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Windows CE 6 Arrives Complete with Kernel Source

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain dept.

169

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has launched the sixth edition of their embedded OS Windows CE and this time has included the full source. From the article: 'Developers can now access shared source code for the Windows CE kernel -- as well as certain device drivers and application-level components -- directly from within the Windows Embedded CE 6.0 distribution package. To do this, they click on a function in the IDE that installs the shared source, and indicate their acceptance of the associated shared source license.'"

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169 comments

Coming Zune? (1)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677653)

With the Zune being a PocketPC device with a nice facelift, and some propriatary software running... will this help the hardware modding/hacking community to make some very cool other uses for the Zune hardware?

or am I just being optimistic, because I'm gonna buy one anyway?

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

darien (180561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677855)

The Zune runs Windows Mobile? Uh-oh. This could be Microsoft's E.T. moment...

It's a super DRM device - hacking probl difficult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677927)

nt

Re:It's a super DRM device - hacking probl difficu (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678797)

probably enforcably illegal too with that DMCA bullshit.

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

Thai-Pan (414112) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678471)

Zune is not PocketPC based.

Windows CE 5 also had the source code available, I wonder why in the world this made headline news..

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678813)

from the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zune [wikipedia.org]

Appears to be a modified Toshiba (who's making the hardware) Gigabeat S, with different controls and layout. Device allededly runs Windows Mobile on a 400MHz DSP proc.

How is that not running WinCE?

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

darthnoodles (831210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679631)

I think you said it yourself without realizing it.

Windows Mobile != Windows CE

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680119)

Much like Windows XP is not Windows NT?

Windows Mobile is just a rebranded Windows CE.

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

Thalagyrt (851883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680173)

Ah crap, nevermind. My mistake. I'm just used to that term being used for both of them.

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

gh (68417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680267)

Windows Mobile is essentially a packaging of Windows CE that meets a set of requirements for a set of devices.

As the parent suggested, if Zune is running Windows Mobile, then it is running Windows CE. It just may not be including all capabilities that Windows CE can offer. It will only offer the capabilities defined under the Windows Mobile umbrella and any custom applications running on top of it.

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678975)

Windows CE 5 also had the source code available, I wonder why in the world this made headline news..

Because everything Microsoft re-brands, re-issues, re-hashes gets headline news. It keeps mindshare alive and investors happy.

I hear that Vista Professional will include a text editor too. It was know as notepad in Windows 3.x
I also heard that MS chat will have video. It's been available since Netmeeting had it in 1996. Netmeeting 3.0 was by far the best video/desktop/whiteboard sharing at the time. They killed it and re-branded as their current IM client effectively doing what they do best; f*king up a good product.

Their Windows Defender sucks when compared to Spybot S&D which wasn't the case when MS bought Giant.

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

pbailey (225135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678779)

Get an iPod. You'll be happier!

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

Jonsey (593310) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678885)

Have a 4GB Nano (first run, black) won it in a college attack/defend contest. Still want a Zune [also, I uhh... might be working for Microsoft, so I get the Zune cheaper, and all that. :) ]

Re:Coming Zune? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16680139)

"I uhh... might be working for Microsoft..."

Not after they find out you read Slashdot.

Re:Coming Zune? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16680337)

Foe'd, you Fiend.

May your soul burn in DLL-Hell for all eternity!

The small print (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678959)

You get the **kernel source**. That's not much in a micro-kernel OS. You probably won't be getting all the source to device drivers, device driver manager, gwes,...

You get to see it, but you most likely are not allowed to ship modified versions of it.

The Windows Mobile licesnce is very likely more restrictive than the WinCE6 license. That is, while you might get WinCE 6 source, don't expect to get as much source for Windows Mobile. Also, don't expect to ba allowed to ship modified source in a WM device either.

In a word, no. (1)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679437)

This is kernel source, which will be the same for every CE6 device. The interesting bits would be the drivers and they would be in a devices BSP. I'm pretty sure MS won't be releasing the BSP for the Zune. For that very reason.

