Earlier today, Microsoft announced that Windows Embedded 8 is now available as well as the release dates for other Windows Embedded operating systems. For those of you who don’t know what Windows Embedded is, think of all the industrial robots that put together cars, or retail point-and-service devices – many of these work on Windows Embedded, which in essence is a tailor made version of Windows OS, designed especially for these devices. And now Windows Embedded 8 has made its appearance.
What is Windows Embedded?
Kevin Dallas, general manager of Windows Embedded at Microsoft explains how users can benefit from using Windows Embedded 8:
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. 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.
Windows Embedded 8 is a custom version of Windows 8 that works on any device that has computing power, allowing it to be a part of the Internet of Things, a place where all non-traditional computing devices (any intelligent device that isn’t an actual computer) connect with each other. Windows Embedded 8 will also come in different versions, depending on the type of devices that will run it.
Availability of Windows Embedded 8 Operating Systems
For the moment, users can use the Windows Embedded Standard Edition or the more powerful Pro Edition and in the near future, we’ll see other products be released from the Windows Embedded Family. These two versions are generally available now, and they can be downloaded via the Microsoft Download Center.
OEMs and Businesses will be able to use different versions of Windows Embedded 8, depending on what type of application they need. For handheld devices, the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld SDK will be available later this year, which means that devices running it will be available at the end of 2013 or possibly in Q1 of 2014.
Windows Embedded 8 Industry, which consists the bulk of the Windows Embedded 8 platform will be available from April 1st and it will be implemented very soon in point-and-service systems, healthcare systems and other manufacturing systems.
Also, for the automotive industry, Windows Embedded 8 Automotive will be available sometime in the future, but there was no announcement as to an exact date.