SPOT to be Found in Windows Longhorn

From SpotStop

The next generation of Windows (codename Longhorn) will feature auxiliary display support. This display will be based on the same run time operating system that is used to power SPOT devices.

An article from PCWorld covers some of the details. It remains to be seen if any MSN Direct content would be leveraged as part of this secondary display. Offline notebooks would certianly be an interesting place to add it though.

In a presentation at the VSLive and Windows Anywhere developer event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Viji showed a picture of an auxiliary display showing a menu of options that included calendar, contacts, tasks, inbox, and media player. The picture also showed a set of buttons to allow users to navigate the menu.

In addition to displaying cached data, applications for the auxiliary display could be programmed to periodically wake up the PC, connect to the Internet, synchronize data, and update that on the display, Viji says.

Besides the actual display, RAM, and flash memory, the needed hardware for the auxiliary display would include a lightweight ARM processor and USB and system bus connections, Viji says. The display will run on the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) software, which is also used Microsoft's smart watches, he says.

– Mike

Comments (3)

  1. Marcus says:

    So Mike, where do you see SPOT technology going in the next few years?

    It seems to be a little out of alignment with the big Windows brands, and runs (yet?) another OS! Since its inception CE has been growing in features, constantly chasing Windows desktop. Are we likely to see SPOT os grow in features as well and become a major player, taking over some of the ground below the CE footprint sizes? Or will CE get a ‘short back and sides’ to cover the SPOT ground and bring these devices into the fold?

    Longer term, with Longhorn’s componentization out of the box, do you think we will see Windows Embedded squeeze CE from the top end as well?


  2. Mike says:


    Interesting questions… Let’s start with Longhorn and work down…

    Windows XP and Longhorn both run on the x86 processor, Windows CE runs on multiple processor cores including x86, MIPS, ARM, and SH4 – Windows CE is also a hard-real-time operating system out of the box, Windows XP/Embedded (and Longhorn) would need a real-time extension to be real-time. Footprint should also be considered, Windows CE scales from about 200kb, Windows XP Embedded scales from about 40MB (for a realistic boot image).

    SPOT isn’t really an O/S as such, it’s a port of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) which runs directly on a processor, support for communications and graphics is somewhat limited.

    So, you could say that there are three embedded operating systems available from Microsoft, SPOT, Windows CE, and Windows XP Embedded. As an embedded developer you would choose the appropriate operating system based on the needs of the device you are building.

    – Mike

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