Re:Coming Zune? (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679821)

Zune is a rebranded Toshiba Gigabeat, not a PocketPC.

April Fools! (1)

not already in use (972294) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677731)

Wait... what??

A Trend, I'm Sure (3, Interesting)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677759)

I'm sure that M$ will be releasing the source code to Vista soon, showing this face of openness is a new corporate stance.

Assume the position (1)

BeeBeard (999187) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677895)

I'm sure that M$ will be releasing the source code to Vista soon, showing this face of openness is a new corporate stance.


That's good because our stance as their customers had us grabbing our ankles, and our arms were starting to fall asleep.

Re:A Trend, I'm Sure (2, Funny)

dch24 (904899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678221)

Yeah, I think this is pretty easy to understand (heh, heh, heh). For instance, click on the link in the article [windowsfordevices.com] that explains what "Shared Source" means. Then read this:
Background information

Understanding Microsoft's new, simplified Shared Source licenses -- Oct. 19, 2005 -- a description of the newly released shared source licenses, including sections on the Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL) Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL), Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL), Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL), Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL), and Microsoft Reference License (Ms-RL).
Yep, they understood that one pretty well.

Re:A Trend, I'm Sure (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678617)

Between this and Microsoft's announced cooperation with Zend, I'm wondering if perhaps Steve got hit by one of his chairs...

Re:A Trend, I'm Sure (1)

jmn2519 (954154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680571)

Ah, the infamous Boomerang chair!

They will, actually (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678939)

While MS doesn't GPL their code, it is not the tightly held secret that some people seem to think. Many organizations, mostly universities and governments but some companies too, have the Windows source. There are plenty of restrictions on it's use, but you can have a look at it and not have to sign a non-compete or anything.

cue Admiral Ackbar (2, Funny)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677769)

in 3...2... 1...

Did hell just freeze over? (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677817)

Did hell just freeze over? Microsoft releasing their source? Next thing you know, you'll be telling us that SCO went under!

Re:Did hell just freeze over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678159)

"shared source" is actually worse than no source, it "legally contaminates the brain" of anyone who looks at it. This will make it legally difficult/impossible for embedded developers who work on WinCE projects post this release to switch to a linux project without infecting the linux project with legal doubt, at least in the Corporate Reich of America. The ultimate solution is the rejection of the China/USA/Corporations (same difference) infofascism they're trying to foist on us in the rest od the world through organisations like WIPO and WTO, but that can't happen until we in the free world have something that can trump the USA's nukes. I dunno, some sort of bioweapon, plus a "weak laser" that can neutralise nukes. Or something.

Re:Did hell just freeze over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16680357)

NUKES, are you fucking mental?? What does this spew have anything to do with anything. NUKES, seriously??? ASSHOLE!

Re:Did hell just freeze over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16680817)

The only real reason people outside the USA pays attention to the USA these days is because the USA has military superiority, like a bunch of red ants lording it over a black ant nest. Destroy the USA's military, and we have no further reason to respect copyrights and patents. It's that simple.

Re:Did hell just freeze over? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16680903)

and *control* of the internet :P

Re:Did hell just freeze over? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678173)

You can find the source for much of the CE operating system (although, up until now, non-kernal) in most MSDN Universal kits over the last 10 years. This is just an extension of a division that has a history of bucking Microsoft Standard Operating Procedures and programming.

Hell's still hot. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678479)

Microsoft releasing their source?

It won't make a difference unless they let you share the modified source code. Without that, M$ still holds all the cards as the only party able to integrate all improvements. Given their record of improving things, no change is to be expected. Embedded development mindshare will continue to flow to free software.

You can say Hell froze on the day M$ releases code under a real free license. They might, one day, but it's diametrically opposed to Mr. Gate's control freak personality.

Wrongo mondo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678837)

Embedded development mindshare will continue to flow to free software.

In my experience that's not the case at all. I'll give you a hint: it's not "flowing" to Microsoft, but it sure as hell not going to Linux either. Would you like to prove me wrong? Go ahead. I've actually worked on that space on and off for five years.

diametrically opposed to Mr. Gate's control freak personality.

