Microsoft has aligned its software and support for handheld terminals and ruggedized devices within the Windows Embedded business, revealing the change in a blog entry from David Wurster, senior product manager for Windows Embedded. Wurster explained that while Microsoft create the software solutions that power many handheld terminals and ruggedized devices its partners such as Motorola, Intermec and Honeywell, are making devices for their customers using either Windows Embedded CE or Windows Mobile.
Up until now these two operating systems, explained Wurster, resided in different business groups at Microsoft. The Windows Embedded Business (WEB) has overseen Windows Embedded CE, while the Mobile Communications Business (MCB) managed Windows Mobile.
That's changed and now handheld terminals and ruggedized devices will be part of the Windows Embedded Business. “For our customers, this move provides them with closer connection between the Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile product line enabling Microsoft to respond to their business needs in a more unified way.”
“We decided to make this move for a variety of reasons. First, Windows Embedded's strength and experience in building software for specialized devices make WEB the ideal group to lead the handheld terminal and ruggedized device space. Second, with the transition of support to WEB, Microsoft gives the handheld terminal and ruggedized device products a holistic roadmap across both platforms and into the future.”
MCB will continue to focus on the mobile phone needs of customers with Windows Phones.
Mark Schmidt, director, strategic marketing, Honeywell scanning & mobility, was keen on the move. “Common management of Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile is a logical and welcome move for Honeywell Scanning & Mobility's business. Our customer base requires support of both platforms, thus a single point-of-contact and cohesive combined story reduces overhead on our side for serving our customers.”
According to Wurster, Windows Embedded is targeting a new release based on Windows Mobile 6.5 optimized for handheld and ruggedized devices, as well as a full roadmap with technologies from Windows Phone 7 and Windows Embedded Compact 7 for this market.
You can read David Wurster's original blog.