TechEd EMEA 2008 Developers - Introducing the Windows Embedded track


This year, we're introducing a new track for embedded development technologies at TechEd EMEA. As owner of this track, I want to share some details about the track content, along with the thinking behind it.

Windows Embedded Track Overview

Finding the right balance between introductory and more advanced content can be a challenge. Given that it's a new track, and with no feedback from prior years to guide us, we're optimizing much of the content to attract new developers to embedded technologies. You'll find no other track at the conference with as many Level 200 sessions. We believe there's a huge opportunity for developers in this space, especially as solutions begin to span devices, the PC, and the Web. This is a great chance to get started!

We also want to provide opportunities for developers with expertise in embedded technologies to connect with product team members and well-known industry experts. We are providing a good number of Level 300 sessions (and even a Level 400 session), as well. 

Windows Embedded Track Product/Technology Coverage

The Windows Embedded track provides coverage of products within the Windows Embedded family, with plenty of sessions on Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded CE, Windows Embedded NavReady, and Windows Embedded for Point of Services. It also covers other embedded development technologies, like the .NET Micro Framework, Microsoft implementations of the Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS) industry spec, along with some tangential coverage of Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (you'll find a couple more sessions related to MS Robotics Developer Studio in other tracks).

Windows Embedded Track Sessions

Below are the sessions we're providing in the Windows Embedded track. I'll be kicking off the track, aiming to set some context around the opportunities we see in this space (shameless plug for my session :-)

(Note: Please be sure to confirm scheduling on the TechEd EMEA 2008 Developer site, in case there are any last-minute changes).

Day 1 - Monday, November 10

Time Session Speaker
16:00-17:45 EMB201 Distributed Embedded Systems - The Next Big Developer Opportunity! Recent forecasts predict over 16 billion embedded devices by 2010. With more of these devices providing connectivity, there's a huge opportunity for developers to extend their solutions to target embedded devices. Come get a glimpse of recent industry trends and technologies that are enabling the next wave of smart, connected, service-oriented devices, and learn how Microsoft's offerings can help you get started today. Catherine Heller
17:45-19:00 EMB204 Introduction to Windows Embedded Standard Do you want to know how to build a customized version of the Windows desktop OS that can be streamlined to run on systems with the smallest footprint? Would you like to mix and match Windows applications, services and drivers to suit your needs? Windows Embedded Standard, the successor to Windows XP Embedded, is used widely in thin clients, cash registers, bank ATMs, gaming consoles, medical equipment and numerous other device platforms; some being purely solid-state, flash-based devices. This session introduces you to the suite of tools that will allow you to build custom versions of Windows that meet your specialized needs. Lynda Allen


Day 2 - Tuesday, November 11

Time Session Speaker
09:00-10:15 EMB202 Leverage Your Development Skills, Go Embedded! Embedded systems are rocketing; each of us is transporting, using and depending on a variety of these devices - PDAs, smartphones, personal navigation devices, mobile Internet devices, gamepads etc. The Windows embedded platforms cover a very large scope of technologies with strange but impressive names, like "CE kernel", "WEPOS" and "NavReady". This session is targeted at non-embedded developers with experience in more traditional Windows technologies like Win32, COM or .NET. We will walk the bridge between these worlds, observing commonalities and differences through real-world case studies and technical dive-ins. Come and learn how your existing skills may already be very close to what is required for embedded development and what you can gain from future work in embedded projects. Thierry Joubert
10:45-12:00 EMB205 10 Reasons to Build Your Own Windows Embedded Standard Device! Have you ever dreamed of tailoring the OS platform to the needs of your application? Did you want the power of the desktop in a more secure, leaner and much more robust system? Well then, this session is for you! Alexander will take you through the most compelling features of Windows Embedded Standard (the successor to Windows XP Embedded) and show how to use them to generate a positive impact in your value chain. Alexander Wechsler
13:30-14:45 EMB208 Building Distributed Embedded Systems with Web Services on Devices The Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS) is an industry specification that represents a lightweight subset of the overall Web services protocol suite targeted at network-connected devices. In this introductory session we discuss how to build loosely coupled, distributed embedded systems using the Web Services for Device API (Microsoft's implementation of DPWS) in Windows Embedded and Windows Vista. As practical demos, we’ll use WSD on Vista Media Center to control a lamp, and even a washing machine – live, on stage ! You won’t want to miss this session! Frank Prengel; Stefan Hoppe
15:15-16:30 EMB206 Introduction to Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Windows Embedded CE is a real-time embedded modular operating system, developed from the ground up to address the specific needs of embedded devices. The variety of devices running Windows Embedded CE is huge: everything from industrial automation systems, robots, digital picture frames, set-top boxes, personal navigation devices,… and the list goes on! This session will provide an overview of the operating system and tools. You’ll see how simple it is to design, build, deploy, and debug an image for a specific device.  Dion Hutchings
17:00-18:15 EMB01-IS Stabilizing the Windows Embedded CE Platform How many times has your Windows Embedded CE project got to the late alpha, early beta stage only to be hobbled by failures in testing or simply lockups in the field? This talk covers management strategies and coding techniques helpful for shipping stable Windows Embedded CE platforms. Learn how to minimize bugs while at the same time enhancing the ability to find problems quickly in this informative talk. Douglas Boling
17:00-18:15 EMB210 Introduction to Windows Embedded NavReady Have you ever used a GPS device? Did you ever wish it could give you the right info, at the right moment, in the right place? Come and discover Windows Embedded NavReady, the system that will run the next generation of Personal Navigation Devices and enable exciting new usage scenarios. During this session, you will learn about NavReady and the tools developers can leverage to implement Bluetooth scenarios, Live Search on Devices, MSN Direct… Olivier Bloch, Pierre Cauchois

