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On Microsoft's Embedded DevCon Keynote

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the embed-this dept.

Microsoft 106

An anonymous reader writes "WindowsForDevices reports on the keynote talk at Microsoft's Windows Embedded DevCon (developer conference) taking place this week in San Diego. The story includes some interesting comments and highlights from the talk. Don't miss the cool bit about the ARM7-based 'SPOT' development platform that runs a tiny version of the .NET Compact Framework -- Microsoft is demoing a robot that's run by SPOT. There's also a pointer to an online video demo of a project to create a digital picture frame using Win CE."

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ATTENTION YOU FAGGOTS!!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577264)

Fuck you and your /. trolling faggotry. Girls all the way! That's right, while I've been sitting in the IP-ban corner for the last three weeks, I've discovered females. FEMALES. The things you sometimes see on the internet touching their sexy bodies in attractive ways. The real things are squishy and smell nice, and are generally great to be around. Really. Take a shower and clean your teeth, go outside and maybe you'll find one. I don't need no gay Slashdot and gay trolling, trolling is for fags and losers, and you are all fags and losers. Fuck Slashdot, fuck trolling, fuck you. Suck on it, you faggots. Fuck you.

You need some L&TC (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577321)

Dude, if we're all homosexuals and you hate us, how come you keep coming back here over and over again?

Re:ATTENTION YOU FAGGOTS!!!!!! (-1, Troll)

Szentigrade (790685) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577476)

Your a little off subject. we're talking about digital picture frames! Cool ehh?

Digital picture frame? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577277)

How useless.

Look Mom... (-1, Offtopic)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577284)

Look Mom... a nice blue screen with weird computer junk on it.. adn what is this virus that is installing?

Re:Look Mom... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577433)

adn?

News about more microsoft software... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577288)

... just don't arouse me. Am I odd?

Re:News about more microsoft software... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577619)

...no. But you are if the sight of a certain penguin does that to you.

WinCE (2, Funny)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577292)

I can't wait to buy my copy of WinCE so that I can build a picture frame out of it, seeing that my only other options are:

1) Buy one at a store for $2
2) Build the same damn thing with Linux for FREE!!!!!1

Believe me, nobody else looks forward to running virus patches on his fucking Picture Frame than I do!

Re:WinCE (2, Funny)

3) profit!!! (773340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577335)

How are you going to get a virus on your picture frame by running WinCE? Sure, Linux is cheaper, but the security doesn't matter as long as the picture frame isn't connected to anything else.

Re:WinCE (2, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577355)

The point the grandparent post should be making is that using WinCE for a picture frame is a waste of money and is thoroughly not noteworthy.

Re:WinCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577371)

At some point you'll have to put a disk in or connect it to a network.

Re:WinCE (1)

antic (29198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577390)

Oh, and predictably, I'm getting a banner ad from Microsoft on Slashdot advertising Windows Embedded, on each page load too... Very convenient!

Re:WinCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577451)

Yeah, it seems that even Slashdot, the last bastion of Free Journalism (tm), is *gasp* making money and fucking their brainwashed or -dead readers.

Re:WinCE (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578406)

That's what finaly convinced me to tell firefox not to load slashdot's adds, except it still does, it just doesn't display them. Hopefully the bug is fixed by the time I get a new ver of ff (it's in 0.8). I would like to save the bandwith as well if possible. I'm in the boonies where 28.8 is a minor miracle of speed when I get it.

Mycroft

WinCE that bad? (5, Interesting)

nten (709128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577435)

I don't have any WinCE experience(VXworks, custom schedulers, and Integrity mostly), but one of my coworkers, whose opinion I generally respect uses CE for all his moonlighting contract jobs and he calls it rocksolid, easy to use, etc. etc. He's got lots of embedded experience, mostly safety critical, and he considers it a truly useful tool.

I can't ignore it outright, because he really does know what he's doing, he's written his own schedulers and memory managers for projects for 8051s and whatnot, so he's not just saying "oh, this looks easy I'll use this". But I'm also hesitant to believe that M$ has made something reliable enough to run embedded hard real-time.

Anyone want to enlighten me further?

Re:WinCE that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577563)

A coworker of mine has had to perform a hard reset on his new HP IPaq at least three times (the $699 one).

I don't know about viruses, but after seeing that I think I'll go with the Zaurus.

Re:WinCE that bad? (3, Insightful)

RalphTWaP (447267) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578029)

No source considers WinCE to be a hard real-time OS. There are realtime extensions to embedded windows (WinCE and XPe) available, and some even sound pretty promising from a technical standpoint, but the bottom line is that with a non-deterministic scheduler, it's not real-time. Usually predictable, sure. Probably fast enough, of course; however, without the extensions (and perhaps in some situations with them, the technical articles I've seen were still pretty vague in spots) it's not an RTOS, and please... if anyone is going to use it behind some bit of critical hardware, put the stickers on the outside so I'll be able to avoid trusting my life to it *smirks*

Re:WinCE that bad? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9578425)


Anyone want to enlighten me further?


I can't imagine how one could praise WinCE so highly. It's not hard realtime. This isn't a negative, just a fact. It just means that it is not a flexible as some other alternatives. It has NO flexibility as far as scheduler and memory management are concerned. The API is loosely based on the Win32 API, which sucks especially for this purpose, and sucks doubly because 90% of the parameters to the bloated API calls are ignored anyway. IPC options suck: thread message queues (a la WPARAM/LPARAM) and shared memory. The scheduler is capable of only 32 processes (again I consider a bitmap scheduler great if it's an option, but when you realize that WinCE drivers and BSPs are built ASSUMING this is a constant it is quite bad). There is essentially no memory protection since it is trivial and plausible that any process will enter Ring 0 even by accident. The scheduler is dead nuts simple. This is not necessarily a bad thing, until you realize that changing it is not trivial without practically rewriting most of the kernel (as the device driver model assumes the scheduler and memory model) and furthermore the OS is such a bloated piece of shit considering how simplistic the components are.

