blurry as you will see in the video) at a Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Windows CE 7) prototype tablet powered by and nVidia Tegra 2 SoC with a UI build by Microsoft that looks a tiny bit like Metro and WMC. Unfortunately this thing was just build to show off what can be done with CE 7 and OEMs will have to do their on thing with their hardware. Reminds you of something? yup, Windows Mobile. What is happening to WinMo? It’s dying a slow death and Windows Phone 7 is going to take over from there. And what’s the big news in WP7 ? OEMs can’t customize the UI and will have to keep MS’s interface. You got to wonder what goes on in Redmond sometimes. One thing to note though is that Windows Phone 7 is what it is because Microsoft decided to merge several divisions together (Zune Team + WinMo + a bit of XBOX Live Team) and the the CE team is still fairly independent. Maybe it’s time to shake things up a little bit and thightly integrate the CE divisions with the Windows Phone crew (they are already working with the same Kernel!)? Check out the video after the break:

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Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Windows CE 7) is officially unveiled, CTP available for download

Microsoft has officially publicly unveiled Windows Embedded Compact 7 (AKA Windows CE 7) today. The Windows Embedded Compact 7 CTP is now publicaly available for download.

Seamless connectivity
Get the technologies you need to seamlessly connect to rich media, online services, Windows PCs, smartphones, and other handheld devices.

Connect and consume rich media:
Simplify media management with new Media Library
Richer media streaming with updated MPEG-4 and HD support
Flexible plugin architecture to support third-party content

Seamless connection to Microsoft Windows 7:
Simplify device management with integrated Windows Device Stage
Synchronize data and media with support for MTP

Connect to Office and personal information:
Updated Office viewers
Updated AirSync and Microsoft Exchange support

Rich user experiences
You’ll have the power to deliver innovative solutions that reinvent the way end users interact with devices.

Extensible rich UI framework:
Rich, intuitive device user interfaces with Silverlight for Windows Embedded
A seamless designer experience with Microsoft Expression Blend
Rapidly extend and customize device UI with tighter integration of XAML code generators

Rich desktop browsing:
Updated Internet Explorer browsing engine with support for latest standards
Support for tabs, panning, and zooming
Access to rich multimedia content with support for Adobe Flash 10.1

Immersive experiences with natural touch input:
Build highly interactive devices with support for touch input
Multi-touch integrated with browser for mobile device experiences
Extend the power of the device with support for custom gestures

A highly reliable platform
Here’s how you can build solutions and devices with tools and technologies that you can trust every step of the way.

Streamlined developer experience with Visual Studio integration:
Visual Studio and Expression Blend tools to rapidly bring new devices to market
Simplify delivery of feature updates with integrated Windows Embedded Developer Update
Updated setup experience with minimal user intervention

Take advantage of the latest HW innovations:
Support for latest ARM v7 architectures
Increased graphics performance with Open GL ES 2.0
Higher performance with multicore architecture and support for SMP

Increased reliability, higher performance:
Increased networking performance with latest Windows 7 networking technologies
Reliable wireless connectivity and WiFi support
Bluetooth support (2.1) with connectivity to latest devices

Windows Phone 7 is supposedly based on the same CE 7 kernel and as you can see from the features listed above, both OS are quite similar. You can grab the CTP here.

Full Press Release after the break:

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Asus Announces the Eee Pad EP121 Windows 7 and Eee Pad EP101T Windows CE 7 tablets

Slow news day folks, so I’ will post what I think is the most intersting piece of news coming our way today straight from Computex. Asus has officially unveiled two tablet devices , the Asus Eee Pad EP121 running Windows 7 and the Asus Eee Pad EP101TC running Windows CE 7. Both device are sltaes and can be hooked up to a hardware keybord via a nice lookgin dock mechanism (the result will look like a unlt-thin notebook). The EP121 features a 12 inch capacitive screen and Intel’s Core 2 Duo CULV processors the EP101TC has a 10 inch capacitive touchscreen and is powered by nVidia’s Tegra 2 SoC. Both devices feature a usb connector, HDMI output, front facing camera, SD-card slots, sim-card slot and will comme with a Stylus for handwwriting. The EP121 is said to have around 10 hours of battery life and a price range of 399$-499$ but both devices aren’t supposed to be availabe before Q1 2011. Check out the video after the break:

Continue reading Asus Announces the Eee Pad EP121 Windows 7 and Eee Pad EP101T Windows CE 7 tablets →

Intel’s Moorestown chipset will not (never) support Windows Phone 7


Ready for some nice and ugly FUD ? Intel is officially unveiling its Moorestown / Atom Z600 mobile chipset which is supposedly compatible with Moblin/Meego and Android. But the most interesting part is the company’s bullsh@t answer when asked if the Windows Phone 7 will ever be supported in the future:

Apparently someone at Microsoft must’ve peed in Intel’s cheerios because Moorestown won’t be found in any Windows Phone 7 devices. According to Intel it’s more than just a spat over breakfast, Intel claims that Windows Phone 7 is still optimized for very low end ARM SoCs. Intel went on to say that despite the advances in the OS, Windows Phone 7 isn’t progressing fast enough from an architecture standpoint and that it is an “old OS with many of the warts we’re trying to get away from”. Apparently Windows Phone 8 falls into the same category and it too will not be supported by Moorestown.

Come on Intel! We know that you hate Qualcomm (reminder: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is the only supported chipset in Windows Phone 7 right now) but there’s no need to spread lies about this. Last time I checked Windows Phone 7 is based on Windows CE 7 (and has native support for the latest ARM SoCs like the Cortex A8/9) and is probably more mature and feature rich than Intel’s own Moblin linux distro…Oh and Windows CE is also designed to run on x86, MIPS, SH, ARM…Ironicaly Intel is claiming that Moorestown is the best mobile platform to run Silverlight….you know that little thing that is an integral part of Windows Phone 7….The only “Old” thing here is Intel’s attempt to cram an X86 CPU in a phone…

Source: AnandTech

Windows CE 7 coming soon: Is at the core of Windows Phone 7

Looks like we finally have the first official confirmation that Windows Phone 7 is based on the Windows CE 7 core (some have noticed mentions of CE7 in the WP7 Emulator and CTP tool Kit but Microsoft never confirmed or denied anything). According to Microsoft Embedded technical evangelist, Oliver Bloch, Microsoft has been hard at work on finalizing CE 7 and hopes to support it for the next 10 years:

So let me say this: Windows CE is NOT dead. Our devs our heads down finalizing Windows Embedded Compact 7 that will ship soon and that Microsoft will support over the next 10 years (at least). Windows Embedded team is investing a lot in adding new features, creating new tools to support these new features, analyzing the Embedded market really seriously… Does that sound like a dead product? Definitively not.

By the Way, Windows Phone 7 is based on the Windows Embedded Compact 7 core

You will hear more from me and the Windows Embedded team during the next couple of months and you will understand what I am talking about :-) . Lots of good things are coming. Stay tuned.

My only hope is that Microsoft also finally realised that Windows (X86) isn’t suited for handheld devices (tablets etc) and finally pushes CE 7 (or a Tablet version of Windows Phone 7) for Tablet devices like the recently canceled Courier.

Source: Oliver Bloch via SoftPedia

Windows CE 6 R3 is RTM, Silverlight on board

Yesterday at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston, Microsoft announced that Windows CE 6 R3 (code name Cashmere) has finally hit RTM. Silverlight for Windows Embedded user interface (UI) framework is now part of this new release.

Silverlight for Windows Embedded is an out-of-browser, native code implementation of Microsoft Silverlight technology used to create rich, immersive UIs on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3-based devices. OEMs are now able to separate the design of the user experience on the device and the development of core functionality, which provides efficiency in the go-to-market process by helping to reduce application development time, allowing for simplified UI customization, and empowering designers and developers to focus on their core competencies.

As I talked about a couples weeks ago, Silverlight is an important part of Windows Mobile 7 so it’s nice to see that Redmond officialy launching SL for embeded devices. What’s not official yet, is which version of Windows CE is going to be the core of WM7. A leaked document hinted at Windows CE 7 but you can never be sure.

Source: Microsoft

Windows Mobile 7 Test & Certification document leaked

We’ve got more Windows Mobile 7 news for today. This time coming from WMPoweruser who got their hands on document related to Windows Mobile 7′s test & certification process. This document sort-of confirms what I said here, WM7 is indeed based on Windows CE 7 aka “Chelan”. CE 7 brings a lot goodies to the table like Silverlight support IE7 browser, native multi-touch support etc.

You can grab the Word Docx file here

Take this with a big grain of salt though as WM7 will probably WinCE 6 based.

Source: WMPoweruser