OR Windows Embedded: Recommitting to x86 across all of the edge devices of the future intelligent systems of enterprise customers and consumers while pushing ARM along its current positions in mobile and real-time, which is essentially corresponding to the Windows 7 licensing and pricing described by this source
OR Windows Embedded enterprise solutions strategy based on creating actionable operation intelligence extended to edge devices in retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive industries
OR Capitalizing on the Internet of Things [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, March 20, 2013] and Transforming Business
OR Building Edge Devices & Intelligent Solutions [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, March 20, 2013]
OR (as stemming from The future of Windows Embedded: from standalone devices to intelligent systems [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, March 9-29, 2012], note however that ARM architecture support was delivered only in Handheld and Compact versions despite original hint included into that post)
An intelligent system built on Windows Embedded—with the expertise of the extensive community of established Windows Embedded partners—extends the power of Windows and Microsoft technologies to edge devices. Our portfolio of products powers solutions that meet unique industry needs and span enterprises of any size and complexity.
1. Microsoft betting on boosting Windows RT demand with top level ARM SoCs from its SoC partners, Windows 8.1 enhancements, Outlook addition to the Office 2013 RT and very deep tactical discounts to its OEM partners for tablet offerings of more value and capability [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 6, 2013] and
2. “Cloud first” from Microsoft is ready to change enterprise computing in all of its facets [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, June 4, 2013], as well as
3. Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 is here [The Visual Studio Blog, April 4, 2013] which according to ANNOUNCING VISUAL STUDIO 2012 UPDATE 2 CTP 2 [BlendInsider, Jan 30, 2013] providing the utmost effectivity in developer productivity, finally achieving uniformity in XAML based embedded user experience design as well with one version of Blend for everything (highlighted inserts are mine):
as Windows Azure is providing a leading cloud application platform for all that (download):
and an excellent testimony to that is given in Discovering Intelligent Systems at work in Manufacturing [Windows Embedded Blog, Nov 27, 2012] from which it is important to include the basic story (just substitute “’intelligent’screwdriver” with “any enterprise or consumer device enhanced with ‘intelligence’”, “larger network in the factory” with “classic and mobile Internet” and the “backend” with “Windows Azure” to understand the enormous potential which is becoming available for Microsoft in terms of the Internet of Things market):
Hey everyone, recently our Windows Embedded team was on a customer site visit in Europe, and we came across a fantastic example of Intelligent Systems in action. While we were touring an automobile manufacturing plant, we observed the line using electric screwdrivers like the one pictured below. They had two cables running into them. Power and Ethernet. We asked the tour director about the network cable, and they explained that the screwdriver was actually an ‘intelligent’ screwdriver.
We smiled at the thought of this basic piece of hardware actually being able to think about what it was doing. Then he explained it and we were amazed. The screwdriver was hung off a manufacturing line Windows Embedded Compact PC that was connected to a larger network in the factory. The backend provided the screwdriver engineering specs about the screw going into that location on the car, including the required torque and even the number of revolutions that Class 1 screw should take to achieve the desired torque. So, when the technician popped the screw into the chassis, all they had to do was fire the trigger, and everything was automatic. They even had some scenarios where this was done using robotic arms instead of people.
When the screw was installed in the car, a data point was generated that came back down the network cable and registered in the factory database. Basically, an ‘OK’, or ‘NOT OK’ was registered, and in the case of either the torque being missed, or that torque being achieved in an unexpected number of revolutions, a flag was popped to investigate further. In summary, the car would not get off the production line if the quality bar wasn’t met.
We have learned since this visit that a number of our partners, and several large automotive manufacturers have deployed this technology in their factories both here in North America and in Europe.
The volume of parts going into just one car is massive, a true big data story, and the business doesn’t necessarily want to know about the hundreds of thousands of screws installed in their factory. What they do want to know is when a threshold like an engineering spec is missed. This type of approach enables business critical data to be presented, relevant, and not washed out in the volumes of activities/events happening minute by minute on the factory floor. …
In the IDC iView, sponsored by Microsoft, The Rise of Intelligent Systems: Connecting Enterprises and Smart Devices in Seamless Networks [April 18, 2012], you can find the following market forecast:
… embedded and intelligent systems represent a much larger opportunity than the PC, tablet, or even the smartphone market. IDC estimates that the intelligent systems market will grow from 19% of all major electronic system unit shipments in 2010, to more than 27% of all systems by 2016. Revenue for the intelligent systems market will grow from more than $649 billion in 2012, to more than $1.4 trillion in 2016 (PCs and smartphones excluded from market-size numbers).
On the market for more than five years and with more than 5 million cars sold already, but in joint development since 2005, Ford SYNC based on Microsoft embedded technology is the best showcase of both the market potential and the level of achievements possible in this post-PC market for Microsoft:
Soon we will have further advancements: Ford to Show the Smarter Way to Get There at Computex 2013 [press release, May 23, 2013] which you can follow on a special Ford Motor Company – Computex FB site which currently contains teaser videos about Future Technology Trends, Open Innovation and Device Interaction featuring Microsoft as well(note that those things are quite necessary as competition is getting stronger)
Ford will be the only automaker at Computex 2013, the largest computer exhibition in Asia
Ford will make several major announcements on its smart technologies for both Taiwan and Asia Pacific and Africa markets
Ford to showcase its most advanced class-leading technologies, designed to take the driving experience for customers to a new level
Inserted later: Ford Press Conference Highlights at Computex 2013 [FordAPA YouTube channel, June 6, 2013]Ford Motor Company today announced it will bring its Ford Developer Program to markets in Asia Pacific and Africa to allow developers to create voice-activated apps for the car, further reinforcing its position as a global leader in technology.
TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 23, 2013 – Ford Motor Company will show the Smarter Way to Get There at Computex 2013 with the most advanced class-leading technologies to further enhance the driving experience for customers.
Ford will be the only automaker at Asia’s biggest computer exhibition from June 4-8, 2013, where it will make several major announcements for both Taiwan and Asia Pacific.
“As one of the world’s largest and most influential technology shows, Computex is the ideal platform for Ford to showcase how our smart technologies are improving the driving experience for our customers in the digital age, ” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China.
“In a world where consumers want to be connected all the time, be it at home, in the office or in their cars, we have a great opportunity to provide driver-connect technologies in our vehicles which enable drivers to stay connected through voice commands while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The technologies we are bringing to our vehicles not only give our customers a connected driving experience, they also make that experience simple, safe and personalized.”
The Ford stand at Computex will not only feature the company’s most advanced technology developments, but also the all-new Ford Kuga, dubbed by Ford as the “Smarter SUV” because of its fuel economy, versatility and new technology that makes driving easier and more fun.
Inserted later: Ford at Computex 2013 – Panel Discussion
[FordAPA YouTube channel, June 5, 2013]
On June 4, Ford will be part of the Computex Smart Living Industry Forum at which Edward Pleet, Connected Services Director, Ford Motor Company, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe will discuss The Smart Living, Networked Society.