Oh yeah, there is NO standards compliance, and I'm not talking about any one in particular. I'm just looking for some basic ROAD MAP from Microsoft. It would be nice if Microsoft at least developed their own standard and abstractions that would mean that so many fundamental things wouldn't change from one release to the next. Couple this with the fact that even the basic C runtime support is sorely lacking.

As for rock solid, you are at the mercy of whoever wrote your BSP. I have seen a number and the quality varies widely. The one constant thing is they all reinvent the wheel for missing facilities and interfaces. I have seen very few WinCE implementations that proved themselves to be rock solid.

Let me just say that while WinCE may be OK for some limited uses, its no QNX or vxWorks and that's sad since Microsoft had the chance to develop something that would bring something new to the table.

Your coworker is probably quite smart. If his customers do not know any better, then I say good for him!

Re:WinCE that bad? (2, Insightful)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578681)

"The scheduler is capable of only 32 processes (again I consider a bitmap scheduler great if it's an option, but when you realize that WinCE drivers and BSPs are built ASSUMING this is a constant it is quite bad)."

This has not been the case since Windows CE 4.0.

Re:WinCE that bad? (3, Funny)

Bitseeker (762895) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578747)

Well, they didn't call it "wince" for nothing.

wince: v. To flinch, as in pain or distress.

Re:WinCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577922)

Worked with WinCE recently.

Bad networking
(lots of missing features)
Weak memory managment
(a process has limited addressing space, remember DOS...).
Linux is vastly superior.

Got rid of the job.

SPOT (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577296)

M$ is demoing a robot that's run by SPOT. See SPOT run. Run SPOT, run!

Re:SPOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577458)

See SPOT crash! Crash SPOT Crash!

hey- wait. Maybe Gir runs WinCE. 'plains a lot, don't it.

WinCE + Robots = a new meaning for the BSOD.

Re:SPOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577490)

From the article:

Uh-oh -- get ready for all the "see SPOT run" jokes ;-)

See SPOT get WORMS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577873)

See SPOT spew Viagra spam.

See Jane try to run Windows Update.

See Dick reboot SPOT.

Bad SPOT.

Re:SPOT (2, Funny)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9579524)

See SPOT.

See SPOT Blue Screen!?

Blue Screen, SPOT, Blue Screen?!


... sorry, haven't gotten over that 'language is music' thing from the other day, just had to type that out to see what it would be like to say ... ;)

Before it gets /.'d (-1, Redundant)

Johnny Doughnuts (767951) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577298)

