and a warm hello from the Community Lounge at TechED North America. Today I am going to give you a quick tour of the latest version of Windows Embedded CE, Windows Embedded Compact 7. As you know from Damians article, the CTP version for evaluation has just recently been released at Computex. The release of the final version is planed for later this year.
Without further ado, let’s get to the part that you have all been waiting for, the Windows Embedded Compact 7 features:
Windows Embedded Compact 7 PlatformBuilder is now a plug-in for Visual Studio 2008. Why not VS2010? Well development for Compact 7 started when VS2010 was not even close to a final version. As you also know from previous posts, VS2010 does NOT support application development for any version of Windows CE as of yet, as the Smart Device project template is not yet included in VS2010.
Compact 7 no longer supports SH4 and ARMv4 processor architectures. However, it does support ARMv5, ARMv6, ARMv7, x86 and MIPS architectures. The emulation is no longer an ARM emulation but instead a Virtual PC emulation BSP is included. Most importantly, all BSP have multi-core support called SMP (Symmetric Multi Processing).
According to Microsoft Compact 7 is all about 3 main focus areas:
- Connected Experience which include HD media playback, DLNA support for streaming media from a server to devices, as well as a newly developed media library. The connectivity to Windows 7 PCs using Windows Device Stage has been improved. And you can access important information using airsync, or the Office and PDF viewers that now support Office 2010 document formats.
- Immersive user experience with an improved version of Silverlight for Windows Embedded (SWE) now based on Silverlight 3. SWE now comes with a new toolkit, allowing you to convert Silverlight projects automatically into SWE projects. Microsoft also improved the performance of SWE. But keep in mind you still should use hardware acceleration when using SWE in order to create a smooth user experience. The internet explorer is now based on IE7 and comes with a Flash 10 plug-in as well as a customizable SWE UI to enable, what Microsoft calles Rich Browsing. Last but not least in the “Immersive user experience” Compact 7 now comes with multi touch as well as gesture support.
- Developer experience comes from the proven, reliable tools such as Visual Studio 2008 as well as Expression Blend 3 and the new Silverlight for Windows Embedded Toolkit. As already mentioned there has been a lot of hardware innovation such as multi-core, hardware acceleration and ARMv7 support.