First of all – a quick intro: I’m Oren Winter and I am the development manager of the Windows Embedded Standard team. I’ve been with Microsoft and the embedded team for 6.5 years now but this is my first post in this blog. One of my new year’s resolution is to continue and write more here J I really don’t know why it’s taken me so long…
OK, so now that we’re done with my quick introduction I’d like to reflect a little bit on the team’s work in 2008 and to talk a little bit about what is happening in 2009.
2008 was a very busy year for us. We’ve been working on 2 releases in parallel. The first one was Windows Embedded Standard 2009 which we have launched in October this year. A lot was said about this release but at a high-level I will say that this was a great opportunity for us to capture all the work the team has done in 2 feature packs and multiple updates (including Service Pack 3 for Windows XP) to the XP Embedded product over the last few years into one release and sprinkle a few new and exciting features on top of that like Silverlight, .Net 3.5 support etc. The team has worked hard on this release and I am very proud in what we were able to accomplish. Windows Embedded Standard 2009 is also the first product that we are releasing since we came together organizationally @ Microsoft with the Windows CE and our marketing teams to form the Windows Embedded Business (WEB) and reinvigorate the Windows Embedded brand which includes Windows Embedded Compact (formally CE), Windows Embedded Standard (the embedded version of the desktop OS) and our X-Ready products (for Navigation, POS etc.). As someone who has been working on Embedded related stuff in Microsoft since 2002, it feels great that we finally came together under one mandate to focus on embedded devices in the consumer space, enterprises and services we can offer for these.
The second project we’ve been working on is “Quebec”. Quebec is the codename for our next release which is going to be based off Windows 7, the next Windows release. Quebec will offer Windows 7 features componentized for the embedded space as well as Embedded Enabling features and new set of Windows Embedded Studio-like tools. We have shared private bits of Quebec with a few customers this year and we have gotten good feedback that we are on the right track. The team is working hard on making Quebec our best Windows Embedded release to-date for customers – we are improving things that needed to be improved (as you have told us) and will keep the things that work well today. As I mentioned, we are based off Windows 7 so a lot of our runtime features and improvements will be “inherited” from it (BTW, Windows 7 is going to be a great OS!) for Thin Clients, POS, medical devices, gaming etc. New user interface, Internet Explorer 8, improvements to RDP, 64bit support are just some of what you’re going to get with Quebec. Beyond that at this point I cannot disclose any more details but we will do that later in the year.
2008 was a challenging year economically as we all know it. Despite everything that is going around us we do see a bright future for devices in the interim and long term. There are also short term opportunities for embedded devices as people try to tighten up and cost is becoming an important factor. We feel that we are very well positioned to thrive in the future with our Windows Embedded Standard offerings, in 2009 and beyond. We have been following some interesting trends this year like in ultra mobile computing, the gaining popularity of flash / SSDs, new and richer user experience and we are confident that these will continue to be interesting in the near future as well. Windows Embedded Standard will continue to be a major player in when it comes to these aspects.
Happy new year everyone!