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If you're a developer interested in using an embedded form of Windows on small devices, Microsoft has just released a community technology preview (CTP) of Windows Embedded Compact 7 this week, aimed at specialized portable devices.
Microsoft announced the CTP during a keynote speech by Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Division at the giant technology conference Computex being held in Taiwan.
Microsoft has more than one platform that it promotes for embedded use, including Windows 7 Embedded. However, a full-sized version of embeddable Windows may have too large a memory footprint for a given device, or may simply not be appropriate for a particular application. That's where Windows Embedded Compact 7 comes in.
"Windows Embedded Compact 7 is the next generation of Microsoft's widely-used Windows Embedded CE platform, which provides OEMs with the tools and technologies to deliver specialized devices," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.
The new version provides links to "corporate e-mail, calendar, and contacts over enterprise networks through Microsoft AirSync and Microsoft Exchange," according to a statement from the company.
It also supports viewers for both Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF files and works with Windows 7's Device Stage feature to enable data and media to be transferred between PCs and devices, the statement said. Multi-touch support is also provided.
In addition, Windows Embedded Compact 7 works with Microsoft development tools such as Platform Builder, Microsoft Visual Studio, Expression Blend and Silverlight for Windows Embedded.
Among other capabilities, Windows Embedded Compact 7 supports ARM v7 architectures, and improved graphics with Open GL ES 2.0, as well as support for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1.
Microsoft is planning to release Windows Embedded Compact 7 during the fourth quarter of the year. The new version of Microsoft's compact system is now available for download.