Windows Embedded Standard 7 Products Unveiled at CES
Windows Embedded Standard 7 made the scene at the Computer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, although the compact operating system lurked in the background.
The kickoff of CES by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday night didn't mention it, but Windows Embedded Standard 7 is incorporated in a number of non-PC consumer devices displayed at the show, such as home entertainment systems and set-top boxes.
Microsoft partners Acer, Evolve Media, Haier, Prime Time and Reycom are displaying "connected living room" boxes at CES, built on Windows Embedded, which are designed to deliver home multimedia content. The boxes enable access to TV, social networking apps and library stores of music, photos and videos. They also work with Windows Home Server as well as Windows Phone 7.
Evolve Media, a brand of U.K.-based Passive Technologies, uses Microsoft's componentized operating system to sync applications and services with Windows Media Center, an access point for viewing and recording broadcast and Internet TV as well as retrieving multimedia files. Windows Embedded Standard 7 is being used in Evolve's product line, including lifeStation, lifeStream and lifeStore home server.
Aarau, Switzerland-based Reycom unveiled its REC100 hybrid set-top box using Windows Embedded Standard 7 at CES. REC users can transfer multimedia between a home server, PC and Windows Phone 7 device. Users can also extend Media Center using Xbox 360. Reycom plans to launch a U.S. retail version of the product in the first quarter of this year. It plans distribution through U.S. cable companies and telcos by the middle of 2011.
Microsoft released Windows Embedded Standard 7 to original equipment manufacturers back in April. A test version of Service Pack 1 for Windows Embedded Standard 7 was made available through the Microsoft Connect portal in mid-December, which enables RemoteFX capabilities. RemoteFX technology is designed to support richer graphics experiences on remote, thin-client devices.
The new service pack for Windows Embedded Standard 7 also includes SKU compliance packages and "PMQ mapping to out-of-box drivers," according to Microsoft's announcement. Microsoft is planning the general-availability and OEM release of SP1 sometime in the first quarter of this year.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.