Microsoft announced on Monday the release of "Whistler Embedded" Beta 1, the next version of Embedded Windows based on the Windows 2000 platform. Whistler Embedded is a componentized version of Windows targeted at a range of embedded scenarios, such as Windows-based terminals, advanced Internet-capable set-top boxes, and retail point-of-sale (PoS) kiosks. Microsoft notes that with the release of Whistler Embedded coming only 48 days after the release of the first mainstream Whistler beta, the company is underscoring its commitment to moving Windows into the embedded space quickly.
"Building on the success of Windows NT Embedded 4.0, we are committed to helping embedded developers utilize the 'Whistler' advancements through componentization and a rich embedded tool set," says Bill Veghte, the vice president of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft. "The release of 'Whistler Embedded' Beta 1 is an important milestone because it facilitates feedback from our close customers and industry partners, which is critical to ensuring a reliable and well-tested final release for the fast-growing embedded industry."
Whistler Embedded is being developed around three design goals. First, Microsoft wants to deliver a version of Whistler that is extensively componentized so that appliance and other non-PC device developers can pick and choose only those features that they absolutely need. Secondly, the company wants to deliver Whistler Embedded quickly, within 90 days of the release of the mainstream desktop and server versions of the product, which will go on sale in Q3 2001. And finally, the company wants to deliver a set of powerful development tools that will make it easy to deploy Whistler Embedded. These tools include Target Designer, for choosing the Whistler Embedded components you'd like to use; Component Designer, for designing custom OS components; Database Manager, for importing custom components into Whistler Embedded; and Target Analyzer, for identifying dependencies between core OS components.
Like Windows CE, Microsoft will market Whistler Embedded under the "Windows Powered" moniker, further blurring the lines between the various products in the Windows family