That's ridiculous - that statement applies to *anyone* who sells commercial software for a living.

Oh, and that "M$" thing? Very original.

Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677851)

Multitasking enhancements -- CE 6.0 supports up to 32,000 processes with 2 GB of virtual memory per process, versus CE 5.0's maximum of 32 processes having a maximum of 32 MB virtual memory each
That's a huge leap.

What kind of portable or industrial machine is going to need those kinds of capabilities, much less have the onboard hardware to fully utilize 'em?

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677883)

Just wait 18 months :p

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (2, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677915)

The ones you buy a couple years from now.

Writing this on a notebook that outpaces the US$ 100K workstation of a couple years back.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678099)

A really big one.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678115)

yadda yadda 640k of ram yadda yadda

We have 4 and 8 GB flash chips the size of my thumbnail.

We'll have pocket pcs with 2 GB of ram soon.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678281)


yadda yadda 640k of ram yadda yadda

We have 4 and 8 GB flash chips the size of my thumbnail.

We'll have pocket pcs with 2 GB of ram soon.


at which point having a special branch OS for resource constrained devices makes no sense.

The point isn't that no one will ever need a machine with these capabilities. The point is that when you have these capabilities, running an embedded OS is only good for style points.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

FreeIX (1011833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678987)

And 640k of ram should be enough for anyone

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (2, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678327)

``CE 6.0 supports up to 32,000 processes with 2 GB of virtual memory per process, versus CE 5.0's maximum of 32 processes having a maximum of 32 MB virtual memory each
That's a huge leap.

What kind of portable or industrial machine is going to need those kinds of capabilities, much less have the onboard hardware to fully utilize 'em?''

At any rate, 32 processes and 32 MB per process clearly doesn't cut it anymore. It's about time they lifted those limitations.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

dmccarty (152630) | more than 7 years ago | (#16681061)

No one is going to use 32K processes. Most people are just interested in process #'s 33 - 40 that everyone was having to write services for instead. (In CE a service doesn't take up a process slot.)

GPS maps (1)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678383)

GPS map files can easily exceed the 32 MB limit currently used.

Re:GPS maps (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680767)

Agreed, GPS for Europe in TomTom 6 is over a gigabyte. That's why we have SD cards. In a way this is a good thing IMHO, though I don't agree with their shared source license so won't be doing anything with it.

Probably.

Dug

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678719)

The size of the increase is not particularly relevant. It's like increasing the addressable memory on a PC from 4 gigabytes to 16 exabytes - nobody will need that much in the next few decades, but the old limit was too low and the new limit is just the next technically convenient step upwards.

Who? Themselves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678769)

What kind of portable or industrial machine is going to need those kinds of capabilities, much less have the onboard hardware to fully utilize 'em?


A portable Xbox. Seriously.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678827)

Better support 2+ Gb than crash on 33 megs (with the 32 meg limit).
Remember, 640k is enough for anyone ;-)

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678869)

I'm not sure about the threading capabilities of CE5, but 32 processes seems like it would be tough to do much in the way of internet apps on the device. I know that there is a mozilla port to CE, so it is obviously possible, but there can't be much room to have multitasking. Also, there is not much point in restricting the PID to 5 bits and the address space to 25 bits, when all ARM processors now support full 32bit operation.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679123)

Well thats just it. What can't it do. By removing that limitation, it allows tons of different things to be done. It brings the portable computer to a higher mark. I would buy a new PDA with that functionality over a laptop if I just did office applications and e-mail. Put a more powerful Office solution on there and teh ability to use a projector and you have a much much better device for meetings, siminars, etc. Plus a lot more.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16679569)

The thing limiting PDAs isn't # CPUs or RAM. It is that they have a teeny tiny screen (yes, even the ones with big screens) and data input is painful.

Fix those problems and you have ... well, a laptop.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679139)

Huge leap? The 32->32,000 part was probably something like changing

#define MAX_PROCESSES 32

to

#define MAX_PROCESSES 32768

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

GroovBird (209391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679935)

Actually, it is not.