The Ford booth will be located at Taipei Word Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall, 4th Floor, booth number M2005.
OR Windows Embedded: Recommitting to x86 across all of the edge devices of the future intelligent systems of enterprise customers and consumers while pushing ARM along its current positions in mobile and real-time, which is essentially corresponding to the Windows 7 licensing and pricing described by this source as (here only WIN7 COMPACT (CE) has ARM support as well):
(click here or on the above image to see the full table, note also that the true enterprise licensing via even cheaper SELECT and EA (Enterprise Agreement) programs is not shown in the table, for explanations also see WES 7 “E” & “P”, WES SKU Differences, FES, FES 7 Pro, FES 7 Ultimate, WES vs FES, FES Pro & Ultimate SKU Differences, Win7 Compact (CE), Win7 Compact (CE) SKU Differences, Win7 Compact (CE) OS Components and “SKU rationale” from Microsoft) on which I overlaid the corresponding Windows Embedded 8 products and their already known (like General Embedded / NR / Entry for Windows Embedded Compact 2013 to be generally available on June 13) or supposed (like Standard ?…? / Standard ?Enterprise? for the Windows Embedded 8 Standard) SKUs.
Note that the above table could be misleading since it is just representing low-volume purchases while Microsoft is using License Packs as well where the per unit price is non-linearly decreasing with the number of licenses in the Pack. Fortunately I’ve found current trade data records for WINDOWS EMBEDDED STANDARD 8 EMB ESD OEI RUNTIME -7WT-00094(N-77P-3153) [April 9, 2013] and WIN PRO EMBEDDED 8 EMB ESD OEI -42C-00051(N-77P-3154) [April 9, 2013] from Taiwan to India which I could use as Model 1 and Model 2 for supposed pricing of the Windows Embedded 8 Standard, see the results on the above right. This could certainly be not so steep in reality (e.g. the model numbers were “more decreased” in trade declarations for the larger License Packs representing higher absolute value in order to decrease the absolute tax even more) as it is only giving a kind of idea for License Packs.
It is also important to include here the argumentation why Isn’t a Linux or Android solution cheaper? [one of FAQs answered by Avnet Embedded, May 1, 2013]:
Linux or Android solutions may seem cheaper initially. However, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) should be taken into account as a useful metric for assessing the overall cost impact of your investment. For example:
- Acquisition costs— Inexpensive comparable products can cost as much or more than Windows to acquire and support.
- Total costs—Acquisition costs are a very small component of TCO. Even when the costs of different operating systems are comparable, research shows that Windows often offers a lower TCO because of cost advantages in the other, larger components, such as staffing and downtime.
- Cost vs. Value—In addition to what you must pay for, if you are making an investment in IT you should also consider what you will get in return; including features or capabilities that improve productivity and deliver additional value.
To find out more about the TCO of Windows Embedded, read ‘The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) benefits of Windows Embedded software’ ebook.
If the runtime license still looks too expensive than it is important to consider that we are talking here about very special types of devices with the x86 based Windows Embedded 8. Here is how Microsoft representing that x86-only focus on the top of “edge devices of the future intelligent systems of enterprise customers“:
This has even very strong industry focus: Retail (from Kiosk to ATM), Manufacturing and Health Care. So we can proceed to other post titles which are equally important to properly represent the redefined Windows Embedded positioning:
OR Windows Embedded enterprise solutions strategy based on creating actionable operation intelligence extended to edge devices in retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive industries
Other videos in the “Building Edge Devices & Intelligent Solutions” series:
Dell Wyse, HP, Omnicell and ParTech, Inc. I will embedd here even Bravo Outdoor Advertising Reaches Greater Heights With Intelligent System [WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, Feb 11, 2013] as it shows very well how the range of edge devices could be hugely extended over the years (here with digital signage on the public transport in Ireland):
(as stemming from The future of Windows Embedded: from standalone devices to intelligent systems [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, March 9-29, 2012], note however that ARM architecture support was delivered only in Handheld and Compact versions despite original hint included into that post)
An intelligent system built on Windows Embedded—with the expertise of the extensive community of established Windows Embedded partners—extends the power of Windows and Microsoft technologies to edge devices. Our portfolio of products powers solutions that meet unique industry needs and span enterprises of any size and complexity.
Unlock intelligence with the full breadth of Microsoft technologies
What happens when devices at the edge of enterprise networks are connected to software and services in the back end or the cloud? Suddenly, a rich new source of information is available. The data has always been there—but today, an integrated stack of Microsoft technologies, extending from the server room to the customer’s fingertips, can help evolve business intelligence to operational intelligence by enabling enterprises to identify and act on opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. For OEMs, the ability to harness the power of Microsoft technologies to capitalize on data gathered from edge devices translates to new and expanded potential for creating solutions for customers.
[The Big Shift From Software to Cloud Services video of Nov 13, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it clearly shows that Microsoft is shifting from being a software company to a hardware & services company:]Windows Azure Marketing General Manager Eron Kelly discusses Microsoft Corp.’s focus on delivering software through the cloud and the opportunity it creates for devices and intelligent systems.
One Microsoft, everything you need
When connecting industry devices powered by Windows Embedded to back-end systems running SQL Server on-premise—or secured by Azure in the cloud–business data is without boundaries. Those building intelligent system solutions will shorten development time, and simplify implementation and management by harnessing the full breadth of Microsoft technologies, from the rich, familiar experience of Windows, to simplified management with System Center and security with Forefront. Device manufacturers, evaluate your intelligent systems business capabilities with Microsoft.
Devices at the network edge: critical infrastructure for intelligent systems
Intelligent systems are revolutionizing business, and Microsoft is focused on driving innovation in a number of industries, including retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing and automotive. Whether streamlining inventory management with industry handheld devices, securely handling medical records using a thin-client solution, reinventing the customer experience with point-of-sale devices, transforming factory efficiencies with embedded robots, or reimagining the driving experience with an in-car infotainment system, edge devices are all around us. Powering these devices with Windows Embedded harnesses Microsoft technologies to create customized solutions that address specific industry needs and drive innovation—and profits—forward.
According to IDC, unit shipments of IP-connected embedded systems, excluding mobile phones and PCs, will more than double by 2015, growing from approximately 1.4 billion in 2010 to over 3.3 billion.
Source: IDC, “Smart Tech Market Forecast and 2020 Vision.”
Select an industry [with a latest video of May 6, 2013 embedded here for each from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel, in order to let you see how Microsoft and Windows Embedded are providing the technology, strategic leadership and partner ecosystem that are driving innovation]
Tap into the huge amount of data generated by edge devices, and you’ll enhance business insight, streamline operations and transform customer service
– Signs of the times: the shifting consumer experience [Windows Embedded blog]: part 1 [May 15, 2013] and part 2 [May 16, 2013] “From attracting customers through digital signage to creating in-store dressing-room intelligent systems, technology is no doubt transforming the consumer experience.”
