I am sure you have been surfing on Flash or Silverlight Websites and you’ve probably been using WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) applications on PCs, and while using these applications and Websites, this question came to your mind: “How cool would it be if I could have such user interfaces on my devices!”
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this for Windows Embedded CE applications user interfaces? Well, this is coming! Kevin Dallas, General Manager of the Windows Embedded Business group, presented a demo at Computex this week showing user interfaces based on a XAML-based rendering engine.
In the very near future you will be able to use this rendering engine on Windows Embedded CE devices.
Today you can achieve something similar on Windows Embedded Standard and Windows Embedded POSReady devices as these products, based on Windows XP Pro bits, allow you to build a customized “Windows” OS for a PC-based device, supporting Silverlight and .Net 3.5, which means you can have devices looking like this kiosk:
Windows Embedded Standard or Windows Embedded POSReady are perfect for PC-based class devices, but if you want to build a portable (battery powered), small footprint, hard real-time device, you will want to use Windows Embedded CE.
So far Windows Embedded CE user interface is developed using win32 GDI, Winforms, .Net Compact Framework and as Mike Hall explains in his blog post, these UI technologies are code driven. This implies that to develop user interface you need to code and designer and developer need to interact to get some nice rich UI done with all the limitations involved (getting developer and designer to speak the same language, to understand each other, having them going back and forth when changes are made to the business logic of the app or on the graphics, or even harder, having the developer to build the crazy animations/effects the designer wants to have…). So why not get the advantage of the Microsoft Expression tools that allow designers and developers to work together relying on XAML based technologies separating the user experience to the business logic of an application (like Silverlight and WPF do), meaning a developer can focus on coding the business logic, and the designer focuses on the design…
We have recorded this demo so that those of you not at Computex can have a sneak peek into how cool a Windows Embedded CE UI will be, and get explanations from Jeff and Todd on the tools and technologies used. Here is the video:
User Interface Technologies for Windows Embedded CE