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Microsoft demos Windows CE 5.0 beta

Microsoft today at electronicaUSA has announced they will be releasing Windows CE 5.0 Beta, a Preview Kit for the new developer friendly OS. Code-named “Macallan”, the new CE 5.0 will have greater plug-in play support for hardware, advanced multimedia capabilities and automated testing tools.

“The next version of Windows CE will deliver new componentized technology that will help customers save time in the development process and will enable a wide range of innovative devices, from gateways and gaming devices to set-top- boxes,” said Ya-Qin Zhang, corporate vice president of the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft. “This release is an important milestone for Windows CE because it reflects ongoing feedback we’ve received from customers to enable them to build embedded devices even more quickly.”

Windows CE 5.0 is designed to save development time and costs when building applications. The new development solution enables developers to easily switch between command-line and graphical environments. This will decrease operating system image development time and speed time to market.

Microsoft also has dramatically increased support for widely available embedded hardware with more than 50 production-quality drivers optimized for leading chipsets, such as ARM, MIPS, SuperH and x86, enabling OEMs to use the drivers right out of the box rather than having to customize them for a particular hardware platform. These production-quality drivers are in addition to the more than 250 sample drivers currently available in Windows CE.

New multimedia capabilities will enable developers to create applications and services that will differentiate their devices in the marketplace. Windows CE 5.0 will include support for Direct3D® Mobile, a Component Object Model (COM)-based programming model and graphics solution built on Microsoft’s desktop technology, DirectX®. By including support for Direct3D Mobile, Windows CE devices can now support even richer, higher-performance graphics and multimedia, similar to a desktop experience, on small-footprint devices. In addition, enhanced multimedia features, such as Fast Start, dramatically decrease playback start time for multimedia content such as movies on a range of devices including Internet Protocol (IP) set-top boxes.

“Intel has enabled a new generation of rich multimedia and gaming capabilities for D3DMobile utilizing Intel XScale® technology with Wireless MMX instructions,” said Mark Casey, director of Marketing for the Cellular and Handheld Group at Intel. “Working closely with Microsoft to integrate these enhancements into D3DMobile, developers and OEMs will be able to deploy a new generation of compelling 3-D applications while meeting the battery life and small size requirements of mobile devices.”

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