– Intelligent systems in retail: Even the credit-card reader cares! [Windows Embedded blog, June 6, 2013]
– Seen at the Show: Three Outstanding Retail Solutions [Windows Embedded blog, April 9, 2013]
– Augmented Reality Vending Machines, and Other Glimpses of the Future of Retail [Windows Embedded blog, March 14, 2013]
– The Intelligent Grocery Store: The Future of the Retail Industry [Windows Embedded blog, March 4, 2013]
– A Prediction for the Future of Retail Technology: The Rise of Vending Machines [Windows Embedded blog, Jan 15, 2013]
– Exploring Intelligent Systems in Retail Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3
– Transforming Business in Retail
– Intelligent Systems Changing the Face of Retail
– Microsoft Redefines the Retail Experience
– Intelligent Systems in the Hospitality and Retail Industries
Improve patient care—and transform healthcare processes—with a connected solution based on Windows Embedded.
– Exploring Intelligent Systems in Healthcare Part 1 and Part 2
– Transforming Business in Health
– How Intelligent Systems Streamline Data Landscapes in Healthcare
– Interactive Terminals Connect Patients to Their Care
– Spotted in real life: Windows Embedded making life a little easier for patients [Windows Embedded blog, June 5, 2013]
Manufacturing is fueled by big data, and intelligent systems have the potential to transform the industry.
– Exploring Intelligent Systems in Manufacturing Part 1 and Part 2
– Transforming Business in Manufacturing
– Intelligent Systems in Manufacturing [related blog post: Discovering Intelligent Systems at work in Manufacturing [Windows Embedded blog, Nov 27, 2012]]
– Driving Efficiency with Intelligent Systems
Microsoft designer Melissa Quintanilha combines technical savvy, an artist’s passion for design, and a global perspective that comes from growing up in Brazil, to design a car that doesn’t just drive, but learns who you are and anticipates your needs.
Other videos in the “Designing the Future of the Intelligent Car” series:
Glanceable Design, Experience Matters, The Driving Experience and
The Updateable Car
Read also: – Building the intelligent car of the future
[Microsoft feature story, May 7, 2013]
– A gearhead’s perspective on the car of the future [Windows Embedded blog, June 3, 2013]
– Behind the scenes at the birth of Microsoft’s intelligent car program [Windows Embedded blog, May 20, 2013]
– Introducing the Windows Embedded Automotive Team! [Windows Embedded blog, May 7, 2013] “Today, Microsoft launched the “Designing the Future of the Intelligent Car” digital series to showcase the team we have working on Microsoft’s automotive solutions and our vision for the intelligent car of the future. To kick-off the series I’ve asked the leader of the Windows Embedded Automotive team, Pranish Kumar, to provide some perspective on the team and the work they are doing.”
– Designing the Car Experience of the Future [Windows Embedded blog, Nov 9, 2012] “Together with Ford, we celebrated the 5th anniversary of Ford SYNC and 5 million SYNC enabled vehicles [mostly in North America] shipped milestone. The conference theme was “connected design,” exploring how design and user interface impact the experience people have interacting with connected devices. This is a topic my team is focused on in our work with Ford and our other automotive partners as we explore how our intelligent systems strategy can help deliver a richer, more personalized experience in the car. We are thinking about the contextual environment inside the car and how computing helps that experience for customers.”
As far as the Windows Embedded 8 is concerned we have a pretty clear picture now:
Windows Embedded 8 [Microsoft > Windows Embedded > Products and Solutions > Windows Embedded Products page, May 6, 2013]
From this page the basic offerings (based on Windows 8) are the following ones:
The Windows Embedded 8 family of platforms and tools helps companies extend their operational intelligence [by harnessing the flow of data across industry devices on the edge and back-end systems], using their existing IT infrastructure and industry devices that securely exchange data with back-end systems. Offering the same rich, multi-touch experience as Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 , Windows Embedded 8 delivers compelling user experiences on a range of industry devices.
Windows Embedded 8 Pro
The power and flexibility of Windows 8 in a platform designed specifically for building edge devices [digital signs or point-of-service terminals in a store environment, handheld devices, robots on the manufacturing floor, or thin client devices in hospitals to transform business intelligence to actionable operation intelligence] and intelligent systems solutions [such as kiosks, medical devices, digital signage and HMI (human machine interface)].
- Deliver a user experience that’s identical to Windows 8.
- Design custom apps that feature the fast, fluid behavior of Windows 8.
- Security features such as Bitlocker and Trusted Boot.
- Compatible with line-of-business and productivity apps.
[The Next Generation Digital Signage on Display at Computex 2012 video of June 25, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it clearly discusses the direction for digital signage systems where full Windows compatibility is essential:]Windows Embedded’s John Boladian and Intel’s Gark Tan show off today’s interactive digital signage that create an engaging and connected experience for customers through combined technologies from Kinect for Windows, Windows Embedded and Intel’s Core processors.
Windows Embedded 8 Standard
Offers flexibility for purpose-built devices, such as thin clients, kiosks [digital signage] and automated manufacturing solutions.
- Compelling UI, powerful app support, security and manageability of Windows 8.
- Modular format allows you to use only the components needed.
- Ensure consistent configuration with embedded specific lockdown features.
- Custom branding feature.
[The Demo: Windows 8 on Embedded Devices video of Nov 13, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it clearly shows the actually best example of a purpose-built ruggedized device (from a long-time partner Motion Computing) based on Windows 8 which is a kind of prototype of similar “custom branded” devices based on Windows Embedded 8 Standard:]Embedded Group Manager John Coyne shows off an industry application on a PC running Windows Embedded 8.
Windows Embedded 8 Industry
A consistent, streamlined application platform that shortens development cycles for specific industry device scenarios in retail, manufacturing and other industries [such as POS terminals, ATMs, automated manufacturing solutions and medical devices].
- Compelling UI, powerful app support, security and manageability of Windows 8.
- Ensure consistent configuration with lockdown features.
- Fixed platform provides a consistent development experience.
- Plug and play peripheral capabilities with POS for .NET.
[The Intelligent Systems Making Vending Machines Fun at Computex 2012 video of June 25, 2012 from WindowsEmbedded YouTube channel is quite important to embed here, since it demonstrates an interactive smart vending machine where retail peripheral support is essential:]Windows Embedded’s John Boladian and Intel’s Gark Tan discuss the value and growth of intelligent systems across devices and the cloud. By highlighting an interactive smart vending machine, they show that intelligent systems not only make the purchase experience fun, but give the vendor a competitive advantage through increased connectivity, data collection, manageability and business analytics
[Read also: Windows Embedded 8 Industry: A Modern OS for Industry Devices [Windows Embedded blog, April 2, 2013] “On the heels of our recent release of the Windows Embedded 8 platform, we’re making another member of the Windows Embedded family available today — Windows Embedded 8 Industry. David Wurster, Microsoft Windows Embedded’s senior product manager, has details on how Windows Embedded has evolved beyond point-of-service (POS) systems in retail to do much more in the Windows 8 era.”]