Jun. 29, 2004[Updated 10:00pm PDT] -- Microsoft formally inaugurated its 2004 Embedded Developers' Conference (DevCon) this morning in San Diego, with a keynote talk by Tom Adams, General Manager of the Windows CE Platforms group. Adams briefly reviewed the enormous diversity of present and future smart devices, and outlined Microsoft's strategy of offering low cost, reliable, and easy-to-use development tools and software for smart devices. The keynote also included demonstrations of new Windows CE and Windows XP Embedded development tools and technologies, and of devices based on them, as well as some entertaining videos.Adams noted that Microsoft has recently combined its embedded and mobile operations into a single group, the Mobile and Embedded Devices division, which includes the following product and technology categories: * Embedded devices * Mobile devices * Portable media centers * Windows Automotive * Communications sector * Map point * Voice control The Mobile and Embedded Devices Group is one of Microsoft's seven major divisions. "Being one of these seven divisions within Microsoft means that we receive leadership right from the top. We have sitdowns with Bill Gates around where we're taking our technology, what are the strategies we need to put in place, and what are new features that we should be enabling in all of our embedded offerings," Adams said.Some key accomplishments of Windows Embedded during the last year mentioned by Adams include the growth of the Windows Embedded Partner program to over 2,500 member companies; exponential growth in China, Taiwan, and India; the existence of 131 Windows Mobile and Embedded MVPs ("most valuable professionals"); substantial growth in the Windows Embedded Community; and thousands of customer design wins. Additionally, Adams showed a slide that said that both Gartner and VDC, embedded market analyst firms, report that Microsoft's Windows Embedded OSes were #1 in market share in the embedded operating system market in 2003, while both IDC and VDC rated Windows Embedded #1 in revenue for the period 2001 through 2003.He emphasized the importance of yesterday's announcement that all developers, worldwide will be able to use modified Windows CE 5.0 shared source code in commercial products -- without needing to sublicense the modifications back to Microsoft -- and briefly discussed the significance of that capability to optimizing and differentiating smart devices.Adams also offered a brief glimpse of the Windows Embedded product roadmap for the next two years:Windows Embedded RoadmapNow 2005+Windows Mobile 2003 2nd Edition MagnetoWindows CE 5.0 12-18 months to next major releaseWindows XP Embedded SP1, SP2 Longhorn EmbeddedVisual Studio .NET Visual Studio 2005The keynote included several entertaining videos. One showed a "space rover" robot developed at the California Polytechnic State University ("Cal Poly"), pictured on the left, which uses Windows CE as its embedded OS. Another was a light-hearted, documentary-style look inside Microsoft at the history of Windows Embedded and some of its customers -- "we asked Michael Moore to do it but he was busy, so our marketing team threw this together," Adams said.During the keynote, Mike Hall, Technical Product Manager for the Windows Mobile and Embedded Platforms, treated the attendees to a snappy demo of building a Windows CE 5.0 OS image and downloading it into a smart picture frame. Platform Builder 5 sure seems easy-to-use -- at least in the expert hands of Hall. There's a video on Microsoft's Channel 9 website, Hall says, showing some of what he demonstrated online, with more to appear there soon. One really cool feature of the project is the ability to drag/drop picture files from a PC directly into the pictures directory in the picture frame, just like copying files from one PC to a shared directory on another. This makes use of new remote access technology in Windows CE 5.0, Hall said.A sneak preview of Windows XP Embedded Service Pack 2 (SP2) was skillfully presented by Mike Beck, Group Program Manager of XP Embedded Development, who demonstrated the rapid system reload capabilities of SP2 by pulling the plug on a point-of-sale (POS) terminal and showing it restart from an automatically saved system image in about 9 seconds (after completion of the BIOS POST routine), using the new "hybernate once, resume many" feature. He also showed how easy XP Embedded makes adding Bluetooth peripherals, by adding a Bluetooth mouse while we watched. It was funny to see how many devices in the audience got picked up by the OS's "scan for Bluetooth devices" part of that process. Mine was one! That wouldn't have happened a year ago.Next, Mike Hall briefly showed off some Windows powered devices that were displayed in several locations on the stage. They included * Music jukebox * Electronic golf game * Retail point-of-sale (POS) terminal * Pay-by-touch system that uses fingerprint recognition * Slot machine for casino gaming * IP set-top box * Creative's Portable Media Center * RFID reader usable in grocery checkouts * "Pathfinder" communications device for the disabled Finally, there was a third video, which presented an inspiring vision of "a day in the life of a regular family." Here's what we saw pass through the hands of the regular family's Dad, Mom, Sister, and Brother: * Tablet PC * Pocket PC * Media Center PC * Smart picture frame * Portable Media Center * Smartphone * Windows Automotive * Gametrac gaming device * SPOT watch * Windows-powered cash register at store * iCEBOX kitchen PC and home controller I don't know about your family, but mine doesn't happen to have all of these cool gadgets on hand to play with in the course our day. Perhaps such an array of Windows powered gadgets is a standard employee benefit for Microsoft employees!Here's one exciting tidbit I gleaned from the talk. Microsoft has always maintained that its Smart Personal Objects Technology (a.k.a. "SPOT") isn't exclusively meant for watches. They've been quietly developing a cool SPOT development platform based on a 32-bit ARM7 processor which can be programmed by means of a "tiny" subset of the .NET Compact Framework. The core of the platform is a tiny computer module in the shape of (and with pins like) a 32-pin dual-in-line chip package, so it can be plugged into various expansion boards to create development prototypes. In addition to the ARM7 processor, the module also includes an unspecified amount of RAM or DRAM, 4MB of Flash, and ports for serial, USB, and I2C. The best part: Microsoft expects to begin making the kits available to developers later this year, to spark various SPOT-powered innovations. They currently have a robot prototype powered by SPOT. Uh-oh -- get ready for all the "see SPOT run" jokes ;-)-- by WindowsForDevices.com editor-in-chief Rick Lehrbaum, on location at DevCon in San Diego

Re:Before it gets /.'d (3, Funny)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577309)

Line breaks are for pussies =/

Re:Before it gets /.'d (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577409)

Line breaks are for pussies =/

You
take
that
back
!

BSOD (3, Funny)

maelstrom (638) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577304)

Look how cool embedded windows can be:

Blue Screen of Death Gallery [daimyo.org]

Re:BSOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577430)

and I thought the all your base guys had enough to keep them busy...

Re:BSOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9580247)

Yes, very good, except you can be pretty sure that none of those applications are actually running embedded.

Boom boom! (-1, Troll)

LoocSiMit (760771) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577307)

Robots - crashing - Windows .... do you see?

Ha ha ha I am so funny it hurts quite a lot and its not the drugs again really it isnt i am fine please let go of my arms why areyouputtingthatneedleintomyarmithurtsquiteahhhwe lllitsnothatbadafteralllithinkilllgostoslleee.e... ...............

Windows XP Embedded (4, Interesting)

Dante (3418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577342)

I noticed a couple comments on Windows XP Embedded on that website, has anyone else had issues trying to keep embeded secure? You can't run windows update or SUS and service packs don't work. And Cannon won't support any anti-virus software.

In my opinion Windows XP Embedded is the largest boondogle I've ever come across.

Is there a way to keep these boxes(cancer) secure?

Re:Windows XP Embedded (4, Funny)

smithmc (451373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577362)


I noticed a couple comments on Windows XP Embedded on that website, has anyone else had issues trying to keep embeded secure? You can't run windows update or SUS and service packs don't work. And Cannon won't support any anti-virus software.

No biggie - just don't ever connect your device to, well, anything, and you'll have no problems!

Re:Windows XP Embedded (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577374)

Many embedded products don't have any need for connectivity so unless you build your virus into the system, it's not a problem.

Re:Windows XP Embedded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9578049)



While this may be true.

I don't think an embedded OS's tag line should read, "Works GREAT... just don't try connecting it to anything"

Re:Windows XP Embedded (5, Informative)

howlinmonkey (548055) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577423)

I don't know if you mean Cannon or Canon. If you do mean the EFI based RIPs for Canon ColorPASS controllers, you can run McAfee VirusScan 7.0 on their XPe based controllers.

