Windows 8 Embedded roadmap

Windows 8 Embedded Industry is an almost unsung part of Microsoft's roadmap: it's a tightly managed release meant for factories and retailers who care most about reliable machines. If you've ever want to peek behind the curtain, though, you have a chance now that Microsoft has posted a Release Preview version of the OS for the public to try. We wouldn't recommend tossing regular Windows 8 aside if it's already installed; still, there's a handful of tricks within the Embedded Industry code that could make it palpable for curious users. It adds the same stylized apps and multi-touch input that you'd get from the desktop, plug-and-play peripherals and support for cloud services. We'll likely only ever see the finished Industry build when we're buying some cantaloupes, but those who hit the preview link will at least know what software is making the cash register hum.

CES 2013: Smartphones roundup