Compare Windows Embedded 8 products
Rich multitouch, multi-user interface
Connectivity features, including connected standby, mobile broadband and WiFi
Powerful security features, including anti-malware support, BitLocker and Trusted Boot
Lockdown support, including unified write filter, gesture and keyboard filters
Retail peripheral support
Full Windows compatibility
Easy end-to-end device management with Microsoft System Center
In addition there are the following complementary offerings, which are not based on Windows 8, are shown on the same page as well:
Windows Embedded 8 Handheld
Built on Windows Phone 8 to offer intuitive line-of-business applications [such as package delivery, mobile point-of-service, communication and collaboration, and scanning and data capture], with proven integration and security for industry handheld devices.
- Common application programming interfaces so that devices easily integrate.
- Manage devices across the network through the use of Windows Intune and SCCM 2012.
- Benefit from a large selection of Windows Phone 8 apps.
- Use the Windows Phone 8 SDK and Visual Studio 2012 to create custom apps.
[Read also: Windows Embedded 8 Handheld joins the Windows Embedded 8 family [Windows Embedded blog, Jan 14, 2013] “Windows Embedded 8 Handheld is more than just the successor to Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. It’s a complete re-imagination of the enterprise mobile device. With Windows Embedded 8 Handheld, the platform is now based on the Windows Phone 8, which itself is built on Windows 8. In addition to the highly-praised Windows Phone 8 user interface, both Windows Phone 8 and Windows Embedded 8 Handheld now share a common kernel with Windows.”]
Windows Server 2012 for Embedded Systems
Binary identical to Windows Server, a proven, highly reliable operating system for embedded applications in server appliances [such as of telecommunications, medical imaging, industrial automation and corporate headquarters]
- Enable informed, real-time decisions that keep your enterprise ahead of the competition.
- New storage features optimize the reliability and efficiency of data stores and scale to meet demand and reduce costs.
- Equip employees with insightful analysis and reporting services.
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 for Embedded Systems
A database management tool, binary identical to Microsoft SQL Server, for use with purpose-built hardware running the Windows Embedded Server operating system [such as in telecommunications, medical imaging, industrial automation and corporate headquarters].
- Glean new business insights from data, and harness it in real time.
- Provide access to powerful data analysis and visualization tools.
- Flexibility and usability for auditing and security manageability across SQL Server environment.
Actionable data fueled by intelligent systems is the new currency for business, and its value is expected to increase exponentially, improving how people live, learn and conduct business. Gartner predicts that big data will “deliver transformational benefits to enterprises” in the coming 2-5 years, and that by 2015, enterprises that employ big data strategies “will begin to outperform their unprepared competitors within their industry sectors by 20 percentage in every available financial metric.” (Source: Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, August, 2012.) With intelligent systems, Microsoft is helping organizations access and transform critical data into operational intelligence by providing a wide range of operating systems, tools, and systems and services.
Our mission is to drive business growth and competitive advantage for our enterprise customers and partners through technology innovations that capitalize on the vast potential of data. Your investment in Windows Embedded is backed by Microsoft’s proven commitment to intelligent systems through more than 15 years of experience in the market.
Intelligent systems are revolutionizing business and Microsoft is focused on driving innovation in retail and hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and automotive industries. Customized solutions built with Windows Embedded harness Microsoft technologies to address specific industry needs by connecting devices on the edge of enterprise networks with existing IT infrastructures—on a single platform. The resulting intelligent systems help retailers deliver personal, seamless and differentiated experiences to customers; manufacturers increase efficiencies at every level of the operation to deliver innovative services, implement best-practice operations and enhance planning and decision-making processes; healthcare institutions optimize patient care and outcomes by bringing people, processes and information together; and automakers evolve “intelligent car” experiences, allowing drivers to access innovative in-car communication, infotainment, navigation and fuel-efficiency features.
Microsoft’s tools and technologies for intelligent system solutions extend beyond a software package or device; the great power and flexibility of industry devices running the Windows Embedded platform is that it works in concert with Microsoft’s cloud products and services, and with existing IT infrastructure to customize a complete connected system.
Windows Embedded minimizes risk and complexity by providing one trusted platform with which to build solutions and broaden business opportunity. Windows Embedded fits with your needs, connecting data across a diverse set of technologies, providing compatibility across your existing systems, and enabling customization through a worldwide network of partners, to increase ease of use and drive efficiency. And a Microsoft solution extends the intelligence of your organization, increasing opportunities for your workforce to act on data and insights that would otherwise be out of reach.
On the adjacent to the above “Windows Embedded Products” page there is a “Product Lifecycles” [May 7, 2013] page which contains the following
Road map for intelligent systems
With Windows Embedded 8, Microsoft extends Windows 8 to intelligent systems, creating the next wave of enterprise tools and technology. The release schedule includes the Windows Embedded 8 family of device operating systems, each with a distinct feature set that includes the building blocks for an intelligent system across hardware, software and services.
It means that from the whole portfolio the “Windows Embedded Compact 2013” was missing on May 7 as it was to be delivered in Q2 2013. When clicking on its “+” sign one gets the following description (corrections came in the first week of June with v.3 mark deleted after Blend and “sensory input and Kinect for Windows” deleted, and XAML for Windows embedded, multi-core support as well as Snapshot Boot added; it also coincided with “Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 2013 ISO-TBE” availability for download):
A streamlined, componentized device operating system, Windows Embedded Compact 2013 gives developers all the tools they need to create the next generation of intelligent systems solutions. Compact 2013 provides the flexibility and real-time support to reduce time to market, while creating an easy-to-use, multi-touch experience that helps enterprise customers improve worker productivity.
- Access to up-to-date tools such as Platform Builder, Visual Studio 2012 and Expression Blend
v.3helps developers to streamline development.
- Support for XAML for Windows embedded, multi-touch,
sensory input and Kinect for Windowsand multi-core support enables the creation of immersive applications.
- Leverage the power of cloud computing through Windows Azure Application Services, giving customers a greater ability to extend their intelligence.
- Improved file system performance and Snapshot Boot gives companies the confidence that their devices will always be available, whatever their current state .
Posted By David Campbell
Woo hoo, it’s finally time to share more information about the upcoming release! First, the release now officially has a name: Windows Embedded Compact 2013. (I know that folks probably have questions around why we chose this name. We thoroughly considered a long list of potential names, including Windows CE again, and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 really did receive the best response.)
I’ll be doing a number of posts about the various key features and changes in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 over the next few posts, but I want to start with arguably the most interesting of the new features: the investments made for Visual Studio 2012 support, both ISV/app development via Visual Studio directly; and the OEM/device development experience with Platform Builder, now hosted in Visual Studio 2012!
With all development now in Visual Studio 2012, there is no longer a need for multiple versions of Visual Studio to support Compact development alongside other Windows platforms. Plus, you’ll get many of the new features and productivity improvements available in Visual Studio 2012 when developing for Compact! We now have the same C++ toolset and standards supported everywhere. (And of course Visual Studio 2012 includes the new features from Visual Studio 2010, which were not previously to Compact developers.)
