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ABOUT WINDOWS EMBEDDED COMPACT
Windows Embedded Compact is a componentized, real-time operating system used to create a wide range of small-footprint enterprise and consumer devices. Join the discussion about the unique benefits of the Compact OS, examples of Windows Embedded Compact currently in use, and developer tricks and tips.
Posted By David CampbellProgram Manager
At the recent Visual Studio launch event, it was confirmed that Visual Studio 2012 will once again include support for Windows Embedded Compact. Included in that support we’re targeting much of the newest compiler and tools functionality, most notable of which includes new compiler features such as C++11 language standards, faster more efficient code generated, an updated CRT, auto-parallelization and auto-vectorization (Wow, that’s a mouthful.), range based loops, RValue references, and more. Also included will be an updated version of .net CF which has greatly improved performance, particularly around memory allocation and garbage collection - using the “generational” garbage collector. This not only provides more performance, but more predictability in the execution of applications.
More information about the new Visual Studio, including support for Compact, can be found at the Visual Studio Launch site. (Yes, I’m in the video and no, I’m not going to be able to make a living in front of the camera. But it’s the message that’s important here.)
Be sure to check back in the future as we release more information on the upcoming Windows Embedded Compact release.
Comments Windows Embedded Compact
In a previous post, I discussed the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 announcement and a number of great new features in the OS and tools. With those posts, I received a number of questions about the tools. As you all know, Windows Embedded Platform builder (PB) is a plug in to Visual Studio. For Windows Embedded Compact 7, our Platform Builder plug in and tools were hosted by Visual Studio 2008, while Platform Builder in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 will be hosted in Visual Studio 2012. A number of people asked whether PB from Windows Embedded Compact 7 could be hosted in Visual Studio 2012, or alternatively whether PB from Windows Embedded Compact 2013 can target Windows Embedded Compact 7. Unfortunately, the answer to that is no. There had to be significant changes to both Windows Embedded Compact 2013, including PB, as well as Visual Studio 2012 to support the latest versions of each. The hosting has changed, and more importantly, the compilers and ABI (Application Binary Interface) to the ARM chipset has changed and are incompatible with each other. Even though each version of Windows Embedded Compact 7 can target the same chipset in this case, the compilers from each cannot support the other. More information will be posted on this in a future article.
While the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 announcement is certainly exciting, we want to continue posting great information on Windows Embedded Compact 7 as well. To that end, we have another great in-depth article from Doug Boling to share.
Microsoft Platform Builder is a tool that anyone who ports Windows Embedded Compact will live in throughout the project. (PB is also used when creating new device images from scratch. This information certainly applies to that scenario as well.) Given the time spent in this tool, it’s critical that your development machine be properly configured to maximize the performance of the tool and by implication your performance.
Posted By Colin MurphyTechnical Program Manager, Microsoft’s Windows Embedded
What is Windows Embedded Compact 2013? It is just the latest, and of course greatest, version of Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Compact componentized OS, formerly known as Windows CE. Did you know that Microsoft has been in the embedded space with this operating system for over 15 years? In that time, this little OS has evolved from one target category--small handheld devices--to a general-purpose embedded system that powers everything from tiny controls, to retail POS terminals, to the automation of high-end manufacturing. Windows Embedded Compact continues to differentiate itself within Microsoft, and within the larger ecosystem, as an operating system targeting small-footprint devices that need real-time performance and silicon flexibility.
Woo hoo, it’s finally time to share more information about the upcoming release! First, the release now officially has a name: Windows Embedded Compact 2013. (I know that folks probably have questions around why we chose this name. We thoroughly considered a long list of potential names, including Windows CE again, and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 really did receive the best response.)
I’ll be doing a number of posts about the various key features and changes in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 over the next few posts, but I want to start with arguably the most interesting of the new features: the investments made for Visual Studio 2012 support, both ISV/app development via Visual Studio directly; and the OEM/device development experience with Platform Builder, now hosted in Visual Studio 2012!
With all development now in Visual Studio 2012, there is no longer a need for multiple versions of Visual Studio to support Compact development alongside other Windows platforms. Plus, you’ll get many of the new features and productivity improvements available in Visual Studio 2012 when developing for Compact! We now have the same C++ toolset and standards supported everywhere. (And of course Visual Studio 2012 includes the new features from Visual Studio 2010, which were not previously to Compact developers.)
Doug Boling recently hosted one of his regular webcasts on Optimizing performance and power on Windows Embedded Compact 7 and has graciously provided me with a companion article. Thanks Doug! There’s more information later in the article about how you can sign up for these webcasts so please do join us for the monthly sessions.
Embedded hardware is slow. It’s designed that way. Unlike Personal Computers which are sold to customers who are dazzled by high gigahertz numbers and massive hard disks, embedded customers buy a widget that does something. If the widget does something well that’s all that matters, so the manufacturer of that widget is going to use the slowest (and often least expensive) hardware possible to implement that widget. This is one requirement that makes embedded software so challenging to write. Embedded software must have great performance so that the hardware can be as inexpensive as possible.
In this blog post, I will review some of the techniques for system design that can improve performance, and as a consequence, the power consumption of a system. I’ll also cover some lower level application driver characteristics that can lower power consumption directly.