Day 3 - Wednesday, November 12

Time Session Speaker
09:00-10:15 EMB203 "Running on the Metal" with the .NET Micro Framework The .NET Micro Framework allows developers to quickly create smart connected embedded devices using Visual Studio 2008 and C#, without the added complexity of an underlying operating system. This session will introduce you to embedded development with version 3.0 of the .NET Micro Framework (.NET MF) and provide an overview of the features. You'll learn when .NET Micro Framework is appropriate and when Windows Embedded CE or Windows Embedded Standard might be a better choice; and you'll discover how to easily get started with .NET MF, whether you already have embedded experience or are a desktop developer looking to broaden your skills. John Leier
10:45-12:00 EMB302 Building Custom Operating System Images Using Windows Embedded Standard Although building a custom OS image using the Windows Embedded Standard suite of tools is a relatively easy task, ensuring that you build an image that fulfills the specific needs of your device may be more challenging. This session covers how to plan your custom image, from choosing boot media to footprint optimization, security and servicing. It also touches on the basics of creating custom components to use in your image, as well as takes a closer look at some of the Embedded Enabling Features that are designed to enable scenarios such as booting from UFD (USB Flash Drive), reducing wear on flash media or enhancing boot times. Lynda Allen
13:00-14:15 EMB03-IS Windows Embedded: Forget the OS Embedded devices are becoming increasingly common. Whether you realize it not, you use them every day (when you withdraw cash at an ATM, when you refuel your car, when you pay with your credit card, when you drive, when you listen to music, …). In a market evolving at an incredible speed, and in an era of connectivity, device manufacturers need tools to quickly develop smart, rich, connected and service-oriented devices. Windows Embedded is a family of products providing these manufacturers the tools they need to spend their time and efforts on their value, rather than on reinventing the wheel. This interactive session will show you, through concrete demos, what the developer experience is when developing a Windows Embedded device and what the tools have to offer. Olivier Bloch
15:45-17:00 EMB305 Windows Embedded CE 6 Architecture and Memory Management It's a whole new kernel! Let's check it out! The Windows Embedded CE 6 is the most radical redesign of the kernel since it was released 10 years ago. The new kernel removes the onerous 32 Meg virtual memory limit and the 32 process limit. That said, it's completely different from the Windows XP kernel. Both embedded developers and desktop developers interested in how Windows CE works under the covers will find this an interesting talk. Learn about the Windows Embedded CE memory model, it's new design and how interprocess communication changes with the new release in this detailed talk. Douglas Boling
17:30-18:45 EMB303 Talking Web Services to Microcontrollers The newest release of the .NET Micro Framework adds full support for Devices Profile for Web Services (DPWS). Not only can you leverage your .NET skills to develop for microcontrollers running the .NET Micro Framework, you can now use DPWS to create sophisticated distributed experiences between such connected devices. This session shows how to use this brand new technology to enable even the smallest devices to participate in the digital ecosystem.  Explore a complete new universe full of exciting gadgets! Alexander Wechsler