As for security updates, EFI has just started a program for keeping more up to date with Hotfixes and Service Packs. Just today I got an update from Canon with information on a forthcoming CD bundle with the latest patches for their entire Windows based product line. Granted, they will be a little behind because they have to do a full test suite to make sure their software functions with the patch or a modified version thereof. Your printers should be bedhind a firewall with all external access blocked to protect from the majority of these baddies, if possible.

Contact your local servicing Canon dealer for additional information on the anti-virus and security update issues.

Yes, I do work as an analyst for a Canon dealer ;)

Re:Windows XP Embedded (3, Interesting)

Dante (3418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577496)

Yes I do mean the colorpass, and no the vendor nor canon have been very helpful. Canon does not support *ANY* anti-virus software other then McAffee. Our corporate standard is Symantec. Canon up to this point has be as useful as cattle prod in a swimming pool. Christ I can keep 400 plus workstations secure, with less effort than one *embeded device* And to Canons credit it should not be their problem. Any microsoft product should at least be able to use Microsoft update and or SUS.

"Your printers should be bedhind a firewall with all external access blocked to protect from the majority of these baddies, if possible."

No kidding really?

Firewalls are a good first defence at best you should never rely on them to be more then a speedbump. Never ever rely primarly on firewall for security.

Yes, I do work as an analyst for a Canon dealer ;)

Look as a administrator I help set policy and make the majority of decisions on what products to get. First question I ask now is "does it run Windows XP embeded? They say yes. And I say: Oh I'm sorry I don't want that on my network. Come back when it runs somthing else.

Re:Windows XP Embedded (2, Informative)

howlinmonkey (548055) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577976)

If you use Symantec for antivirus, just mount the admin shares and scan them after hours. Not as good as realtime, but most of the major virus vectors aren't running on these controllers (IE and LookOut), so it is arguable whether real time scanning is necessary. I have even had a major customer test their Symantec software on the NT based controllers, and they were able to run it with no problems. We offered to assist them because of the number of machines they had, in spite of Canon's recommendations. We will be testing the XPe devices sometime this summer.

Or use McAfee on just these devices. I have customers with large networks who have done just that for these devices, and have had little additional admin work in the implemenataion.

I say use a firewall because I run into many customers who don't. I wasn't implying that it is a perfect solution, but for many of the remote exploits, it is a great "speedbump".

I don't know if the lack of SUS or Auto Updates on the Canon controllers is due to an inherent lack of support of these features in XPe, or a decision on the part of EFI (the actual mfr of these RIPs). I do know, however, that stock MS patches won't work on these devices anyway. The controller software is closely married to the OS and using unmodified patches will kill the RIP and require a software reinstall. EFI has to provide custom patches, which they are now doing on a regular basis. Your dealer should be keeping you up to date with these - meaning send a service tech with the CD when the updates are made available.

You have other options. Splash on a Mac might be the best option for you, although still produced by EFI. Or stick with the older RIPs that run an embedded *NIX

You are absolutely right, you have to make the best decision for your organization. If the XPe devices aren't the best, don't use them. I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of the options for keeping up to date and secure. I made no assumptions about your knowledge, and no assumptions about the information you may have received from the local dealer.

Re:Windows XP Embedded (4, Informative)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577481)

The company that I work for right now is experiencing the EXACT problem that you are referring to: WinXPe forgoes all support from the OS maker (MS) and puts it right on the OEM/Embedded device maker.

While this makes sense for many devices that could be loaded with WinXPe this is a bitch and a half for anybody using it in a pseudo-desktop system use. The people on-site can't run WindowsUpdate and just get the patches, they have to come directly from the maker and be customized for that version of that kernel on that hardware.

In fact, right as I type this I'm watching a patch for Korgo/Sasser deploy to a fleet of about 1000 WinXPe powered devices. Thanks to office politics and people that have such a massive hard-on for Microsoft we are using XPe for a purpose that could be solved (LITERALLY) with a big hard drive, wget, and Apache.

Instead, we have a box that has to have XPe on it which, of course, comes with all of its wonderful 'features' that we never need, should never have to deal with, and only cause us headaches.

However, I DO get overtime for sitting here making sure that this update goes through, so cheers to that! Thanks Microsoft!

Re:Windows XP Embedded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577888)

"The people on-site can't run WindowsUpdate and just get the patches, they have to come directly from the maker and be customized for that version of that kernel on that hardware"

I honestly don't know about WindowsUpdate but the rest is utter nonsense. "customized for that version of that kernal on that hardware" I'm pushing XP Pro patches without any hitches. LOL

"Instead, we have a box that has to have XPe on it which, of course, comes with all of its wonderful 'features' that we never need, should never have to deal with, and only cause us headaches."

No doubt a single apache box could handle your load. This feature problem is with your vendor though. If you roll your own you only include the components you need in your build.

XPe has enough problems on it's own without having go and make shit up.

Yet More Proof that Microsoft OSs are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9578902)

a secret government white-collar jobs program for U.S. developers.

Re:Windows XP Embedded (1)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577645)

XP Embedded?

Is there a flash device large enough to hold that OS and still leave room for other apps?

(It's an honest question, this truly isn't a troll.

Re:Windows XP Embedded (4, Interesting)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577765)

My company is using WXPe for an upcoming realtime embedded medical diagnostic system. We're solving this by basically rolling our own MSI/Installshield bundles for each and every patch, vulnerability and virus definition. We're in the third round of estimating this product and I made a note to the VP that the product WILL REQUIRE a full time employee to handle rolling out patches.