We also have a new CRT, which has key new functionality aligned as well. (The existing CRT on Compact hasn’t been updated in some time.) And the new optimizer supports functionality like auto-parallelization of your code and auto-vectorization–so if your processor has FP registers, the optimizer will automatically generate code to use vector FP. The 2012 C++ compiler also includes many of the language features from the new C++11 standards.
C++11 has new language features that allow you to write better performing, safer code and code it faster than ever before. For example, RValue references let you operate on data without having to copy it. And C++11 brings in functional semantics to make writing code more efficient, like having anonymous functions. We also support range based loops, letting you iterate over members of a list directly. More information is available on the Visual Studio team blog.
.Net CF has also been upgraded to 3.9, which inherits the support Windows Phone updates while still being app compatible with 3.5. This upgrade improves performance significantly in a number of ways. .Net CF 3.9 has greatly improved performance overall, as well as memory allocation and garbage collection using the generational garbage collector. This not only improves performance, but also provides more predictability in the execution of applications. The memory footprint of the runtime is also smaller for both the framework and applications, using what is known as “the sharing server,” allowing loaded code to be reused across applications. The runtime itself is also multi-core enabled, which can improve the performance of all your applications. More information on the updated .Net CF is available on the .NET Framework blog.
The embedded developer experience improvements of bringing the new features of Visual Studio 2012 to Windows Embedded Compact are amazing, and I’m sure you’ll be as excited as I am to get started using the new features of Visual Studio 2012, Platform Builder and the new Compact OS.
For information on the upcoming Windows Embedded Compact release, visit www.windowsembedded.com.
Previous versions with some important new features (my own judgement + Windows CE Wikipedia article + other inputs):
CE7: Windows Embedded Compact 7 (March 2011)
– Silverlight for Windows Embedded (UX C++ XAML API): application development made easy, synching designers and developers.
– Windows Phone 7 IE with Flash 10.1 support: panning, zooming, multitouch and viewing bookmarks using thumbnails, etc
– Multi-core support
CE6: Windows Embedded CE 6.0 (September 2006)
– Significant change in architecture over previous versions of CE (process address space is increased from 32 MB to 2 GB, number of processes has been increased from 32 to 32,768 etc.)
– Incremental updates to features as R1, R2 and R3 releases
– Silverlight introduced, Microsoft Office and PDF viewers support too.
CE5: Windows CE 5.0 (August 2004)
– Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) introduced
– Updates to Graphics and Multimedia support
CE4: Windows CE 4.x (Jan 7, 2002)
– .Net Compact Framework introduced
– Since Windows CE.NET 4.2 system uses a new shell with integrated Internet Explorer
CE3: Windows CE 3.0 (June 15, 2000)
– Major recode that made CE hard real time down to the microsecond level
– Base for the Pocket PC 2000, Handheld PC 2000, Pocket PC 2002 and Smartphone 2002
CE2: Windows CE 2.x (Sept 29, 1997)
– Real-time deterministic task scheduling
– Architectures: ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, StrongARM, SuperH and x86
CE1: Windows CE 1.0 (November 1996)
Related post: Introducing NETCF 3.9 in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 – a faster, leaner and multi-core runtime! [.NET Framework blog, Nov 16, 2012]
Ever since .NET Compact Framework was introduced at the PDC conference in 2001, programming with .NET has scaled from some of the smallest devices to the largest servers. With C# and Visual Basic, developers can apply the same skills to program both devices and servers to form a complete end-to-end solution. As the devices become more prevalent in our daily lives, .NET is evolving too. Abhishek Mondal, the program manager for .NET Compact Framework [note that Abdishek Mondal was the program manager for GC as well], shares the following highlights of the latest version. –Brandon
NETCF 3.9 advances the Windows Embedded Compact Platform
We are happy to announce that we will be including the .NET Compact Framework 3.9 in Windows Embedded Compact 2013, as part of its upcoming release. We have made major updates in this version of the .NET Compact Framework, which deliver benefits in startup time, application responsiveness and memory utilization. You should see significantly better performance characteristics of your applications on both x86 and ARM devices, running Windows Embedded Compact 2013. You can read more about the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 release at the Microsoft News Center.
The .NET Compact Framework is a version of the .NET Framework for embedded devices. It provides .NET development support for low-end embedded devices that run the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 OS. NETCF provides a familiar and rich development platform for embedded application development, with a small foot print and an extensive set of .NET functionality. For clarity, the other Windows Embedded OSes use the desktop .NET Framework, the same version that is included with desktop Windows.
NETCF 3.9 is based on the NETCF version that shipped with Windows Phone 7.5. The following features are the key advances in NETCF 3.9, all big steps forward for app performance:
New Generational Garbage Collector for more responsive apps
NETCF runtime is now multi-core safe to take advantage of multi-core hardware
Sharing Server feature that reduces working set and improves app launch
Another major benefit of NETCF 3.9 is Visual Studio 2012 support! You will be able to use the same tools for Windows Embedded Compact 2013 development as you use for Windows, Windows Phone and Windows Azure development. Visual C++ development for this new Windows Embedded Compact version will also be supported in Visual Studio 2012, as reported on the Visual C++ team blog.
Applications run (a lot) faster with NETCF 3.9
NETCF 3.9 is a faster and leaner runtime for Windows Embedded Compact 2013. We have made many changes that should enable your apps to run much faster. NETCF is also multi-core safe, enabling you to take advantage of multiple cores on embedded devices. Multiple cores are increasingly available on today’s devices, and can be an important part of delivering a compelling experience to your customers. Let’s take a more in-depth look at some of the additional improvements that are part of NETCF 3.9.
Faster app performance
NETCF 3.9 has greatly improved performance overall. There are three key features that will speed up your apps. Let’s start with the new garbage collector in NETCF. We have observed app performance in the lab that shows 50-60% drops in GC time. We no longer see GC pauses significantly affecting app responsiveness, in our lab apps, which was a problem that was reported in the past. The new GC is a lot faster!
For apps that use floating point arithmetic code, you may notice an additional performance boost, since NetCF takes advantage of ARM VFP instructions.
Last, we’ll look at the new Sharing Server feature. Sharing Server enables a significant improvement in the warm start-up time of your app, particularly in scenarios where multiple applications run on a device. It is able to achieve this benefit by sharing loaded assemblies and JITed machine code across apps (including re-launching the same app).
Efficient memory utilization of managed application
The Sharing Server feature also enables lower memory use for NETCF 3.9 apps. As already discussed, the Sharing Server allows code to be reused across applications. In addition to benefiting app launch performance, this feature significantly lowers the aggregate memory use of devices in scenarios where multiple apps are in use.
Developing apps with NETCF 3.9
You will find that NETCF is a great addition to a modern development environment. You can use Visual Studio 2012 for development, including features such as Team Foundation Server for source control and feature management.
Visual Studio 2012 will support Windows Embedded Compact development
The single most compelling attraction of this release for many of you is the support for embedded development in Visual Studio 2012. This support will simplify development if you are already developing for both Windows or Windows Phone and Windows Embedded Compact, since you can do all of your work in a single Visual Studio environment.
