Today, Kevin Dallas (General Manager for the Windows Embedded Business at Microsoft) announced the "Spark" initiative during the CE 6.0 R2 launch event - Today we have two versions of CE 6.0 available, the evaluation edition (which runs for 180 days), and the full version of the product that retails for $995.

Up to now we've really focused on professional embedded developers, with the "Spark" initiative we're expanding the community to hobbyist developers that are working on embedded and robotics projects - the hobbyist package will contain a FULL version of Visual Studio 2005 Standard, a FULL version of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 and a low cost hardware reference design (more information on pricing and board availability coming soon!). The great thing is that the FULL products don't time out - the only restriction is that you cannot use the products for commercial development.

The second part of the initiative is to remove the cost of BSP (Board Support Package) certification, which today costs $1500.

More information on the CE 6.0 R2 product, and features can be found here.


- Mike