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Microsoft plots embedded OS futures

Oct 9, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Attendees of last month's Boston Embedded Systems Conference got a glimpse of where Microsoft thinks the device software market is heading. In his ESC keynote, Kevin Dallas, GM of Microsoft's Windows Embedded business unit, discussed four key trends that are influencing the evolution of next-generation devices.

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Dallas began his talk by providing “examples of where we could improve as an industry.” Devices need to be service-aware, he said, citing telephony and navigation as examples.

It should be possible to use a mobile device to receive a phone call at home via VoIP (voice over IP), have it automatically switch to a WAN (and hands-free operation) when moved to a car, then seamlessly switch over to a corporate WLAN at the office, said Dallas. Similarly, he added, navigation devices ought to move information from a PC, to a mobile device, to an in-car system automatically.

Dallas next outlined four significant trends in device development:

  • The “Software Plus Service” concept. “We can no longer build software that just sits on a device,” he said. “Instead, we have to build software plus a service.”
  • Next, is a move away from just ramping up clock speed, and toward having multiple heterogeneous cores on a single chip — an applications processor, a graphics processor, and a radio processor.
  • Then there's the trend toward loosely-coupled services. Today, a device such as the Zune portable music player (PMP) is tied to a single music store, while a set-top box might be tightly coupled to a specific video-on-demand service. “In the future, these devices will be able to discover and connect to other services,” Dallas said.
  • “Finally, of course, there's service-oriented development,” Dallas continued. A service that a device is connecting to “may be on the same device in another core, it could be on the circuit board, it could be on the premises where the device sits, or it could be connecting out … to a web service that's, frankly, on the other side of the world.”

To read more about Dallas's ESC Boston 2007 keynote, go here. The article, on our sister site, WindowsForDevices, also includes a link to the complete transcript of the keynote talk.

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