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Windows Embedded Compact 7 aimed directly at tablets



As was spotted in the 10″ Asus Eee Pad, Microsoft has a new embedded OS designed with tablets in mind, or at least that’s the strong impression they’re trying to make. I assume it will work for other form factors too, but what they’re showing is all tablets.

Details are a bit light at the moment. From what is being shown, Windows Embedded Compact 7 (Seriously? You needed “Embedded” and “Compact”?) is more like Windows Phone 7 than Windows 7. The “rich user experiences” stressed on the website are built using Silverlight for Windows Embedded. It also boasts a desktop web browsing experience with Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash 10.1 support, as well as natural touch input and custom gestures. Definitely not the Tablet PC experience most of us know, but it sounds like it pairs up well against the iPad and current crop of Android-based tablets. A preview of the OS is available for developers now.

Via Engadget – more photos and video there.

Microsoft Outlines Business Opportunities for Hardware Makers Across Windows Platform
Guggenheimer announces Windows Embedded Compact 7 community technology preview for manufacturers of consumer and enterprise devices.

TAIPEI, Taiwan – June 1, 2010 – During a keynote address tomorrow at COMPUTEX TAIPEI, Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Division at Microsoft Corp., will outline how the company continues to deliver expanded partner opportunities to support rich and connected experiences. Product demonstrations will showcase the diversity and breadth of devices supported across the Windows platform, including desktop PCs, smartphones, netbooks, laptops, tablets, slates, game consoles, set-top boxes and servers. He will also discuss the enthusiastic response from partners and the larger market to the latest version of the Windows operating system, Windows 7. Since its launch this past October, more than 100 million licenses have been sold, making it the fastest-selling operating system in history.

As part of this effort to deliver richer customer experiences across a variety of scenarios, Microsoft will unveil the public community technology preview (CTP) for Windows Embedded Compact 7, the next generation of Microsoft’s widely used Windows Embedded Compact platform for hardware manufacturers of specialized devices. With a $9.5 billion annual investment in research and development, Microsoft is committed to continued innovation and bringing new products to market that meet the needs of customers.

“The Windows platform creates tangible opportunities for our hardware partners to diversify their product portfolios and deliver rich computing experiences across a broad range of devices,” Guggenheimer said. “The Windows Embedded Compact 7 toolkit will allow for richer customer experiences on a variety of specialized devices. We look forward to continued collaboration with our hardware partners to bring the very best experiences to customers worldwide.”

Windows Embedded Compact 7

During the keynote address, Guggenheimer will demonstrate how specialized devices built on Windows Embedded Compact 7 will be able to provide immersive multimedia user experiences for consumers and businesses and offer seamless connectivity to PCs running Windows 7, servers and online services, as well as simplified access to corporate information for enterprise users. New technologies in Windows Embedded Compact 7 will provide developers and designers with powerful tools and a streamlined development experience to build compelling devices quickly and easily, while also providing customized and branded experiences.

Additional features and capabilities of Windows Embedded Compact 7 include the following:

  • Rich and connected experiences for consumers. Windows Embedded Compact 7 gives consumers the ability to share and manage content across networked devices with Digital Living Network Alliance, such as new HDTVs, and a new media library.
  • Simplified access to information for enterprise users. Windows Embedded Compact 7 makes it easier to connect to corporate e-mail, calendar and contacts over enterprise networks through Microsoft AirSync and Microsoft Exchange, as well as to Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF viewers to access important documents, and to Windows 7 Device Stage to transfer data and media between PCs and devices.
  • Resources for hardware manufacturers and developers. Windows Embedded Compact 7 provides resources to help bring high-performing, highly reliable and differentiated specialty devices to market quicker with support for multicore and the latest asset relationship management-based architecture and tools, including Platform Builder, Visual Studio, Expression Blend and Silverlight for Windows Embedded.

The Windows Embedded Compact 7 CTP is available now for developers at The platform is expected to be released to manufacturing in the fourth quarter of this year.

During the keynote, Guggenheimer will also outline how hardware manufacturers can take advantage of the next wave of Microsoft products, including Windows 7, Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Live Messenger, Windows® Phone 7, Windows Server and Microsoft Office 2010, to deliver unique and compelling experiences across multiple devices and screens. He will demonstrate the power of Microsoft software on devices from smartphones to TVs and everything in between; Windows Live as a cloud service working across devices for a seamless, interactive experience; exciting developments on Windows-based slate devices; and a variety of scenarios highlighting the customer benefits of Microsoft’s deep collaboration with hardware manufacturers.

Highlights from Guggenheimer’s keynote – including demos, video excerpts and a transcript – and more detailed information on Windows Embedded Compact 7 will be available by visiting the Windows Embedded Newsroom at or by following for updates.



  1. ChrisRS

    06/02/2010 at 6:33 pm

    Quote: “Seriously? You needed “Embedded” and “Compact”?”

    MS is playing it safe. I think that the working name was actaully “Windows Embedded Compact Read My Lips NOT EVEN TRYING TO RUN A FULL OS 7”

    “EVERYONE” “KNOWS” you “CAN’T” run full Win7. Apparently MS want to be absolutly, cetrtainly, redundently clear that this is not WIN 7.

    Perhaps thsi will still run “real” apps. If “WCE7” has an improved (MAGICAL?) UI, it might migrate to WIN7 and TabletPC.

    I still want an updated active digitizer Win 7 TabletPC

    • acerbic

      06/02/2010 at 7:24 pm

      Just like bumblebees fly only because they don’t know that it’s aerodynamically impossible, all the hundreds of millions of netbooks run Windows 7 only because they don’t know that it’s impossible with their hardware. Too bad the slates were told you can’t do that…

  2. Joe

    06/02/2010 at 7:09 pm

    I was hoping one side effect of the Courier project would be the interesting handwriting bits would be ported to CE7, but it appears from the press release that this is not the case.

    It’s unfortunate though, because I know that ARM is pretty much the only way to get the all-day battery life I would prefer.

    But yeah, the first Windows 7 (even Atom, preferably Ion2 if that’s the case) slate to have an active digitizer, and maybe even be paired with a Pixel Qi screen is going to be the one I’m most likely to pick up.

  3. Sam

    06/02/2010 at 7:13 pm

    Amusing, but really… Here, the “Embedded” means componentized, so that developers can pick and choose which features to include for their device or system.

    As far as I can tell, Windows Embedded Compact 7 is to Windows Phone 7 as Windows CE 6 is to Windows Mobile 6.x

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