My company really doesn't know what it's getting into. Our old product was LynxOS based, and we NEVER once had to issue an OS related patch, and I think we had a total of three critical patches for the ten year lifetime of the product.

Re:Windows XP Embedded (2, Insightful)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577821)

Alright, now this scares me:

My company is using WXPe for an upcoming realtime embedded medical diagnostic system. We're solving this by basically rolling our own MSI/Installshield bundles for each and every patch, vulnerability and virus definition.

Call me crazy, but I'm not comfortable with medical equipment needing this kind of support? Was that x-ray machine scanned for viruses before you used it?...

Re:Windows XP Embedded (3, Interesting)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578456)

As near as I can tell, every medical diagnostic system currently manufactured by GE, Philips and Siemens runs Windows. The only exceptions are for systems developed by other companies (such as Agilent) before being aquired by one of those big three.

That's not because Windows is an appropriate operating system for those devices, but rather because GE, Philips and Siemens have grown so large and process-bound that they can no longer make appropriate technical decisions. In the product I previously talked about, the decision to use Windows was made by people outside of engineering.

Re:Windows XP Embedded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577777)

"Is there a way to keep these boxes(cancer) secure?"

I've got patching and av updates covered, np. Application Security Policy, check. Probably start testing IPSec and finish the hardening doc. It's not insurmountable. Don't have to worry about bitchy lUsers surfin porn, misconfiguring OE, or installing this way cool screensaver they found in alt.bin.warez.

If they do get infected/compromised I can build a patched/workaround image and reboot them from it in no time, 'cept at those low bandwidth sites. They suxor.

Microsoft's embedded devcon keynote... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577351)

DO NOT embed IE Into ANYTHING NADDA ZILCH NOTHING NO fucking ACTIVE X Y or Z components. Okay!?

Pictures frames?!? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577358)

Wow, now there are 2 things that Windows is actually good for: playing solitare, and running digital picture frames!

Obvious transcription error... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577373)

"Microsoft's Embedded DevCon Keynote"

Should be

"Microsoft's 'In Bed With Donkey Kong' Note."

Windows CE == POS (4, Interesting)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577376)

I work for a company that does Point of Sale software and we looked at Windows CE. The company that built some of our hardware (I won't give their name, let's just say its Not Columbia Records) sent us a CE image and a little boot utility that copied the image into memory off the hard disk and kicked it off. It booted up okay, and reminded me of a really bad version of Windows 95. (Heck, Windows 95 is a bad version of Windows 95, but this was worse). Particularly amusing was that apparently it had been expected to be used with flash memory rather than a real hard disk, so copying files took a long time as there was no head movement optimization.

The disk goes Clcklklklklklklklklklklklklklk for about 3 minutes to copy the 6 MB image.

Also, if there were bad sectors on the drive, it would corrupt the root directory and you'd have to reformat the drive and start over. This was especially bad for us as most of the hard disks on our customer's systems are inches away from a cash drawer that flies open then gets slammed shut constantly.

Needless to say, the customer we were evaluating this for is still running MS-DOS.

NCR, Weird PC Hardware since 1983 (1)

edgedmurasame (633861) | more than 10 years ago | (#9580184)

Sure it wasnt Embedded NT, since I've heard something that resembles it called BassPoiNT in the past that runs that OS on it. BTW, NCR has deep business related roots with IBM so you will get strange hardware at this level of money - that's why they're now a "solutions company". They still make PC's, but most of them arent PC-4/Decision Mate V weirdness anymore(the cards go on the inside these days if you arent doing laptops) for the ones us mere mortals can get somewhere close to new.

Re:Windows CE == POS (1)

ClippyHater (638515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9581213)

Going to have to talk to them about their HD support, then. A museum in Seattle is using CE-based devices with an integral HD, and their HD speeds are more than satisfactory. Perhaps hardware issues, or driver issues, but the fault lays squarely with them, and not CE.

What can we look forward to. (2, Funny)

BitKeeper (772776) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577386)

Looks like there will be more and more devices like ATM's getting hit with the latest virus. I can see it now 5 killed due to exploit in Windows Automotive breaking system. Your brakes have been updated. You must restart for them to work.

Overkill ? Headed in wrong direction ? (4, Insightful)

phoxix (161744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577396)

Windows + .Net for a simple picture frame ?

wtf ? do they not teach the concept of KISS in school anymore ?

I think the likes of TRON [vector.co.jp] will be around for quite sometime ...

Sunny Dubey

Re:Overkill ? Headed in wrong direction ? (1)

drdreff (715277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578970)

without .Net you'll never get the Goatse guy downloading new pics for you.

Re:Overkill ? Headed in wrong direction ? (1)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9579323)

wtf ? do they not teach the concept of KISS in school anymore ?

It IS simple, just not in the way you're thinking. Sure the device is more complex - but its simpler to use 'cos Windows is used in lots of other places and people are already familiar with it. The complexity has been shifted out of the mind of the programmer (who would otherwise have to learn PFOS, Picture Frame OS in addition to every other platform) and into the device.

I GOT GREASY LOONIX IN MY POOP SHUTE!!!1111````!~1 (0, Troll)

Greased_Yoda (724757) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577408)

lick my taint

how bout wireless? (3, Interesting)

Szentigrade (790685) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577495)

Now all it needs is wireless capability and we can transmit photos from the PC in minutes!