If you develop exclusively for the embedded platform, then Visual Studio 2012 support will enable you to use ALM tools and TFS in your development environment. There are also other benefits to Visual Studio 2012 such as performance improvements and other tools, which you can explore and enjoy.
Here is a snapshot of a sample managed application developed using NETCF 3.9 with VS2012:
You can see this same app, running in Hyper-V, stopped at a breakpoint in Visual Studio 2012, using remote debugging:
NETCF 3.9 is source compatible with NETCF 3.5
NETCF 3.9 is a big step forward for performance, however, the APIs that you’ve used in NETCF 3.5 stay the same. As a result, you can move existing .NETCF source code and investments forward to NETCF 3.9.
You may wonder why NETCF 3.9 is source compatible with NETCF 3.5 and not binary compatible, since .NET assemblies are compiled to the machine-independent MSIL format. There is no change in our assembly format, nor are there any compatibility checks in NETCF 3.9.
We chose a single compatibility message for Windows Compact Embedded 2013, for both native and .NET development, which is source compatibility. The single biggest driver of this support policy is C++, which needs to be re-compiled for the ARM thumb2 instruction set, with the new Visual Studio 2012 Visual C++ compiler. We have also found that many of you pair your managed code with native implementations. As part of re-compiling that native code, we expect that you may make API changes that would affect your P/Invoke declarations. As a result, we decided that a single compatibility policy for the whole release was the best choice.
If you are an embedded developer, I’m sure that you are excited that we are making NETCF 3.9 available to you for your embedded apps. We have already talked to a set of developers, who are looking forward to this big update, to significantly improve the runtime performance of the apps that you run on your devices. We look forward to seeing your new devices and the rich experiences that they deliver, after Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is released.
NETCF 3.9 will be made available with the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 OS, when it is released. It isn’t available at this time. It will also be included in the SDK for the OS, for use with Visual Studio 2012. Watch the Windows Embedded Newsroom for future updates on release plans.
Follow us or talk to us on Twitter — http://twitter.com/dotnet.
Then here is Windows Embedded Compact 2013 presentation @Embedded World 2013 [kojtp2 YouTube channel, March 3, 2013]
Since this video has bad voice recording quality it is also worth to watch the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Technical Overview of what’s new [Microsoft Webinar Live Meeting record, April 30, 2013] from which I will include the following slide screenshots and some transcripts of my own:
[21:35] Very cool news: „an entirely rewritten and upgraded .NET Compact runtime”
[25:25] „XAML for [Windows] Embedded” [changed the name to XAML from Silverlight] allowing UI developers to write using Silverlight, in Expression Blend 5.0 with this release [vs Blend 3 in the previous], which will generate XAML describing the user inerface and the user interactions. We link that in with native C++ code in the back-end, and that allows for extremely powerful interfaces while still allowing for high performance that we use native code plus there’s nothing between us and the operating system, and there’s nothing between us and the hardware, so we have much better performance, from real-time perspective as well, not just general performance perspective. … There is increased functionality [in this release] in terms of data binding and data context. … We’ve got new triggers that are supported. … This is still a very, very important area for Microsoft, and frankly from embedded perspective XAML gives you in many ways a superior user interface description environment compared to HTML5. … [27:30]
[36:00] .. all-up general SKU … NR SKU for personal navigation devices … and we are coming with a brand new SKU „Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Entry” SKU. And this is the SKU for smaller devices that don’t need XAML capability. .. We haven’t announced our pricing for the 3 SKUs yet. That will be announced around the general availability [GA] timeline. … Windows Embedded Compact 2013 is still on schedule to ship in the first half of 2013. That means June. So we will be shipping and announcing the product in June. What we are giving now is a kind of sneak preview which will give you a technical introduction to the product. [27:53]
Using the same rendering engine as before
XAML for Windows Embedded is not supporting C#
– Windows Embedded Compact 2013 [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
from which of particular interest are:
– What’s New (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
– Expression Blend and XAML for Windows Embedded (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
– XAML for Windows Embedded Application Development (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
– Developer Guides (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
from which of particular interest is:
– .NET Compact Framework (Compact 2013) [MSDN Library, April 26, 2013]
Windows Embedded Compact 7 is a componentized, real-time operating system designed for small-footprint devices at the edge of enterprise networks. With support for x86 and ARM architectures, Windows Embedded Compact 7 allows devices to leverage the latest innovations in hardware, and equips developers and device manufacturers with the tools they need to create nimble, enterprise-class intelligent system solutions, while reducing time to market.
Rich user interface
Includes XAML for Windows Embedded, a powerful technology that allows you to build interfaces that incorporate touch and gesture support.
Real-time operating system supports an array of hardware requirements and key processor architectures, including x86 and ARM, to power everything from tiny controls to fully automated factories.
Secure and reliable
One-tier security model feature is SDL compliant and helps ensure that only authenticated applications can run on an industry device, with reliable wireless connectivity and networking performance.
Ease of development
Familiar tools like Visual Studio and Expression Blend allow you to create attractive and intuitive user interfaces, and bring differentiated devices to market faster than ever before.
Things you can do
One trusted platform
Devices running on Windows Embedded Compact 7 are covered under a 10-year support program from Microsoft. You can deploy industry devices with the assurance that technical support will be there, when and if it’s needed. And because you can continue using your existing applications based on Windows Embedded CE 6.0, there is a smooth upgrade path for using current applications while moving to the next generation of touch-enabled apps that provide an easy-to-use experience for getting things done more quickly.
Meets your needs
Arm your employees with a new breed of business applications harnessing touch and gesture input that showcase your company’s work and give employees better tools to get things done with intuitive access to information. Windows Embedded Compact 7 also provides a flexible device platform that can run on the smallest of devices, or power rich device experiences. And with the capabilities of a real-time operating system, you can be confident of its ability to meet the most exacting of industry requirements.
Extend business intelligence
Windows Embedded Compact 7 supports a variety of connectivity options, providing more flexibility for connecting industry devices to your company’s network. Support for enhanced WiFi, Ethernet, Bluetooth and USB enables you to deploy devices across your corporate network, where they can help automate business processes and generate data that leads to greater insight. Collectively, these devices can provide you with greater visibility into what’s happening throughout your company. As critical components of an intelligent system, these devices can help you make decisions in real-time, as well as formulate long-term plans for the growth of your business.
One trusted platform
With Windows Embedded Compact 7, you can develop industry devices within the integrated environment of Platform Builder, to allow adjustments on the hard, real-time operating system while working on specific projects simultaneously. And support for Visual Studio 2008, Expression Blend 3.0 and the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 provides access to the tools that OEMs rely on. Windows Embedded Compact 7 also ensures a consistency of APIs and SDKs, making it possible to leverage past investments and current skillsets to create products that are supported by a 10-year support program from Microsoft, along with the assurance that Windows Embedded Compact 7 will be available for 15 years from the time it was first released.
