Microsoft has (finally) announced Windows Embedded Compact 7. The release would more appropriately be called Windows CE 7 but the marketing people decided they knew better. This is a significant update to Windows CE (oops, Compact, or Embedded Compact, or Windows Embedded Compact, or WEC) with an updated kernel, network stack, better integration with Win 7 device technologies and lots more.
The big news from a technical perspective is OS support for multicore processors (I’ve run it on a 4 core ARM CPU and it rocks!) and support for up to 3 GB of physical RAM. The new kernel also supports ARM 7 (but as a tradeoff, ARM 4 support is dropped).
The network stack has been upgraded to a more modern version of Winsock. A component has been added to allow WEC-based devices to integrate seamlessly into Windows Device Stage. They’ve also added back the Office Viewer applications that were removed in CE 6.
Silverlight For Embedded, first released in CE 6 Release 3, has been updated to support Silverlight 3 constructs and is accompanied by a powerful development tool that eases the integration work to hook in the C++ code behind. Multitouch and gesture support has also been added.
There’s lots more to this significant release. Check out www.microsoft.com/windowsembedded/en-us/products/windowsce/compact7.mspx for details.