Microsoft is committed to helping harness the potential of the Internet of Things by connecting devices to software and services in the back end or in the cloud, transforming that data into actionable operational intelligence. In describing the opportunity, Windows Embedded General Manager Kevin Dallas calls out Microsoft's "big transition" from being a software company to a devices and services company.
Intelligent Systems in Action: Hospitality
Windows Embedded 8 supports a growing range of applications, device form factors, architectures and system requirements. In parallel, Windows Embedded Compact 2013 will support small footprint devices that require flexible hardware, the use of touch- and gesture-based inputs and hard, real-time support. Windows Embedded Compact 2013 will be generally available in the second quarter of 2013, and, along with Windows Embedded 8, will feature support for Visual Studio 2012 (http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/team-foundation-service). Together, both provide the tools that enterprises need to harness the value of data living on the edge of their networks.
* Windows Embedded 8 Standard (Release preview available now (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/evaluate/windows-embedded-8-standard.aspx); general availability in March 2013)
Windows Embedded 8 Standard is a flexible, modular, version of Windows 8 that gives enterprises and partners the freedom to choose which parts of the operating system they need for their unique requirements. Devices can also be locked down to block certain gestures and deliver a more secure and differentiated user experience.
* Windows Embedded 8 Pro (General availability in March 2013)
Like its predecessor, Windows 7 for Embedded Systems, Windows Embedded 8 Pro delivers the full power and familiarity of the Windows operating system. Enterprises and partners can create quick-turn, industry-certified solutions, without concern for application and device compatibility.
* Windows Embedded 8 Industry (Community technology preview and details on timing will be available in January 2013)
Historically, Windows Embedded POSReady has targeted retail point-of-service (POS) solutions. Moving forward, Microsoft will deliver the power of Windows 8 technologies to these and other scenarios requiring fixed experiences with enhanced lockdown, branding and the other benefits of Windows Embedded 8 -- including peripheral support to other industry-specific scenarios, such as manufacturing and healthcare, in addition to POS.
"The ultimate objective of intelligent systems is to unlock the value of data, and it's clear that there's a huge opportunity," Dallas says. "Between the range of experience, talent and technology that we have in play, I'm convinced that Microsoft and its community of partners are uniquely qualified to take the lead."
For more information, please visit the Windows Embedded website (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/windows-embedded.aspx).