New Year Reflections and Thoughts

Happy New Year!

I’d like to take a moment of your time to reflect on the previous year and look ahead to the next year.

By far the biggest thing coming from the Windows Embedded Standard team was the release of Windows Embedded Standard 7.

After several years of development the product group released what is tracking to be our most popular version of the Standard platform yet. No doubt its popularity is partially related to the fact it’s based on Windows 7 technologies, Windows 7 OS is very popular today and we’re benefiting by making it available to you as part of our platform. There are some other, non-intuitive reasons for its success

We made a few bets that turned out to be right on like Imaged Based Wizard (IBW). I’ve talked to a lot of partners in the latter half of the year including at the EMEA Windows Embedded Channel & Partner Summit at Prague. The feedback around IBW has been very positive, so it’s good to see something new in our Developer story really pay off.

Other reasons for the platform’s success are the quality is better than any other embedded platform we’ve shipped based on Windows Client, it also appears we’re hitting close to the sweet spot in granularity of components vs. complexity created by too many components: WES7 has ~150 components vs. WES2009 which has ~10k components.

Not everything was perfect in WES7, there were some things we implemented in Standard 7 where we are receiving a lot of good, constructive feedback to further improve on for future releases. For instance, for the first time in our platform we implemented a tiered  sku’ing method (e.g., WS7C sku, WS7P sku, WS7E sku), it appears we could do a little better in preparing and educating our partners as well as in our implementation of the tiers.

Besides shipping Standard 7, we also released quite a few other features for our new and older platforms like XP Embedded and Standard 2009. For instance, the updated version of Silverlight and the new Remote Desktop Connection 7, or Powershell 2.0 and Web Services on Devices.  Then there was the release of Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU) to improve the developer experiences with our platform.

As you can see, the overall focus for our group in 2010 was to ship a high quality embedded platform based on Windows 7 and also continue to keep the previous platforms fresh since we know some of you will continue to develop on Standard 2009.

For 2011 we have more exciting things going on like Service Pack1 for WES7. And then there’s the Consumer Media Devices sku which was recently shown at CES to a lot of positive feedback with lots of demos from partners showcasing their Televisions and Set Top Boxes on our platform. And the next version of PosReady based on Windows 7 features was announced this week at the NRF convention, you can download POSReady 7 community build and try it out yourself.

There’s lots more happening in the team beyond that but we’ll have to keep our lips sealed until we’re ready to discuss plans around vNext, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

In the meantime please do communicate with us in the Forums and here on the blog, we welcome constructive feedback. We hope you have a healthy and productive and prosperous year.

- Andy

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