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Microsoft sneak peeks embedded Windows 7

Due second half of 2010 (maybe)

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Microsoft has conjured a technical preview of its Windows 7-based embedded operating system today. Developers, device makers, and just plain folk who like to play fast and dangerous with their cash machine software can snag a copy as a Community Technology Preview over at Microsoftland.

A finished version of Windows Embedded Standard 2011 (as it's officially known) isn't expected to land until "approximately the second half of 2010," according to Microsoft. The new OS is designed to add Windows 7-specific flavor and components to Microsoft's embedded software dynasty.

When first announced under the codename "Quebec," Microsoft reckoned the next Embedded Standard would be an embedded version of the Vista platform. But that plan was abandoned by Redmond as the public grew to embrace Vista as it would a lesser biblical plague. Among the Windows 7-ish features are:

  • Support for 64-bit CPUs, the Windows 7 Aero user interface, Windows Presentation Foundation, Flip 3D navigation, and Windows Touch for multi-gesture interfaces.
  • Updated software including Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player 12, Remote Desktop Protocol 7.0, and .NET Framework 3.5.
  • Support for Active Directory group policies, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Microsoft also says it has packed in smart power management APIs for developers to build applications that improve CPU idle time and reduce power consumption.

As with previous versions of Embedded Standard, the new OS will be "componentized," so developers can make an OS for devices that only uses the drivers, applications, and services required.

Speaking of devices, Microsoft also said today the latest version of Windows Mobile will be available on mobile phones next month. The company is pitching that its forthcoming Mobile OS will sport "better browsing capabilities" and access to marketplaces to buy phone apps like all the kids are doing. ®

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