Microsoft readies second beta of Talisker

InfoWorld.com |  Operating Systems

Microsoft Corp. has made available Beta 2 of Talisker, the code name for the upcoming version of Windows CE featuring more advanced support for wireless communications and support for IE (Internet Explorer) 5.5.

The Beta 2 version of Talisker, still expected to ship in its final form by the end of this year, also includes support for real time-collaboration and communications and a new platform wizard to help developers build for targeted devices more quickly.

Company officials said they still expect the first devices containing the upcoming operating systems to be available early next year.

Along with the new beta, Microsoft announced its Talisker Rapid Deployment Program intended to help corporate users and business partners work more efficiently with the company in developing their devices.

Those companies that join the program share hands-on feedback throughout the development process. For doing so, those companies gain access to early code, which should help them deliver their products to market faster.

The company also announced today its Talisker Emulation Edition Preview, which allows users and developers to both build and test Talisker-based code on Windows 2000 and Windows XP-based workstations.

The Emulation Edition, which can be downloaded for free, should save developers both time and money because they can begin designing right after they download the program without having to go out to buy the targeted hardware.

"The emulation technologies are built right in so developers no longer have to go out to buy their targeted hardware. After downloading they can start development right there on the desktop with a Windows 2000 or [Windows] XP-based workstation," said Megan Kidd, a product manager at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash.

The Emulation Edition is now available at msdn.microsoft.com/embedded.

Besides support for Bluetooth, which appeared in Beta 1, Microsoft has added support for 802.1x Zero Configuration that helps simplify the setup of 802.1x networks as well as enablesseamless roaming. The added benefit with Beta 2 is the elimination of having to reconfigure remote devices to work with different wireless networks. "If I have a device today on the Microsoft Wireless Network and I walk over to a Starbuck and enter into their wireless network, I would have to so dome reconfiguration on my device. But with 802.1 support you no longer have to do that reconfiguration work," Kidd said.

Beta 2 features support for the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) that company officials believe will make the operating system more attractive in that mobile devices will be able to communicate both text and audio messaging, according to Kidd.

Other new features of Beta 2 include rich media support, including support for Direct X 8.0 and Windows Media codecs.

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