Day 4 - Thursday, November 13

Time Session Speaker
09:00-10:15 EMB06-IS Protect a Windows Embedded Standard Image Using Write Filters The Enhanced Write Filter (EWF) and the File Based Write Filter (FBWF) are two Windows Embedded Standard features which provide a means of protecting a volume from writes. This enables scenarios such as booting from read-only media such as CD-ROMs and eliminating wear on flash media from writes. The Enhanced Write Filter protects the volume at the sector level. The File Based Write Filter allows you to specify a list of files and folders to which writes should be persisted and, when combined with the Registry Filter, allows persistence of specific registry keys while protecting the rest of the OS. This talk will help you decide which Write Filter fits your scenario. Learn the benefits of each Write Filter and how to configure and effectively use them through interactive demonstrations. We also cover commonly encountered scenarios and tips for effectively using the Write Filters. Lynda Allen
09:00-10:15 EMB207 Put your Big Ideas onto Tiny Devices using .NET Ever wanted to control your Christmas tree lights with C# and .NET? Or create a tiny, connected data logger that integrates into your company network? Or anything in between? The demo-packed presentation will showcase .NET on both .NET Micro Framework and Windows Embedded CE-powered platforms in a variety of fun and useful scenarios. You will discover just how easy it is to create connected embedded solutions on a variety of devices using C# and Visual Studio. If you want to rediscover the joy of really making things happen with your code, then this session is for you. Rob Miles
13:30-14:45 EMB304 Windows Embedded CE Application Development Windows Embedded CE 6.0 supports a number of application programming models - including Win32, MFC, and .NET - and there are a number of factors you should consider when deciding which one to use.  In this Breakout Session, we’ll walk you through the process of writing a simple application for Windows Embedded CE 6.0, and compare each approach: Win32, MFC and C# (Managed). Before you begin to write code, learn which approach best suits your project and avoid costly rework. Dion Hutchings
15:15-16:30 EMB401 Boot Time for Bonzo: A Swing Through the Windows Embedded CE Boot Process Whether you are monkeying around with device drivers or going bananas over managed code, all software depends on a successful OS boot. This talk provides a step-by-step look at Windows CE startup, with critical insights to help in creating new BSPs, bringing up Windows CE on a new platform or developing device drivers. After this swing through the Windows CE boot process, you'll never look at OS startup in quite the same way. Paul Yao
17:00-18:15 EMB301 Windows Embedded CE Device Driver Development Need to attach some custom hardware to your Windows Embedded CE device? This is your chance. This talk will cover the basics of the stream driver model, the differences between user mode and kernel mode drivers, how to access hardware, how to support interrupts and how to marshal data from applications to drivers and back. Come to learn the ins and outs of writing Windows Embedded CE device drivers in this informative, example driven session.  Douglas Boling
17:00-18:15 EMB05-IS Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Windows Embedded But Were Afraid to Ask The title of this session speaks for itself! If you’re developing devices running Windows Embedded and/or have questions you’d like to ask the Microsoft Embedded experts, you won’t want to miss this session. Lynda Allen, Olivier Bloch, Pierre Cauchois, Dion Hutchings

Day 5 - Friday, November 14

Time Session Speaker
10:45-12:00 EMB209 Developing Point of Service (POS) Applications with POS for .NET In this session, we will provide an overview of the Windows Embedded for Point Of Service (WEPOS) platform, from the developer perspective. After a general presentation of the WEPOS operating system, we will show how to build point of sale applications interfacing with barcode and credit card readers, line displays and other POS peripherals, using Visual Studio and the POS for .NET SDK. We will conclude with roadmap information about the future of Microsoft's POS platform. Frank Prengel
13:30-14:45 EMB307 Creating a Gesture-Based UI for Embedded Devices Gesturing and touch screens have quickly gained popularity as an intuitive interface for phones, but many general embedded devices have less obvious user interfaces. In this session you'll learn how to create a compelling UI for an embedded device using the .NET Micro Framework and C# managed code. This session focuses on the new features in .NET Micro Framework version 3.0, but the concepts can be applied to any embedded device, including those running Windows Embedded CE or Windows Embedded Standard. Steve Maillet
15:15-16:30 EMB306 Windows Embedded CE and Robotics Want to learn how to develop your own robot running Windows Embedded CE, using Visual Studio and the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio? Or maybe you’d like to know how Windows Embedded CE, as a real time embedded operating system, addresses the needs of the industrial robotics domain? Then this session is for you! Come and see cool live demos with real robots! Olivier Bloch