Create differentiated devices
Windows Embedded Compact 7 includes a development framework based on XAML and supports a range of architecture options, including ARM, MIPS and x86. As a result, you have greater flexibility to create devices that match your customers’ specifications. Creating these experiences is simplified with tools such as 3D transformation and Pixel/Shader effects. Your devices will give customers the ability to seamlessly share content on business networks, as well as network devices. And the introduction of touch gesture interface allows developers to create a more natural, interactive experience.
Extend business intelligence
Create an experience that helps companies get more done. With Windows Embedded Compact 7, you can design a solution that’s more seamless, making it easier for companies to synchronize content with their Windows PCs. And with the Connection Manager feature and multiple connectivity options, you can ensure that businesses have the optimum level of connectivity across the workplace. Support for enhanced WiFi, Ethernet, USB and Bluetooth virtually guarantees that your device will connect with the other devices, PCs and servers already running in the enterprise. With this connectivity in place, employees will be able to remotely access Microsoft Outlook via Microsoft Air Sync. And the ability to view Adobe and Microsoft Office files will help them stay current on business developments.
Sample device types
Human machine interface (HMI)
The devices provide the ability to monitor automated processes, such as manufacturing, to safegueard against diminished product quality or equipment breakdowns
Speed the completion of common tasks such as inventory, shipping and receiving with these devices
Sonograms and other medical devices enable doctors to monitor a baby’s health in utero and send images to researchers in real time via a wireless network
Help people stay on course to their destination with these navigation devices
News: Building the intelligent car of the future
[Microsoft feature story, May 7, 2013]
Microsoft: Working with automotive industry to design an updateable car that’s easier to use and responds to the driver’s needs.
In the 1920’s, carmakers started offering an accessory that would revolutionize the driving experience: the radio. While tooling down the road you could tune into the nightly newscast, a live jazz performance or the seventh game in the series. It provided a connected experience that replaced the steady drone of the four liter under the hood with the soaring notes of Duke Ellington’s bugle or the crack of Babe Ruth’s bat as the ball hurtled toward the right-field stands.
Since then, the notion of the connected car has changed. Features such as streaming music from your smartphone and using voice commands to control the stereo and environment are standard equipment in many models. And Microsoft has a vision for in-car technology that takes us beyond the confines of the cockpit to what they call the intelligent car — a scenario in which telematics data can help improve the driving experience, and the design of the vehicle.
Led by Group Program Manager Pranish Kumar, the Windows Embedded Automotive team is focused on fulfilling this vision and, in the process, developing an upgradeable technology solution that extends the useful life of the vehicle.
Says Kumar: “The automotive industry faces a lot of unique challenges, perhaps first of which is that cars must be supportable for much longer than consumer electronics devices — 10 or 20 years, in most cases. I think we’ve developed a solid understanding of some of these challenges and how technology can address them, while providing drivers with a better experience.”Microsoft’s Pranish Kumar and his team work to develop reliable in-car experiences, not by sitting at a desk but by working behind the wheel of a fleet of test vehicles.
A relationship built on experience and trust
Microsoft’s involvement in the automotive industry stretches back 15 years to 1998 when the company partnered with Clarion to announce the Auto PC, a first-of-its-kind solution that gave drivers access to email, driving directions, paging and traffic alerts, and their entertainment system. And in 2003 Microsoft developed the Microsoft TBox, a telematics device that went on to power infotainment systems for a variety of carmakers.
When it came to working directly with carmakers, Kumar says it was an uphill battle to gain their trust. Many had tried to design their own infotainment system and were convinced that it couldn’t be done in a shorter time than seven or eight years. Microsoft has since proven itself by reducing development time down to just two to three years.
Kumar’s team also adopted the same level of rigor and many of the testing methodologies that carmakers use when conducting customer road tests. Making this change gave the team a “greater degree of confidence” that their development and reporting processes met the carmaker’s need and that the finished product would meet or exceed the driver’s expectations.
From the connected car to the intelligent car
For carmakers, the Promised Land lies in giving drivers the ability to access information and services anywhere they live, whether an app on their smartphones, a music file on their tablet at home, or customer contact information on their computer at work or in the cloud. Over time, members of the Windows Embedded Automotive team have earned a reputation for providing solid insight to help make these experiences a reality.
Together with Kumar, Creative Director John Hendricks, Principal Program Manager Jay Loney, Partner Development Manager David Kelley, and Experience Designers David Walker and Melissa Quintanilha are part of a larger team developing and designing the future of Microsoft’s automotive technologies.Top Gear U.S.’s Tanner Foust talks with Microsoft engineers and designers about their vision for the future intelligent car.
In doing so, they are moving away from a focus on creating in-dash technologies, such as the entertainment or navigation systems, to an emphasis on creating a solution that would power these technologies as part of an overall user experience. Taking this approach has given carmakers the ability to provide periodic updates that refresh the driving experience and extend compatibility to the latest consumer devices.
In the future Microsoft wants to take that experience a step further. Whereas today consumers demand a car that’s more connected — to their phones, their music and their services — Windows Embedded Automotive is focused on designing intelligent cars that respond to the driver’s needs.
One example that Kumar cites involves the difficulty of pairing new phones, which is one of the most frequent problems facing car owners. According to IDC, 722 million smartphones were shipped globally in 2012, a 46.1 percent increase over the previous year. As demand for smartphones continues, ensuring compatibility between new models and infotainment systems will remain a challenge.
A Windows Embedded-based system could transmit data about the unsuccessful pairing to Microsoft and overnight a solution could be identified and downloaded to the car. When the owner gets in his car the next morning, his phone would automatically pair. Over time, that same data could be used to design a user experience that’s not only easier to use but that performs tasks on your behalf, such as tuning to your favorite station or rescheduling a meeting due to traffic delays.
Drivers also stand to gain from the availability of data. Many vehicles contain sensors that monitor factors such as speed, braking, fuel consumption, tire pressure and environmental conditions. Drivers can already use this information to assess their performance and get recommendations on how to improve fuel efficiency or vehicle maintenance.
Using the same data, carmakers could augment the existing battery of tests that are part of their proving process. So in addition to putting a vehicle through the environmental extremes of Northern Sweden or California’s Death Valley, they could evaluate its performance in day-to-day conditions. Engineers and product planners could get a head start on the next year’s model through insights around where design improvements are needed or where a car has been over-engineered. They could even fine tune an engine over-the-air to improve fuel economy of the current model year.
Kumar believes that many of the systems are already in place to make this vision a reality. Using technologies such as Windows Update, cars could be automatically updated — in much the same way as smartphones automatically update when you activate them. And the combination of big data and machine learning could lead to cars that develop an understanding of your preferences and driving behavior to become more responsive to your needs.
“We’ve come a long way in terms of creating a product that works reliably and meets the quality standards of the automotive industry. And we’re continuing our work with carmakers to reach the full potential of in-car technology,” says Kumar. “Through a combination of software, hardware and user-centric design, we believe that car owners will experience driving like never before possible.”
 IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, Jan. 24, 2013
See also: Maximizing Internet Explorer in Windows Embedded Compact 7 [Windows Embedded blog, June 11, 2012]
Windows Embedded Compact has a customized version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer named Internet Explorer (IE) for Embedded. This powerful browser can be used in a number of ways in an embedded system to enhance the functionality of the system. This post will discuss the various ways to tune, customize and even embed IE for Embedded inside embedded applications.