In Windows CE (prior to 6.0, at least), the process identity also meant the exact place in addressing space that the process was placed. Think about it: 32 processes at 32MB per process max, means a total needed address range of 1GB.

Check this out: http://www.addlogic.se/articles/articles/windows-c e-6-memory-architecture.html [addlogic.se]

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680637)

Ugh! It's weird how even in the early days PDAs have had hardware that outclasses workstations from the days of yore and yet MS saw fit only to manage the memory like a PDA was some kind of toy machine. Still, I won't criticise too loudly, PalmOS is even worse.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679223)

32,000 is the largest number representable in 15 bits, give or take; similarly, 2GB is the largest space addressable using a 31 bit number. I doubt that's entirely coincidental.

Re:Who is MS targeting this new version of CE to? (1)

darthnoodles (831210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679695)

That's just so it can run the new Aero UI ported from Vista.

Regular apps probably still have the previous restrictions in place.

Wow ... (2, Interesting)

Sonic McTails (700139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16677865)

Damn, I've been interested in Windows CE for ages, and I always wanted to pick the bugger apart, but I never had $3,000 dollars for the platform builder. For those you don't know, 90% percent of Windows CE code (I think its everything expect Windows Media Player and Pocket Internet Explorer) and only charges small royalities (I think it's $6 dollars) per device, and you can do things like port it to a new platform if you wish (assuming you had the required compiler).

I realize this isn't open source persay, but I'm very interested in it, and I wonder why they decided to open the CE kernel up. I also wonder if there is enough code to flash CE 6 onto a CE 5 device (I have a T-Mobile MDA with Windows CE 5, I wonder if I can simply drop the new kernel in there).

Re:Wow ... (1)

mnmn (145599) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678269)

I'm still a little stuck on Wince 4 because it can handle ARM7TDMI. The other two require an MMU and generally require ARM9 (except one BSP).

With an ARM9 and that much memory, thats a full standard Linux or BSD distro.

Re:Wow ... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678273)

``you can do things like port it to a new platform if you wish (assuming you had the required compiler).'' ...and the license allows you to.

``I realize this isn't open source persay, but I'm very interested in it, and I wonder why they decided to open the CE kernel up.''

To reduce the competitive advantage of open source operating systems?

Jimmy Nail says... (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679421)

...mod this up by +Aboot a Thoosand Insightful.

Re:Wow ... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678283)

Used to be you'd get copies of the Platform Builder for less than the $3000 with an MSDN Universal subscription- admitedly not much less, but less (last I looked, MSDN Universal was around $2500).

As for why they're opening it up, I think the answer would be obvious- they want it to be ported to more than ARM compatible platforms, and don't want to have to pay for the development to do so.

Re:Wow ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678563)

As for why they're opening it up, I think the answer would be obvious- they want it to be ported to more than ARM compatible platforms, and don't want to have to pay for the development to do so.

Last I looked they supported MIPS and SuperH as well, but that might have been a long time ago. I know some prior-generation PDAs used these.

I think there's another reason: Linux is chewing up a big part of the embedded market and we're now seeing it on phones and even PDAs. Microsoft's customers have probably told them that they're looking at Linux because they can get the source, not because it's Free Software or anything, so Microsoft is responding to customer demand.

Re:Wow ... (1)

hgavin (259102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678917)


I realize this isn't open source persay, but I'm very interested in it, and I wonder why they decided to open the CE kernel up

Maybe they're trying to go one better than Symbian. Symbian devkit licensees get source for just about the whole of Symbian OS except the kernel.

Re:Wow ... (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679227)

It's "per se", not "persay". I tell you this, not to be a grammar Nazi, but to spare you future embarassment.

Re:Wow ... (2, Insightful)

dmccarty (152630) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680917)

I see the moderators are giving points to anyone with a keyboard these days...

