Microsoft Thursday offered some early insight into a planned embedded version of its upcoming Longhorn operating system. Called Longhorn Embedded, it’s intended for use as control software in x86-based systems that aren’t PCs or servers. These include systems such as retail point-of-sale terminals, thin clients, advanced cable set-top boxes, and single-board-computers used in everything from ATMs and vending machines to factory-floor controllers.
Microsoft is expected to provide the first public details of its plans for Longhorn Embedded to developers in May at its Microsoft Mobility and Embedded DevCon in Las Vegas.
However, to date, Microsoft has said little beyond a previous acknowledgement that it hopes to ship Longhorn Embedded roughly six months after the desktop version of Longhorn ships sometime in 2006. ((i.e., Longhorn client will ship sometime in 2006; Longhorn Embedded comes six months after whatever date that is.)) "We are not talking about details," a Microsoft spokeswoman said.
Microsoft broke with that pledge in part Thursday on its MSDN network, during a chat on the subject of Windows XP Embedded with Service Pack 2. Longhorn Embedded will be the successor to Windows XP Embedded. The SP2 release, unveiled last December and featuring a series of security upgrades and bug fixes, is the last major planned upgrade of that OS until Longhorn Embedded is released.
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Finally some information about this particular edition of Longhorn. One thing I definitely hope for is better default installation in Virtual PC, meaning it just comes with preconfigured settings to install in Virtual PC. Although I consider it not be an actual OS, since it is basically using the underlying image of the host operating system to create the Embedded OS.