Two short months after issuing a Release Preview, Microsoft's fully realized Windows Embedded 8 is ready for the POS terminals it helps to operate. The OS, heavily utilized across healthcare, manufacturing and retail industries, (and mostly ignored by the mainstream) will be made available for download the first week of April, allowing businesses to leverage Microsoft's various services, as well as the abstract "Internet of Things" -- whatever that means. And to help educate industry partners as to the advantages of its Embedded platform, Microsoft's also created a series of informative videos for interested parties to peruse. So, if you're unclear where Windows Embedded 8 fits into your business, or you just want to know what it actually does, hit up the source while you wait for that Spring release.
Windows Embedded 8 Generally Available
March 20, 2013
Microsoft launches online resource getwindowsembedded8.com for enterprises and OEMs.
REDMOND, Wash. - March 20, 2013 - Microsoft Corp. today announced via its website the general availability of the Windows Embedded 8 family of operating systems. Extending Windows 8 technologies to a spectrum of edge devices, Windows Embedded 8 helps enterprises capitalize on the Internet of Things with the platform to capture, analyze and act on valuable data across IT infrastructures.
"Edge devices connected and working in unison with an enterprise's broader IT infrastructure unleash the potential of the Internet of Things by yielding the actionable data and operational intelligence that drive businesses forward," said Kevin Dallas, general manager of Windows Embedded at Microsoft. "From the rich, familiar experience of Windows to integrated management, analytics and cloud platforms, Windows Embedded 8 coupled with the full breadth of Microsoft technologies for intelligent systems helps enterprises gain lasting competitive advantages in retail, manufacturing, healthcare and a variety of industries."
Devices at the edge of enterprise networks connected to integrated Microsoft software and services help enterprises identify and act on opportunities that otherwise would be out of reach by improving access to data, enhancing performance, extending security and powering flexible line-of-business applications. With Windows Embedded 8, enterprises can harness Windows 8 technologies with additional features to support industry devices within intelligent systems - including rich, natural experiences that provide customers and employees with access to the information they are looking for while ensuring the consistency and predictability businesses require. Businesses will also have the ability to add or buy enterprise-specific functionality for their Windows Embedded 8-based solutions through licensing options Microsoft will make available in July.
For original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and developers, Windows Embedded 8 delivers the power, familiarity and reliability of the Windows operating system to create advanced commercial devices. The Windows 8 innovations coupled with additional embedded functionality for edge devices will help them quickly and efficiently deliver differentiated solutions with security enhancements, a refined application model and touch-first industry experiences. Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Embedded 8 Pro are available immediately for OEMs to build and ship solutions - Microsoft has launched http://www.getwindowsembedded8.com to provide download access to the platforms.
Windows Embedded 8 Industry, which targets retail point-of-service (POS) solutions and other scenarios across manufacturing and healthcare that require fixed experiences with enhanced lockdown, branding and the other benefits of Windows Embedded 8, will be available the week of April 1.
In addition, http://www.getwindowsembedded8.com also contains a video series of panel discussions and other resources for enterprises and OEMs to help them take advantage of intelligent systems with Windows Embedded 8. The videos focus on three key industries with significant potential for intelligent systems - healthcare, retail and manufacturing - all with unique needs and requirements for devices, from kiosks to human machine interface panels (HMI), digital signs and POS terminals. Panelists featured in the videos include Windows Embedded general managers Kevin Dallas and Barb Edson; Neil Jordan, managing director of the Worldwide Health Group, Microsoft; Rohit Bhargava, director of Global Technology Strategy for the Worldwide Manufacturing & Resources Sector, Microsoft; Brendan O'Meara, managing director of the Worldwide Retail Group, Microsoft; and industry research analysts Cornelia Wels-Maug (Ovum), Craig Resnick (ARC), and Jerry Sheldon (IHL Group). The panels are moderated by GigaOm Research's Adam Lesser.