Re:how bout wireless? (1)

BitKeeper (772776) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577583)

Hey then we could war drive around and display unwnted photos in peoples homes.

Re:how bout wireless? (1)

Szentigrade (790685) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577649)

theres a thought...

Re:how bout wireless? (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578464)

I know there is a goatse.cx joke in there somewhere. Just the thought of THAT showing up in some poor innocent household durring dinner.
The therapy bills alone would make it a felony I would think.

Mycroft

Just what I wanted... (1)

Gorffy (763399) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577524)

The ability to load pictures onto a digital frame, then have them stolen by script kiddies, so that the picture of me and my friends shows up on every p2p network. w00t. Though you have to admit "My picture frame has a virus" sounds funny.

Longhorn Embedded? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577548)

"Embedded"? Isn't that kinda a joke in itself?

Re:Longhorn Embedded? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577954)

sounds like the name of a porn flick......

Longhorn Embedded 34: Deep in Texas!!

SPOT notes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577572)

1) Term for a bug report is now "you missed a spot" report.

2) Name was inspired by Microsoft's spotty security record.

3) Virus writers are now hard at work at viruses that hit the SPOT.

4) Geeks everywhere will deny the spot even exists.

5) Locomotives will adapt this embedded technology through the TrainSPOTting initiative.

6) The MONO folks will be creating a GNOME-based port. No word yet on what they'll call it but rumor has it that it'll start with a "G"

Re:SPOT notes (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577591)

GSpot... lol...

Re:SPOT notes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577721)

What about the reduced-feature, lower-cost version they're planning to release? Yeh, you guessed it. SPOT-lite.

Re:SPOT notes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577744)

Or the show with Stuart Scott (with co-host Ballmer) to highlight all the development events of the day called SPOTCenter.

Presentation running of a jukebox? (2, Interesting)

bundaegi (705619) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577601)

Could the jukebox in this picture [windowsfordevices.com] possibly be the one on this site [mini-itx.com] ?

Knee-jerk reaction (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577652)

...the ARM7-based 'SPOT' development platform that runs a tiny version of the .NET Compact Framework -- Microsoft is demoing a robot that's run by SPOT.

Heh, what a time saver Slashdot is! Not only can you avoid R-ing TFA, you can even skim the summary and have a knee-jerk reaction.

I thought at first that it said "demoting" to indicate the new status of the robot with .NET among its colleagues.

MS Robots (2, Funny)

niktesla (761443) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577657)

Microsoft is demoing a robot that's run by SPOT

Microsoft. Robots...Hmmm...

  • Microsoft Robots as seen in the new film I Robot...(The stolen name is fitting!)
  • You'll be awed at the effect a simple virus can have on your docile home robots!
  • Amaze your fiends with the advanced techonolgy of Clippy, the world's first automated help paperclip!
  • Your robot running too fast? No problem, just install Windows 9000 and your machine will be reduced to a quivering heap of junk!
  • Bill's personal Army of Blue Screen of Death Darkness!
  • Now you too can play Solitare on your robots or picture frames!

Now I'll just WinCE as my karma vaporizes!

But seriously, the SPOT concept is interesting, maybe a bit too heavyweight for my liking, but I like programming microcontrollers in assembly, maybe I'm just weird.

Share and Enjoy, Share and Enjoy!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9577935)

Well I dunno but it's been 10 years that people been doing Windows Jokes (there was no point doing jokes about Windows 386, or even win 3.1, that was pure cruelty) and no one, even the like of Stallman and other big heads ever made the link between Microsoft (especialy the Clippy years) and The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's very easy to use products. Oh please.

And now you are asking me what a Microsoft Robot would be like? Me who for the last ten years have been thinking about it? Me with the brain the size of planet... You wanna know what joy will MS robot bring?

Oh look!!! I just have this pain in my lower diodes. Oh well it's been nice to talk to you. I'm so depressed.

And me with a brain the size of...

Now we know... (0, Offtopic)

node 3 (115640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577779)

Robots running Windows?

You could have put a warning, now we know the secret behind I, Robot [irobotmovie.com] .

Re:Now we know... (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9579194)

50% Troll and 50% Offtopic?

Sheesh, and Linux fans have a reputation for being touchy...

It's a joke--and I must say it was pretty good.

I don't see how the post is Offtopic, since the topic *includes* a Windows running robot. And troll doesn't make sense either (a troll on this story would be some flawed rant about Windows meant to incite honest Windows-folk and waste their time).

Thanks for the laugh. May you humorless, Windows mods one day laugh as well, and even venture out and try other OSs along with Windows (except in your robots, of course--watch the film and see if I'm not right).

Gates' Ideas (4, Interesting)

concordeonetwo (644570) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577798)

I always wondered why Gates thinks certain technologies and products are going to be big. Tablet PCs for example while is a great concept, it is severly limited by todays technology (Poor handwriting reconition, short battery life, etc). And yet, Gates has put his money down on it 3 times (Pen Services for DOS, Pen Services for Windows 95, Windows XP Tablet Edition). Compare him to Steve Jobs, who has had good sucess since he has returned to Apple (iPod, iTunes, iPod Mini, Airport Express/Extreme and iMac) Its probably just their philosophies.

Re:Gates' Ideas (1)

praxis (19962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577896)

Have you used Tablets with SP2 installed? The handwritting recognition is par none.

Re:Gates' Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9578756)

is it that bad?

and why would a set of bug fixes alter the way handwriting recognition works?

Re:Gates' Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9578157)

Hey fucking idiot, did you ever use TabletPC? Its handwriting recognition is so great that actually all the Microsoft bashers, like you, are amazed by it. Again, Microsoft is sticking it to you guys through better technology.

