WinCE in real-time next year

WinCE in real-time next year
Tom Foremski in San Jose Microsoft is adding real-time capabilities to its Windows CE operating system. By mid-1999, Windows CE will have real-time operating system (RTOS) features, says Microsoft, making it suitable for a range of embedded systems applications. “Our target of sub-50?s thread latencies for typical Windows CE based processors will open our segment to a wide range of embedded devices,” said Harel Kodesh, general manager, consumer appliances group at Microsoft, speaking at the third annual Microsoft CE Developer’s conference. “Windows CE needs real-time capabilities if it’s to be used in a variety of applications, especially smart communicator type products,” said Will Strauss, head of US market research firm Forward Concepts. “But it won’t be easy to add real-time to Windows CE and may require a major rewrite to the user interface.” Microsoft wants to be a leading player in booming embedded markets such as wireless communications and digital set-top TVs. Meanwhile, Intel said that it will work on tailoring its Pentium II microprocessors for Windows CE as it also targets embedded systems applications. Last week Intel demonstrated a prototype Pentium II running at 400MHz in a set-top TV box. What puzzles analysts, however, is why Intel is not pushing the StrongARM microprocessor for those applications, since it acquired manufacturing rights from Digital Equipment. StrongARM is cheaper and better suited to the applications.


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