Windows CE goes browsing
September 30, 1999
by Alexandra Krasne
SAN JOSE, Calif. (IDG) -- A broader selection of applications may soon be running Windows CE, and on a wider choice of devices, because Microsoft Tuesday updated its Platform Builder for the operating system at the Embedded Systems Conference here.
Platform Builder 2.12 supports Web browsing through Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0, offering tighter Web connections for Windows CE programs. New tools will let developers enhance cryptography functions with 128-bit encryption, and support better interaction between Windows CE applications. For example, Microsoft Message Queue is a component that sends messages between programs.
To actually develop applications for Windows CE devices, you'll have to be a programmer. But the benefit of the new development platform is that it will become easier and cheaper to support devices previously unable to run CE, according to a Microsoft representative.
The announcement of the new Platform Builder may be shaking up the developer world, but it's nothing new to Westtek. The development company has been designing CE-enabled devices using a prerelease of Microsoft's Platform Builder 2.12 for a few months now.
"We rely on Platform Builder's IE client technology," says Tim Wells, Westtek's president. "The Web-enabling is a big feature."
Even before receiving Platform Builder 2.12, Wells says his company was developing equipment with the CE operating system in mind. One product in development will expand the functions of a common office device.
Microsoft's new developer software will change the way you're used to working, Wells says.
"Platform Builder 2.12 will help the digital office gain acceptance," he says. "We describe the typical office devices -- printers, scanners, projectors, non-PC devices. I think over the next couple of years, you'll browse and print locally from a printer. Plus, having this connectivity buys the ability to manage [a network and devices] from one place."
Microsoft officials have emphasized the importance of Windows CE as they try to expand the kinds of platforms that run the Windows operating system.
"Integration with enterprise and Internet solutions is critical for most embedded devices being built today," Tony Barbagallo, group product manager for Windows CE, said in a statement. "Microsoft's embedded technologies -- Windows CE and Windows NT Embedded -- are poised to become the backbone of the next generation of connected devices."
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