You certainly have heard about the Windows Embedded family renaming. If not, take a look at this post.
Part of the Windows Embedded Ready sub-family (specific verticals offerings), here is a new born: Windows Embedded NavReady 2009. By the "Nav" prefix, you certainly have guessed that this new product is not about being ready to run some well known anti-virus ;-)... but is more about portable navigation devices, aka PNDs or GPS.
So imagine the scenario: you are driving and need to get info like the weather, traffic, or the best and newest points of interests near you like a restaurant or a gas station with best prices... The only thing you have is your PND and a cell phone, let's be more precise, a Bluetooth cell phone. Why not leverage your cell phone connectivity and link it using Bluetooth to your PND, you would then not only be able to make phone calls from the PND (using it as an hand free kit), but also get your PND connected to services on the Internet. Then, bringing your PND back home, you could also want to leverage its large LCD screen for some... Sideshow usage...
Ok, I hear some of you saying: "What is the big deal here? Some PND already provide this kind of functionality or kind of...". Let me answer that: think it the OEM way... The PND manufacturers need integration, they need to be able to leverage up-to-date connected technologies, and they need to integrate these technologies quickly, easily, and for an optimum cost...
Here are all the features Windows Embedded NavReady adds to the Platform Builder 5.0 catalog:
You are smart and attentive enough, so you noticed I mentioned Platform Builder version 5.0... You'd probably want to ask why this new offer is based on Windows CE 5.0 and not on the latest CE version which is 6.0. The answer is quite simple: today, many PND manufacturers are using CE 5.0 in there devices, and Microsoft's first focus is to provide these OEMs with the right features that will make it possible for them to bring their devices to market fast with these new capabilities... and without having to licence any third party technology on top of their actually running OS.
If you want to learn more about Windows Embedded NavReady 2009, visit the Web site :http://www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/products/navready/default.mspx
If you want to get started and to download NavReady, then go there.
Any plans to port CE 5.0 version for CE 6.0
There is no plan to have a CE 6.0 version of NavReady.
The MSNDirect services have been discontinued by the MSN team, Live Search for Devices suffered the Bing change.
The other features specific to NavReady are in Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 (Connectivity manager, Bluetooth profiles, location APIs).
You can also leverage nw UI technology: Silverlight for Windows Embedded in CE 6.0 R3 that can be really usefull for devices such as GPS devices.