Re:Gates' Ideas (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 10 years ago | (#9581808)

Compare him to Steve Jobs, who has had good sucess since he has returned to Apple (iPod, iTunes, iPod Mini, Airport Express/Extreme and iMac) Its probably just their philosophies.

Of course it is.

Jobs has always been about developing products for the individual user. Gates (at least for the last fifteen to twenty years) has been about developing products for the corporation. It's why Apple is easily morphing their product line into a more consumer-oriented one while Microsoft struggles on that front (e.g., I'd expect to see a good TIVO-alike w/CD play and music download w/game console w/internet access w/etc. from Apple before I'd see one from one of Microsoft's "convergence" ventures). It's also one reason why the relatively superior Apple user and support experience doesn't make great inroads at the corporate level.

Jobs talks to people about changing the world and insanely great user experience while Gates talks to people about business strategy and money. I know which of the two choices I find more interesting, but others are free to disagree.

WinCE, yesterdays technology - today! (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577814)

Microsoft is demoing a robot that's run by SPOT.

Wow! That's some cutting edge stuff. Thank Bill we have Windows CE.

What? What's that you say? We've already done robots? Ah. *ahem*

There's also a pointer to an online video demo of a project to create a digital picture frame using Win CE.

Now there you go! Some real future tech. A picture...that hangs on the wall....that changes! Fantastic!

What? They've already done that too? Without CE? You mean that's possible? *ahem*

Ok, nevermind then.

Re:WinCE, yesterdays technology - today! (1)

drdreff (715277) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578990)

Bill had these installed in his house years ago. He finds it amazing that it can be done for under 10 grand. Especially coonsidering the cost of the software...

Better have a good firewall in your garage... (5, Insightful)

MMHere (145618) | more than 10 years ago | (#9577960)

All I can say about hearing that MS has a serious Windows Automotive [windowsfordevices.com] department going is...

You had better have a good firewall in your garage for those times when your car says to you we're home, would you like me to go online and fetch your calendar updates?

It's one thing for an unfirewalled windoze 98 box to be hacked and compromised by a remote attacker. It's quite another to have your vehicle compromised unbeknownst to you--

I don't think I want my car "crashing" its OS while I'm at the wheel, unrelated to any driving choices/mistakes I may have made. I can see it now--

"Honest Officer! I think my car must have caught the Download.Ject [microsoft.com] virus this morning!" I didn't drive into that bridge abutment on my own! Honest!!" The officer replies--

"Sir, didn't you listen to the latest Microsoft warning? You should never use your steering wheel / joystick to surf to 'unsafe' websites with IE! Now I have to write you a Stupid-Ticket."

But seriously...

How concerned are other developers about MS style code being let loose in a critical system like an automobile? I mean, running a PDA or a desktop printer is one thing. When they crash, people aren't so likely to DIE! A malfunctioning four ton Ford Excursion, on the other hand, is something I'd really rather not encounter.

Re:Better have a good firewall in your garage... (1)

Shaklee39 (694496) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578445)

Are you so stupid as to think that car manufacturers would install windows in critical areas of the car and not the ones used for luxury features?

I don't want them in the luxury features either. (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 10 years ago | (#9579234)

I don't want to have my computer-controlled seats, heater, stereo, or whatever else going tango uniform just because the software developers mad an inappropriate choice.

Stupid binary clock for CF.net a la thinkgeek (2, Interesting)

loraksus (171574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578123)

Stupid binary clock written for CF.net. It was rather fun / simple to program simple stuff for it, I think it would be significantly less fun if one had to program a real app for it. The source code has a bunch of code for checking the status of power, etc, so you might find it helpful if you are designing an app like that.

Install cabs [comcast.net]

Source [comcast.net]

That said, my palm m105 was a lot more stable than my current pocket pc, which is a toshiba.
Toshiba pocket pc support sucks ass by the way, AVOID BUYING TOSHIBA PDAS AT ALL COSTS!!

Re:Stupid binary clock for CF.net a la thinkgeek (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578814)

I agree, they are crapolo, not even a mobilepc2003 update for e740 which they could do but wont so they sell more new e750s.

Though some people now say PDAs are dieing since new mobiles have PDA features/video/cam/notes etc... memory cards.... all in an easier to hold package.

Re:Stupid binary clock for CF.net a la thinkgeek (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9579263)

Well, that update was a major bitching point for many people - especially since they promised it, and then renegged.
I had a warranty on my e335 and when it broke, Office Despot sent me an e450 - only caveat, broken charger (from a brand new unit), and toshiba support didn't have any chargers or other parts (cradle, etc) for the e4xx or e800 in stock - and don't expect to for another MONTH.
The damn supervisor pretty much hung up on me after saying there was nothing he could do. It's nice that e335 charger works for it, but if it didn't I'd be SOL.
I hate that company sooo much.

Re:Stupid binary clock for CF.net a la thinkgeek (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9579953)

Wow. That looks *way* longer than it should be.

I'm not familiar with .NET, but in VB 6 you can have control arrays, which would avoid you all those pages of setting every control by hand.

And even if arrays aren't possible for some strange reason, couldn't you just have made a function that returns an image object? Say, in VB 6 this would have been along the lines of:

Public Function GetImage(n as Long) as Image
Select Case n
Case 1: Set GetImage = Image1
Case 2: Set GetImage = Image2
' etc
End Select
End Function

Then you can avoid all this unholy mess you're making there.

