Today during an industry address at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley, Microsoft Corp. announced the release to manufacturing of Windows Embedded Standard 7.
OEMs can leverage Windows Embedded Standard 7 to create differentiated experiences and enhanced connectivity with Windows-based PCs, servers and online services on specialized devices, such as thin clients, digital signage and industrial controls for the enterprise, as well as set-top boxes (STBs), connected media devices (CMDs), and TVs for consumers.
"The addition of the Windows Media Center feature in Windows Embedded Standard 7 is driving the set-top box, connected media device and TV markets by providing OEMs with opportunities to develop uniquely branded experiences and service providers with capabilities to explore additional revenue streams with unique content through a centralized media hub in the home," said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business Unit at Microsoft.
Announced in September 2009 during the community technology preview, Windows Embedded Standard 7 helps OEMs build enterprise devices with connectivity, allowing companies to extend their existing investments in management and network infrastructure. The platform also features the latest Windows technologies including multigesture touch interfaces and context-aware applications with Windows Touch, and the ability to develop "green" solutions with smart power management APIs.
In addition to support for enterprise devices, STBs, CMDs and TVs built on Windows Embedded Standard 7 and leveraging the Windows Media Center feature will enable consumers to merge multimedia content from disparate sources, including Internet and broadcast TV, social media portals, and personal libraries of photos, music and videos, into a centralized home entertainment hub. Information can easily be shared across Windows-based PCs and individual devices.
For service providers, including cable, telecommunications and satellite operators, STBs and other consumer entertainment devices with Windows Media Center provide opportunities for over-the-top content, incremental services and applications to be delivered directly to consumers, offering opportunities to build new revenue streams. Service providers also can leverage the flexible x86 architecture of Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows Presentation Foundation, Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player 12 and the latest desktop innovations from Microsoft to develop customized user experiences, while ensuring integrated content from the Internet, broadcast TV and personal media through HomeGroup.
Windows Embedded partners and customers already have plans to begin shipping products and solutions for a variety of specialized devices built on the Windows Embedded Standard 7 platform. Examples include AOpen Inc., C-nario, DT Research Inc., Micro Industries Inc. and YCD Multimedia for digital signage; HP and Wyse Technology for thin clients; and Heber Ltd. for industrial control systems.