Back in June at Computex, Microsoft announced the successor to Windows CE -- Windows Embedded Compact 7 – and it's finally hitting the general availability mark today. The guys in Redmond posted a 180-day trial of the final WEC7 bits yesterday, and while it is unclear when it was released to manufacturers, ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley notes that the digital signature on the bits is February 19th. So, what does it all mean? Well, you'll definitely want to check out our Windows Embedded Compact 7 explained post, but we should start seeing the new OS powering phones (don't forget WP7 is built on the Win CE kernel), medical devices, retail systems, and maybe even some tablets soon. As for the latter category, you may rememeber that we saw that WEC7 prototype tablet above at Computex, however while some like ASUS promised early on that it would use the software for its EP101TC, it quickly ditched that idea and went with Android. Our guess is that will be the case for most out there, but the lightweight OS, which now can run on ARM V7 architecture, has built-in support for Silverlight for Windows Embedded and Flash 10.1, clearly has advantages over Windows 7 on tablets at the moment. Hit the source link for some more details, and we'll make sure to keep an eye out for new devices running the new wordy OS.