Re:Stupid binary clock for CF.net a la thinkgeek (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 10 years ago | (#9580347)

hehe, yeah, I was bored and recall pasting a lot and changing a couple things.
I think some alcohol and a bet / piss off professor X with 500,000 case statements was involved.
I made another version using just ifs or something - I'm not sure what happened to it.

Digital Picture Frame (2, Informative)

OldManAndTheC++ (723450) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578729)

Anything like this [ceiva.com] ?

Built with vxWorks, I believe. Just saw one today at the local Coffee Bean. Cool toy, though I wouldn't be likely to shell out any $$ for it ...

MS Corporation are Communists. Seriously. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9578749)

Anyone up for a round of Corporate Communism?

Let's "bring people together."

It's communal too. No one actually owns it, but the bottle of Vodka is at the TOP.

A sad WinCE story (5, Interesting)

ras (84108) | more than 10 years ago | (#9578914)

My company was looking some embedded hardware with some specific capabilities. It took a while, but last year the hardware arrived. Since I was the first user, I was offered the choice of WinCE or Linux. I personally prefer to develop under Linux, but in this case I thought it was best to go with whichever one the hardware manufacturer was most comfortable with, and that was CE.

They supplied prototype hardware. This was just the CPU manufacturers reference design, which they laid up and hand soldered. A contractor recommended by Microsoft then produced a "basic" CE image, and we were away. So far so good. The next step was design and delivery of produce production boards. These were just the reference design with unwanted bits removed, and the form factor adjusted accordingly. Again, they put a "basic" CE image on it, and it all worked.

The final step was to put the "real" CE image on the device. The major differences between this and the basic seemed to me to be be little details, like persisting the registry to flash, making the CF card work, making the buttons work, making USB work with 2.0 devices, making power off work and so on. The job went to the same Microsoft contractor, who promised delivery in a week or so.

That was in January. Lots of phone calls later, and me finally threating to cancel the deal forced them (the manufacturer) to take drastic steps: they made the contractor's staff work in their offices, so they could monitor the work being done and the progress being made.

That was two months ago. Meanwhile the situation was explained to Microsoft, but they insisted the if their nominated contractor couldn't get CE going nobody could.

More threats from me, and the manufacturer contacted another manufacturer in Germany who was using CE with the same reference design. They found who did their CE image, and ask them to do the same job. That was a month ago. Nobody has delivered. Nobody has raised any queries over the hardware design. And I, an embedded programmer by trade, and sitting here mystified by how hard it appears to be to get CE to go.

At the same time I have written my own apps to run on this thing. It is written in C# (which is what Microsoft recommended). I prefer Java as it runs well under Linux - but Microsoft does not supply a Java VM for CE - surprise, surprise! The back end of these apps (the server part) runs on Linux. So I had to make C# run under Linux. I choose PNet (as opposed to Mono) for reasons I won't discuss here.

The contrast between the two efforts could not be more stark. Microsoft CE.Net mostly worked from the start, although it wasn't obvious how to do some things and it did have one of two bugs. Moving beyond that point - figuring out how things work, and fixing the bugs ranged from very hard to impossible - for all the usual reasons. Microsoft's documentation was good, but when it fell short there is no backup - no source, no helpful online community, and no one willing to fix bugs. Granted I didn't go looking for someone looking to do these things for money.

PNet, in contrast, didn't work well when I first got it. It took me a day just to figure out how to make the thing go. But progress after that was rapid. I found bugs, I fixed them and posted the patches. Not a lot of doco other than the source, but if I got stuck I asked what seems to be a thriving and friendly online community.

It goes without saying that the PNet stuff is now rock solid for me. The Microsoft stuff is about where it was when we first started - very close but no cigar, and it seems no one has any idea how to make it progress beyond that.

I now wonder if this experience is atypical, or if I just made the wrong choice at the beginning. I am sure I would of have got Linux going by now - at the cost of a lot more effort on my part. But a little voice inside my head keeps saying - if it is this hard to make CE go, why does everybody keep using it?

Serious Need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9579358)

Don't miss the cool bit

Cool bit at a Microsoft conf is an oxymoron, little one.

If you think otherwise, you're in serious need of a lobotomy.

WinCE is great - if you have a PDA (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9579691)

I've been an embedded developer working on WinCE and PPC OS/Drivers for that past 2 years. WinCE is basically crap. The build times for the OS are 20mins+, even on a P4 2.8. The release directory has over 1Gb of data (I kid you not!), which eventually gets thrown away or squished down to about 30Mb. Actually working with WinCE is a pain, when stuff works it is great, very little setup and it just goes. When something breaks you struggle through documentation that is inadequate or plain wrong. Watching it on a debugger is no help either, because you just watch your program counter disappear down a black box of MS binary only assembly, and die somewhere.

I have to agree with another poster above, MS gets you maybe 60-80% of the way there fast and painlessly, the rest is a total nightmare. OSS stuff is often painful for the first couple of days, but once you grok the code you can do what you like without too many issues.

Crash, crash and crash again (1)

anaplasmosis (567440) | more than 10 years ago | (#9579702)

Given that my iPaq crashes at least once a day, I'm bound to choose Windows for embedded applications, aren't I?

Not.

SPOT and small devices (1)

antime (739998) | more than 10 years ago | (#9580132)

It's kind of neat that Microsoft finally have something available for MMU-less devices too.

newbie (1)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 10 years ago | (#9580308)

Ive been thinking, I wonder how hard it would be to take an old laptop's LCD panel out of the laptop and make it into a Digital Picture Frame?

I hear its easy...

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