Microsoft Readies Embedded Version Of Windows 7

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Microsoft said Windows Embedded Standard 7, which the company described as a "highly customizable and componentized form" of the Windows 7 operating system, has been released to manufacturing.

Microsoft releases new products to manufacturing when their code is locked down and the product is ready to be copied for general distribution. Microsoft made the "RTM" announcement Tuesday at the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley taking place in San Jose this week.

By using the embedded version of Windows, manufacturers can build links between devices such as industrial controls, thin clients and digital signage, and Windows-based PCs, servers and online services. They can also develop connectivity between Windows-based computers and consumer devices with the embedded software such as set-top boxes and TVs.

"With the release of Windows Embedded Standard 7, Microsoft has furthered its commitment to the integration of Windows 7 technologies in the specialized consumer and enterprise device markets by providing OEMs with the latest innovative technologies to differentiate through rich, immersive user experiences and streamlined connectivity," said Kevin Dallas, general manager of the Windows Embedded Business Unit at Microsoft, in a statement.

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Microsoft unveiled a community technology preview version of Windows Embedded Standard 7 back in September. The release puts increased emphasis on consumer products through its Windows Media Center feature for set-top boxes, TVs and other media devices. That allows consumers to merge multimedia content from disparate sources, Microsoft said, including the Internet and broadcast TV, social media portals, and personal libraries of photos and music.

Microsoft said a number of manufacturers have already committed to using the embedded software, including Hewlett-Packard and Wyse Technology, which are building Windows Embedded Standard 7 into thin clients, and Heber Ltd., which is adding it to the company's industrial controls.