November, 2012

Creating cloud-connected
"intelligent" elevators
with Microsoft Azure services
Introducing Microsoft
Azure Intelligent
Systems Service
How big data
creates new
marketing options
for retailers
Enabling productivity
with the
Internet of Things



  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Europe says “Ciao” to the new Ford Fiesta with SYNC

    Posted By Chris Elliott
    Senior Marketing Communications Manager

    The year is 1976.

    ABBA, Queen and Rod Stewart rule the airwaves, while “Rocky”and “A Star is Born” dominate at the box office.

    It was in 1976 that Ford first launched the Ford Fiesta—a small but mighty hatchback which has gone on to become one of Ford’s global best-sellers, with over 15 million sold.

    Thirty-six years later, Ford is introducing the newest Fiesta to Europe by hosting an event in Rome at the famed Cinecittà Studios lot, where drivers put Fiestas to the test. Driving through the location where movies like “Roman Holiday” and “Ben-Hur” were filmed adds something to the Fiesta test-drive experience, to say the least!

    Clearly, there’ve been a lot of changes to the Fiesta over the years—most notably, its technology. In the 1976 Fiesta, you would have been lucky to get an FM radio. Today it comes with one of the most comprehensive suites of in-car connectivity features available in a small car: Ford SYNC. In fact, 2012 marks the introduction of SYNC to the Fiesta in Europe, a major milestone in Ford’s approach to democratizing technology, making advanced features more broadly available to customers.


    Comments Windows Embedded Automotive

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Manufacturing at a Crossroads: Windows Embedded at SPS IPC Drives 2012

    Posted By Barb Edson
    General Manager, Marketing and Business Development

    My colleague Werner Reuss recently got to showcase some game-changing new embedded solutions for the manufacturing industry at the annual SPS IPC Drives technology event in Nuremburg, Germany. Werner is the Windows Embedded business lead for Germany and Eastern Europe; here, he shares his impressions of the show.

    For the 23rd year in a row, over 55,000 manufacturers, engineers, developers, designers, exhibitors and even the general public (!) attended SPS IPC Drives in Nuremburg this week, Europe’s leading trade show for electric automation.

    While I’ve been to the show before with Microsoft, this was my first time with Windows Embedded, a group I joined just this past summer from Microsoft Germany’s Server & Tools business. I was fortunate to join the team at such a significant point in its growth here in Europe.


    Comments Windows Embedded Standard

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Embedded Technology Japan 2012

    Posted By John Boladian
    Marketing Director, Asia Pacific & Greater China

    Trade shows in Japan are often the highlight of the year for me. They’re run with the same precision as the rail networks; getting 40,000 people in and out of Yokohama’s Conference Center over 3 days requires great coordination.

    This year highlighted to me just how far we have come with natural user interfaces. Natural user interfaces are critical to intelligent systems, being the interaction point. There is some real innovation happening here, and Microsoft’s partners are leading the way.

    · Last year was the first time we saw Kinect- based demonstrations; this year it was everywhere, built into scenarios to engage shoppers when browsing in a store to even a healthcare-based application which looked at your height, weight and body shape todetermine your health. Connected to a database of height/weight statistics, it was quite popular. A Microsoft partner had even initiated a competition with local universities to see which school could come up with the most innovative Kinect demonstrations.


    Comments Windows Embedded Compact

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Partner Spotlight: Toradex

    Posted By David Campbell
    Program Manager

    Embedded OEMs and developers often struggle with how to bring up hardware to quickly begin work on their overall solutions. Often, product requirements limit platform options and require extensive development time and costs. Windows Embedded partner Toradex has a great solution to this challenge. Toradex specializes in embedded hardware and software, and with Windows Embedded Compact, Toradex is able to provide solutions that can be not only used to quickly bring up your product, but also provide cost-effective hardware with which you can ship your product.

    Toradex has a line of boards and modules that are both standardized and flexible. The Colibri hardware design scales from 208 MHz up to 1 GHz nVidia Tegra 3 and allows hardware updates by just swapping these standardized, pin-compatible modules. A very cool design! Standardization allows costs to be reduced, and it’s flexible enough to be used in a large variety of devices and industries, ranging from industrial automation and control to aerospace and medical. Toradex sells exclusively over the Internet and ships worldwide. And because of their redundant manufacturing facilities around the world, they can provide a reliable supply chain.


    Comments Windows Embedded Compact

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Discovering Intelligent Systems at work in Manufacturing

    Posted By Jeff Wettlaufer
    Technical Program Manager

    Hey everyone, recently our Windows Embedded team was on a customer site visit in Europe, and we came across a fantastic example of Intelligent Systems in action. While we were touring an automobile manufacturing plant, we observed the line using electric screwdrivers like the one pictured below. They had two cables running into them. Power and Ethernet. We asked the tour director about the network cable, and they explained that the screwdriver was actually an ‘intelligent’ screwdriver.

    We smiled at the thought of this basic piece of hardware actually being able to think about what it was doing. Then he explained it and we were amazed. The screwdriver was hung off a manufacturing line Windows Embedded Compact PC that was connected to a larger network in the factory. The backend provided the screwdriver engineering specs about the screw going into that location on the car, including the required torque and even the number of revolutions that Class 1 screw should take to achieve the desired torque. So, when the technician popped the screw into the chassis, all they had to do was fire the trigger, and everything was automatic. They even had some scenarios where this was done using robotic arms instead of people.DSC_0914sm

    When the screw was installed in the car, a data point was generated that came back down the network cable and registered in the factory database. Basically, an ‘OK’, or ‘NOT OK’ was registered, and in the case of either the torque being missed, or that torque being achieved in an unexpected number of revolutions, a flag was popped to investigate further. In summary, the car would not get off the production line if the quality bar wasn’t met.



    Intelligent Systems

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