IE for Embedded is a customized version of Internet Explorer 7 for the desktop with performance enhancements from IE 8 added as well. Specifically, the JScript engine brought from IE 8 provides a 400% performance improvement over the original IE 7 scripting engine. In addition gesture support along with zoom and pan support is in this browser.
Internet Explorer for Embedded is fundamentally an HTML rendering engine. As such, the user input surrounding the engine, (the “chrome”) isn’t really part of IE for Embedded. Windows Embedded Compact comes with two examples of IE for Embedded; one with classic “Windows” controls and the other one with the chrome rendered with the XAML-driven, Silverlight for Embedded framework. Both of these examples come with the source code that demonstrates how to host the IE control. They also both illustrate that almost all the functionality of these Browsers is contained within the control itself. The chrome only provides input from the user and a platform for returning feedback.
The classic browser example, IESample, supports a favorites list, browser history and URL completion. It incorporates an internet control panel that can tune how the browser connects to the web as well as setting security settings. The XAML-based browser, IEExr, has a vastly different look and feel. However, it too handles a favorites list, history and control pane. IEExr even supports tabbed browsing using a thumbnail page to switch between pages. The reason the two examples have similar features is that most of the functionality, is incorporated in the IE ActiveX control itself.
Silverlight for Windows Embedded (Windows Embedded Compact 7) [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]
Microsoft Silverlight for Windows Embedded is a native (C++) UI development framework for Windows Embedded Compact powered devices that is founded on Microsoft Silverlight 3. You can use Silverlight for Windows Embedded to do the following:
- Separate programming logic and UI design.
- Define visual UIs for applications in XAML.
- Add, modify, and customize the UI at run time.
- Create interactive multimedia UIs.
- Collaborate with designers who use Microsoft Expression Blend 3 projects.
- Simultaneously develop applications for Microsoft Silverlight 3 and Silverlight for Windows Embedded with a common UI defined in XAML files.
Silverlight for Windows Embedded is compatible with Silverlight 3 XAML and provides a set of equivalent classes for supported XAML elements. For information about Silverlight 3, see http://www.silverlight.net/.
Silverlight for Windows Embedded is also compatible with existing Windows Embedded Compact window controls, so you can use your existing window controls.
To add this feature to your OS, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Catalog Items and Sysgen Variables.
For reference information, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Reference.
For step-by-step guidelines and code examples to help you learn how to create a UI by using Silverlight for Windows Embedded, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Application Development.
For recommendations on which hardware to use with Silverlight for Windows Embedded, see Silverlight for Windows Embedded Hardware Recommendations.
– Differences Between Microsoft Silverlight 3 and Silverlight for Windows Embedded [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]
– Silverlight for Windows Embedded Application Development [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]
Microsoft Silverlight for Windows Embedded is a “UI development framework” for “embedded devices” and is based on Microsoft Silverlight for the desktop browser. By using Silverlight for Windows Embedded, you can create an application that supports features such as storyboard animations, transformations, interactive controls, a layout system, and a visual tree.
Silverlight for Windows Embedded is a native C++ development framework in which you can design a UI for the shell and applications for a Windows Embedded Compact device. You can use Microsoft Expression Blend 3 to quickly design a UI in Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), which you can then convert, or you can build your application from scratch in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 by using one of the Smart Device project templates. In the native C++ source files for your application, you can use the rest of the features of Windows Embedded Compact 7, including any existing window controls.
By using Silverlight for Windows Embedded, you can create a UI that provides advanced visual effects for your Windows Embedded Compact device shell and applications. Silverlight for Windows Embedded makes this possible by supporting a subset of Silverlight XAML elements and by supplying a set of C++ classes that provide access to these elements.
– Graphics and Performance in Silverlight for Windows Embedded (Windows Embedded Compact 7) [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]
– Hardware Acceleration in Silverlight for Windows Embedded (Windows Embedded Compact 7) [MSDN Library, Jan 23, 2013]
Many modern device platforms include on-board graphics processing units (GPUs) with two-dimensional or three-dimensional capabilities or both. Microsoft Silverlight for Windows Embedded provides support for using a GPU to accelerate certain types of animations. Hardware acceleration is accomplished by using the GPU (rather than the CPU) to do some critical composition steps in the rendering process. Silverlight for Windows Embedded supports hardware-based acceleration of graphics for both Microsoft DirectDraw and OpenGL.
For information on how to implement hardware acceleration, see Implement Hardware Acceleration for Graphics in Silverlight for Windows Embedded [Reference].
It includes support in Blend for SketchFlow, WPF 4.5, and Silverlight 5.
which according to ANNOUNCING VISUAL STUDIO 2012 UPDATE 2 CTP 2 [Blend Insider, Jan 30, 2013]
Blend for Visual Studio [as part of a consolidated designer/developer offering retained only from previous Expression products that were phased out with the Visual Studio 2012] now support WPF, Silverlight and SketchFlow projects in the same version of Blend (support for these was previously available only as a standalone Preview release of Blend). With this CTP release, Blend now supports developing Windows Store, Windows Phone, WPF and Silverlight apps without needing to have multiple versions of Blend on the same machine. The table below highlights the various platforms that are now supported in Blend for Visual Studio 2012:
Windows Store XAML and HTML
Windows Phone 8, Windows Phone 7.5
Windows Phone 8 SDK
3.5, 4.0, 4.5
WPF 4.0 and Silverlight 4
Visual Studio 2012 Premium or higher
– in Silverlight 5 Beta – available now! [Silverlight Team blog on MSDN, April 22, 2011] for Silverlight 5 Available for Download Today [Silverlight Team blog on MSDN, Dec 9, 2011]
– in What’s New in Silverlight for Windows Phone [MSDN Library] (which is part of Silverlight for Windows Phone [MSDN Library])
Silverlight for Windows Phone OS 7.1 is based on Silverlight 4. That means if you create a new Silverlight for Windows Phone application that targets Windows Phone OS 7.1, you can take advantage of several new features. You can still write applications that target Windows Phone OS 7.0, but to take advantage of the new features, you must target Windows Phone OS 7.1. Applications that target Windows Phone OS 7.0 will run on devices running Windows Phone OS 7.1. This topic introduces some of the new features and improvements in Silverlight for Windows Phone.
In finishing up my new Windows Phone book, I had to deal with the confusing version problem. There are three version numbers to be aware of:
- Windows Phone 7.5
- Windows Phone OS 7.1
- Windows Phone SDK 7.1
So what is Mango? It comes down to this:
- Windows Phone 7.5: The marketing name of the phone. This is the phrase you’ll see in the ads to consumers.
- Windows Phone OS 7.1: The name of the actual operating system. When you create a new application in Visual Studio (or upgrade an existing one), you’ll see this version.
- Windows Phone SDK 7.1: The name of the Mango tools.
So get your nomenclature right and stop being confused.