Microsoft Announces Windows Embedded Handheld – What Does It Mean?
Will we continue and support Windows Mobile devices? Will we continue and see this version as one of our main ones?
Microsoft’s Mobile OS Roadmap:
Well, Microsoft is making things interesting for us lately with some updates, changes, new names and brands to its’ existing mobile operating systems.
Here are Steve Balmer’s notes about Windows Embedded Handheld (which is, in my opinion, mostly Windows Mobile 6.5.3 eventually) – check out the video below followed by some explanations by myself:
To make things easier, here’s what it means:
For years, Microsoft had 2 mobile operating systems: Windows CE and Windows Mobile (what used to be called PocketPC), where Windows Mobile was actually built on top of Windows CE.
With the release of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has formally separated between consumer-grade smartphone OS and the usual (good old) WinMo which is targeted towards rugged devices, PDAs and EDAs (Enterprise Digital Assistant) used by field sales, field service, and more.
Renaming is fun:
Now, Microsoft is rebranding the Mobile OS by renaming Windows Mobile to become Windows Embedded Handheld, and Windows CE to become Windows Embedded Compact. Windows Phone remains with the same name.
Microsoft was kind enough to share the Windows Mo… errr, sorry… Windows Embedded Handheld Roadmap which now looks like that:
So for now, Windows Mobile continues to live and even gets a fancy long name. It even gets a pretty cool roadmap and a new device form Motorola (more on that in the next post).
The current version from Microsoft is still WinMo (version 6.5.3) and is based on the same Windows CE with a different name. The next version of Windows Embedded Handheld will however be based on “windows 7 technologies”.
Regardless to the mess, it does mean Windows Mobile is probably here to stay for another 2-3 years and for me it makes a lot of sense. Many organizations are currently using WinMo, many devices make use of this powerful OS, the integrated devices it includes, the rich 3rd party applications and more.
Looking for some more details? Check out the following: