Microsoft Readies Second Beta of Talisker

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.

Microsoft officials reiterated that the 32-bit beta, which will support

four chips, including the Intel x86, ARM, MIPS, and SHx, will be aimed

at those OEMs developing smart mobile devices such as PDAs, smart

phones, Windows thin clients set-top boxes, and industrial automation

equipment.

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