Microsoft updates roadmap for Windows Embedded, more releases to come

Windows Embedded Standard will launch next March

By , IDG News Service |  Windows

The company decided to hold its Windows Embedded in Beijing, given that many Windows Embedded vendors, or likely about a third of its partners, are based in the Asia-Pacific region, Doyle said.

"Over the next number of years, by 2016, almost one third of intelligent systems will be used in APAC (Asia-Pacific) region," he said. "We think the APAC region is critical to the success."

China is also helping to lead in the market, as vendors in the country work to develop more intelligent systems for use in banks and in manufacturing, Doyle said.

"Our strategy is to evolve the ecosystem. The end customers, the end banks, the end retailers, they want a complete system," he said. "The day of selling a stand-alone embedded appliance are numbered because fundamentally, in order to drive the insight and intelligence, the systems need to be connected."

Microsoft is the largest vendor for commercially sold operating system software meant for embedded system devices, said Shane Rau, an analyst with research firm IDC. The market generates about US$1 billion in revenue, and Microsoft has a 40 to 45 percent share.

The company has mainly sold its Windows Embedded software for use in retail devices, like cashier systems or information kiosks. But the company has an opportunity as more market segments move to intelligent systems, which will require more powerful operating system software, Rau said. The energy sector, healthcare, and communications industries are expected to grow the fastest in adoption.

"(Rivals) have spent years specializing in these markets, and they have an understanding of what's suitable for a doctor, or for someone who manages a power plant," he said. "I think an entrance into these traditional embedded systems markets will face a significant challenge."

Doyle, however, said Microsoft stands out from its competitors because of the data connectivity its software can bring.

"In healthcare, manufacturing, retail, the ability to connect those devices back to be able to drive intelligence, that's the untapped potential," he said.

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