Microsoft announced the launch of Windows Embedded Handheld, a new software platform developed to meet line-of-business scenarios and boost mobile workforce productivity. According to Microsoft, the goal of the initiative is enhance key workforce applications by integrating more immersive user experiences like touch or gesture response, in addition to boosting mobile device connectivity to Windows-based PCs, servers and enterprise services. Releases under the Windows Embedded Handheld brand will roll out later this year, based on Windows Mobile 6.5 and bolstered by management and security features.
Microsoft confirms that Windows Embedded will support existing developer tools like Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Forms. An updated Windows Embedded Handheld platform based on Silverlight and XNA--dubbed Windows Embedded Compact 7--is slated for release in the second half of 2011, promising enhanced features and functionality as well as support for rich user interfaces and natural input.
A recent VDC Research whitepaper estimates enterprise handheld device shipments in 2009 topped 2.3 million, a number expected to grow to 4.3 million per year by 2014. VDC adds that devices based on Microsoft's Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile platforms accounted for 87 percent of 2009 shipments.
For more on Windows Embedded Handheld:
- read this release
Microsoft paying devs to port iPhone games to Windows Phone?
Windows Phone 7 to offer both Silverlight and XNA development
Zune, Xbox Live integration bolster Windows Phone 7