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Ahead of the launch, Samsung Semiconductor announced a line of ARM-based processors optimised for the updated OS and Via Technologies said its Eden processors will support the latest OS.
Windows CE .net is Microsoft's operating system for handheld devices, such as PDAs and smart phones. The release contains support for file viewers for Microsoft's Office productivity applications, such as Word and Excel and support for the latest version of IP, IPv6.
The update, codenamed Jameson, was originally scheduled for release by the end of this year, according to Microsoft officials.
Windows CE .net 4.1 will allow for improved performance of Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player software on handhelds, Enderle said.
Support for IPv6 will allow users of handheld devices to access more Web pages than before, specifically multimedia sites. "[IPv6 support] is insurance to make sure you get the video or audio content you're paying for," said Rob Enderle at Giga Information Group.
In a show of support for the new OS version, Samsung announced its Arm-based Application Processors. Microsoft applications that were once too large or complex to run on handhelds will now work with Windows CE .net 4.1 and Samsung's forthcoming processors, the company said.
Graphics files, such as .gif and .jpg formats, can now be viewed using devices with the new operating system and chips, which are based on processor cores from Arm.
Arm announced in April at the Embedded Processor Forum that it was preparing a chip design for wireless mobile devices.
Samsung's Application Processor chips include a 2D graphics accelerator, a camera interface, an image scaler and a colour space converter to support IPv6 and multimedia applications.
Via did not release any specific products tailored to the new version of Windows CE but said its Eden processor would support the latest OS.