A few minor corrections:
- Platform Builder doesn't cost $3,000. It costs $995. And that's after a 120-day free eval.
- PB used to be its own toolchain and IDE. Now it's been integrated into VS2005. (I'm not sure how MS plans on doing the eval, though my beta was good for 180 days.)
- WinCE core licenses (no Pocket IE, no Media Player) are about $3. Upgrading to Professional (including both IE and WMP) bump it up to about $13. This is actually *less* than an MS-DOS license.
- "enough code to flash CE 6 onto a CE 5 device" Uh, what are you talking about?
- Windows Mobile, which is a customer of the Windows CE group, is what your mobile handheld device runs. It's its own OS. So you're not just going to "drop the new kernel" in there. Most PDA OEM's, from what I've heard, aren't going to support a CE5 -> CE6 upgrade.

A classic comment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16677881)

Oh, wait, a story about Windows and its code?
1. Insert an unfunny old joke about ballm./chairs
2. ???
3. Mod Parent UP!

Remember one thing... (1)

cl63pbx (1021349) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678229)

Remember one thing.. Even if the software is fully open source, it may still not be free.(As in speech)

Re:Remember one thing... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678423)

``Remember one thing.. Even if the software is fully open source, it may still not be free.(As in speech)''

This software isn't even open source, it's shared source [wikipedia.org] . I don't know what the exact terms of the license are, but it's a safe bet you won't be allowed to distribute the code, distribute modified versions of the code, or incorporate the code in a commercial product. Past shared source licenses have disallowed making modifications to the code for in-house use, too.

Re:Remember one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678931)

Also, if you are a CE developer who has looked at the CE source code, and you decide one day to dabble in Linux to see what its all about, you may want to consult a lawyer first, because you are probably now "tainted" with knowledge of CE and Microsoft could sue your ass to kingdom come for even using Linux, let alone looking at the source code. Just one more way Microsoft guarantees the loyalty of its developer-base!

Little or no advantage over embedded linux (2, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678253)

We do a lot of embedded linux projects - mainly custom boards, done around some sort of ARM chip with standard connectivity - LCD, ethernet, or wireless options.

My company invested a lot of time in implementing and setting up our own toolchain and utilities, support libraries etc around the linux kernel. What we end up with is a redistributable result with no liscencing whatsoever.

Of course, it requires you be able to work to produce a flash image and toolchain. Once that pain is dealt with..and there is pain, a lot of it on a custom board.. then you're free to do whatever you want.

x1000's, people count pennies, and WinCE is not pennies.

Re:Little or no advantage over embedded linux (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678573)

``Little or no advantage over embedded linux''

Well, it's from _Microsoft_ and it's called _Windows_, so it's obviously the best and the user-friendliest and what everybody runs and has the best hardware support and all that.

Beat that, Lunix!

Re:Little or no advantage over embedded linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678585)

I think you must mean no royalties. You are still bound by the GPL on the linux source code, and the requirement that you host it, with any linked changes, for anyone who receives a flash image.

Re:Little or no advantage over embedded linux (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680631)

You don't have to host it. All you have to do is make it available. It could be printed out on napkins or hand written on post-it-notes if you want, as long as it's available.

Re:Little or no advantage over embedded linux (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679361)

We do a lot of embedded linux projects - mainly custom boards, done around some sort of ARM chip with standard connectivity - LCD, ethernet, or wireless options.

NetBSD [netbsd.org] is also extensively used in similar situations, so it goes.

Re:Little or no advantage over embedded linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16679523)

Windows CE is really a real-time OS. Linux can come close but you can never get rid of interrupts.

Open Source for MS? (2, Insightful)

linuxg0d (913436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678303)

Hmmm...

This must mean Windows CE has some flaws their developpers can't figure out. ;) Who better than the Open Source community?

Re:Open Source for MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678601)

I was thinking the same. I have a HTC TyTN and it feels like they haven't test it at all before releasing the damn thing. Full of all sorts of bugs in the software.

License details? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678373)

Anyone care to give me a quick summary of what the "shared source" license means in this case? MS has never used particularly liberal licenses.

Re:License details? (3, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678547)

I'm not sure which of their three shared source licenses it's released under, but it should be one or more (sometimes they dual-license stuff, as with the Windows Template Library) of the three listed here [microsoft.com] . I think the article just called them "shared source" so I can't tell from that one anyway.

Heralded by E-Voting Proponents (2, Insightful)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678387)

!(I'm sure this will help make Diebold machines much more secure.)

Re:Heralded by E-Voting Proponents (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678691)

``!(I'm sure this will help make Diebold machines much more secure.)''

I doubt they run CE. MS Access doesn't work on CE, does it?

Re:Heralded by E-Voting Proponents (0)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679719)

While you're right that the central vote consolidation box wouldn't be running WinCE (since the database used to consolidate the votes is a simple MS ACCESS DB), the actual voting machines themselves are running WinCE

Voting terminals TS6 and TSx employ custom made hardware running with an embedded
Windows CE operating system. As is true for all Windows CE systems, they require a boot
loader to prepare the hardware for the launch of operating system. Both the boot loader and
the operating system are custom built specifically for the unique hardware of the terminals.


-- From page 2 of the Black Box Voting Diebold TSx Evaluation [blackboxvoting.org]

Thanks! (2, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678443)

Seriously, I'm sure this may not be under exactly a GPL license but rather a MS derivative. Nevertheless it can prove very useful for a large number of embedded device developers. Heck, I've been more impressed by developing for their late Windows CE operating systems than doing the same for Windows XP. :-P Windows CE 6 seem to be an OS that can truly do a heck of a lot of things for the hardware it's running on, and I'll be damned if it isn't a more impressive craftmanship than Vista...

Get the Facts! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16678709)

Apparently, the CE team didn't read the fucking memo.

Now I hope ... (1)

lintux (125434) | more than 7 years ago | (#16678941)

I hope they'll have a license agreement form like the form they had [utwente.nl] for their driver DDK a cooupe of years ago. ;-)

(No image editor was used to create this image. They just forgot to set the read-only flag for that form. :-D)

microsoft open source projects (2, Informative)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679459)

At this point in time there have been a number of projects from microsoft that have released their sources under some license or another. Some of them have been true open source licenses, and remarkably those have been hosted on sourceforge along with all the other oss stuff. I'll list the few I know about here and maybe others can mention a few.

Wix:
A toolset for building installer packages on windows. Supposedly one of the better ones.
license: cpl
http://wix.sourceforge.net/index.html [sourceforge.net]

WTL:
An extension to the ATL. Probably the best toolkit for developing win32 guis in c++ (lightweight and powerful). It's hampered by the fact that documentation for it is scatered around the net (mostly on the code project) and so mostly people usually end up learning about it by reading through the largely uncommented source.
license: cpl (alternately available under a different, maybe equiavent license if downloaded from microsofts site)
http://wtl.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Rotor:
A cross platform implementation of the .NET runtime developed by microsoft. Runs on windows and BSD I believe, and has been ported to linux by third parties. I don't believe it includes the .NET framework, and is more designed as a reference implementation of "how to get .NET working on other platforms" than anything else.
License: shared source
http://research.microsoft.com/programs/europe/roto r/ [microsoft.com]

Windows CE:
Mentioned in article. I think they release it under this license for custimization and debuggin purposes.
License: shared source
http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/Li censing/WindowsCE.mspx [microsoft.com]

Licenses:
So far microsoft seems to use the shared source license and the CPL license.

The shared source license is relatively restrictive, and generally leaves microsoft with most of the power over issues of reditribution and use of source. Shared source seems to be largely used to distribute code for educational, debugging, and customization uses.

The CPL is a full blown open source/free software license that was actually written by IBM and I believe is the license that eclipse is distributed under (only under a different name). Community projects like Wix and WTL are being handled under this license.

My impression from talking to microsoft guys and from working there briefly is that the antipathy felt towards linux and open source is not particularly pervasive in the company. I've met a few people who had negative misconceptions about open source, but whatever the average slashdotter might think microsoft tends to hire smart people who are aware of industry trends and best practices including oss.

