Microsoft reveals Windows Embedded Compact 7 at Computex, hosts heaps of tablets

Updated ·5 min read

We know, you're probably eager to brush off yet another "embedded" operating system, but here at Computex, Microsoft is giving the naysayers a reason to think twice with the official debut of Windows Embedded Compact 7. Showcased along with a number of Windows 7 handhelds and slates at the company's monstrous booth, the public community technology preview of the new OS is being made, with the goal to get this onto lightweight ARM-powered devices that either aren't powerful enough for a full-fledged copy of Windows 7, or are simply aimed at a different market. Put simply, it's yet another product that Microsoft can offer up and coming device makers who may otherwise consider MeeGo, Android or a plethora of other mobile OS options. We've got an interview session lined up with Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Division, for later today, but we just couldn't wait to show you all of the Windows 7 and Windows Embedded Compact 7 tablet PCs that were impossible to avoid. Hit the gallery below (or video past the break) for specs and the like, and don't blame us for those plastic covers -- Microsoft wasn't about to rip 'em off, as a fair amount of these are super early beta units.%Gallery-94141% %Gallery-94140%

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Microsoft Outlines Business Opportunities for Hardware Makers Across Windows Platform
Guggenheimer announces Windows Embedded Compact 7 community technology preview for manufacturers of consumer and enterprise devices.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - June 1, 2010 - During a keynote address tomorrow at COMPUTEX TAIPEI, Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Division at Microsoft Corp., will outline how the company continues to deliver expanded partner opportunities to support rich and connected experiences. Product demonstrations will showcase the diversity and breadth of devices supported across the Windows platform, including desktop PCs, smartphones, netbooks, laptops, tablets, slates, game consoles, set-top boxes and servers. He will also discuss the enthusiastic response from partners and the larger market to the latest version of the Windows operating system, Windows 7. Since its launch this past October, more than 100 million licenses have been sold, making it the fastest-selling operating system in history.

As part of this effort to deliver richer customer experiences across a variety of scenarios, Microsoft will unveil the public community technology preview (CTP) for Windows Embedded Compact 7, the next generation of Microsoft's widely used Windows Embedded Compact platform for hardware manufacturers of specialized devices. With a $9.5 billion annual investment in research and development, Microsoft is committed to continued innovation and bringing new products to market that meet the needs of customers.

"The Windows platform creates tangible opportunities for our hardware partners to diversify their product portfolios and deliver rich computing experiences across a broad range of devices," Guggenheimer said. "The Windows Embedded Compact 7 toolkit will allow for richer customer experiences on a variety of specialized devices. We look forward to continued collaboration with our hardware partners to bring the very best experiences to customers worldwide."

Windows Embedded Compact 7

During the keynote address, Guggenheimer will demonstrate how specialized devices built on Windows Embedded Compact 7 will be able to provide immersive multimedia user experiences for consumers and businesses and offer seamless connectivity to PCs running Windows 7, servers and online services, as well as simplified access to corporate information for enterprise users. New technologies in Windows Embedded Compact 7 will provide developers and designers with powerful tools and a streamlined development experience to build compelling devices quickly and easily, while also providing customized and branded experiences.

Additional features and capabilities of Windows Embedded Compact 7 include the following:

Rich and connected experiences for consumers. Windows Embedded Compact 7 gives consumers the ability to share and manage content across networked devices with Digital Living Network Alliance, such as new HDTVs, and a new media library.

Simplified access to information for enterprise users. Windows Embedded Compact 7 makes it easier to connect to corporate e-mail, calendar and contacts over enterprise networks through Microsoft AirSync and Microsoft Exchange, as well as to Microsoft Office and Adobe PDF viewers to access important documents, and to Windows 7 Device Stage to transfer data and media between PCs and devices.

Resources for hardware manufacturers and developers. Windows Embedded Compact 7 provides resources to help bring high-performing, highly reliable and differentiated specialty devices to market quicker with support for multicore and the latest asset relationship management-based architecture and tools, including Platform Builder, Visual Studio, Expression Blend and Silverlight for Windows Embedded.

The Windows Embedded Compact 7 CTP is available now for developers at The platform is expected to be released to manufacturing in the fourth quarter of this year.

During the keynote, Guggenheimer will also outline how hardware manufacturers can take advantage of the next wave of Microsoft products, including Windows 7, Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Live Messenger, Windows® Phone 7, Windows Server and Microsoft Office 2010, to deliver unique and compelling experiences across multiple devices and screens. He will demonstrate the power of Microsoft software on devices from smartphones to TVs and everything in between; Windows Live as a cloud service working across devices for a seamless, interactive experience; exciting developments on Windows-based slate devices; and a variety of scenarios highlighting the customer benefits of Microsoft's deep collaboration with hardware manufacturers.

Highlights from Guggenheimer's keynote - including demos, video excerpts and a transcript - and more detailed information on Windows Embedded Compact 7 will be available by visiting the Windows Embedded Newsroom at or by following for updates.