Wires not included with next CE

Wireless connectivity using the 802.11 and Bluetooth standards and a small memory footprint are among the highlights of Windows...

Wireless connectivity using the 802.11 and Bluetooth standards and a small memory footprint are among the highlights of Windows CE.NET, the latest embedded Windows offering from Microsoft.

The new operating system was unveiled at CES, the consumer electronics show, in San Francisco this week.

Microsoft said Windows CE.NET could be configured with 200Kbytes of memory making it suitable for devices such as handhelds, smart phones, set-top boxes and handheld retail point-of-sale terminals.

Along with Bluetooth and 802.11, Windows CE.NET also includes multimedia and Web browsing via Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media 8 and DirectX 8 technologies.

A development suite that includes the new operating system has been introduced. Microsoft said this includes 1.5 million lines of source code for Windows CE.NET including code for a Web server, Microsoft message queuing, USB support, Bluetooth, Soap and universal plug and play.

Microsoft has also given developers early access to its .Net Compact Framework, a platform for building applications and XML Web services for smart devices.

A number of companies have pledged support for the new operating system. Casio Computer plans to use it in the Cassiopeia Pocket Manager BE-300, a smart, connected mobile PDA.

Fujitsu has said it will use the new OS in its integrated and mobile i-pad terminals, used in retail sales applications and mobile point-of-sale terminals. Wyse Technology will use the product in its Winterm 3000 series of Windows-based terminals.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates also used the CES show to give details of Mira, a set of technologies that will allow users to detach a flat touch-screen display from a PC and use it to access the PC from as far as 150 feet away.

The special display is designed to communicate with the PC using the 802.11x wireless standard. Mira-enabled devices are expected to be available from manufacturers including ViewSonic in the fourth quarter of 2002.

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