Live from Las Vegas: At the Saturday launch of 2001 CES, Microsoft announced the availability of six new hardware devices based on Windows CE, the company's Windows-like OS for non-PC devices. These devices, which include Internet radios, Web pads, and a wearable Internet appliance, join other CE-based products such as UltimateTV, Car.NET, and the successful PocketPC line in what can only be described as a surprising resurgence for this little OS. All of the new products will be marketed under the "Windows Powered" umbrella, and will be powered by Windows CE 3.0.
"We are seeing strong adoption of Windows CE 3.0, especially as a platform for Internet-enabled devices," says Bill Veghte, the vice president of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group at Microsoft. "Embedded developers are choosing Windows CE because it provides a complete solution that enables them to quickly and easily bring a feature-rich Windows Powered device to market."
Each of the devices feature Internet connectivity, and the inclusion of Windows CE 3.0 brings a number of other capabilities to the table, including Windows Media technologies, a new version of Internet Explorer 4.0, more efficient power management and memory usage, and a new set of tools for building applications that run on this platform. Some of the new products being introduced at the show include the AboCom X-Pilot, a wireless Web pad; the Hitachi wearable Internet appliance, which features a head-mounted LCD screen with a virtual 13-inch desktop screen; and the Cyberbank PC-ePhone, which combines a cell phone and digital assistant into a single package