Re:microsoft open source projects (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680621)

There is also the Allegiance multiplayer PC game, which has a "we give up, do whatever you want as long as you don't make any money" license of sorts.

A license you forgot (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680625)

Sure, there's Wix and WTL, but what about WTF?

Is this new? (1)

DigitlDud (443365) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679559)

I'm pretty sure the source for WinCE has always been included with the platform builder. It's kind of necessary for getting it to run on obscure embedded hardware.

Microsoft Embedded Marketing (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 7 years ago | (#16679581)

I looked into the CE 6 offer this morning just like any other embedded Developer/Engineer should. This announcement is clearly aimed at the clueless PHBs/Middle Manager types.

1) You need to have a passport account to even download the CE 6 evaluation kit.
2) You need to purchase the Microsoft YOU_NEED_AN_ARMY_OF_LAWYERS_TO_READ_AND_SIGN_THIS_ LICENSE (TM) License Agreement.
3) From what I understand, when you finally get authorized to see the source, you can only look. You can't touch/modify/customize it for your target device. Thats a separate license aggreement.
4) CE 6 License fees are not listed. Previous versions were from US $3 to $15 depending on volume.

I found no business case or compelling reason for us to switch our product from embedded Linux. I did see where Microsoft stated that our customers would be filled with joy, peace and karma having purchased a Microsoft based product.

Enjoy,

Re:Microsoft Embedded Marketing (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680977)

YOU_NEED_AN_ARMY_OF_LAWYERS_TO_READ_AND_SIGN_THIS_ LICENSE (TM)

This license is perfectly simple to understand: Microsoft grants you the right to bend over and spread your cheeks, while you give Microsoft the right to ... I'm sure you can figure out the rest.

They had to do it. (1, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680009)

I recently worked in a shop which did development in both WinCE and Linux. The source code has been available for WinCE for quite a while, under NDA.

Truth be told, they had to open the source code. The Linux group consistently delivered features before the WinCE guys. The problem was that anyone hired for WinCE development had a substantial ramp up time, whereas we could hire engineers who already knew Linux.

The open source nature of Linux allowed us to hire engineers already proficient in writing Linux drivers and code. Can't say the same for WinCE. In fact, while I think the shared source license is a step in the right direction, it won't bridge the gap between Linux and WinCE in the embedded sector. Linux is already a dominant player, and the shared source initiative won't put WinCE in the hands of budding engineers. Instead, they'll look at Linux, which is truly free.

A few years ago, when I mentioned that Linux was leaving Windows in the dust in regard to new technologies (like 64 bit computing), I received an interesting reply: "That may be true, but Windows on the desktop already has something Linux doesn't: inertia." Just as Windows gained inertia on the desktop, Linux has now achieved that "inertia" in the embedded world which will make it difficult to dislodge.

This move seems to indicate that Microsoft is becoming aware of how compelling Linux is to embedded developers.

Microsoft strategy (1)

pboyd2004 (860767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680471)

So now we just need to sit back and wait for Microsoft to claim that Linux stole their source code but not tell anyone what source was supposedly stolen. Then they'll sue some poor smuck...

It better be better (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680525)

than the CE 5 source code snippets you get to see. Some of their IP telephony code was available when I was doing a project, and I tell you: beautiful it was not. You could not even develop on Visual Studio. Can someone tell us if advanced development for CE is now actually possible without killing yourself?
Thanks.

Upgrades for CE 5? (1)

aaronmarks (873211) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680605)

This is great news to developers, but consumers still have to wait for manufacturers to pick up on CE 6, and integrate it into devices. I don't see this happening for quite a while.

And once you accept... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680717)

You are tainted for life and your career as a programmer lies in the hands of microsoft.

at what cost? (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680729)

so I assume installing the source code involves a click-through EULA which seems to tell you in very obsfucated terms that you are now incapable of working on real open source, having seen the beautiful gems of MS code, you are now poisoned. And son of SCO will seek you out in 10 years with some legal papers.

Big deal. (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 7 years ago | (#16680873)

Windows CE 6.0 has an open source kernel, but there is a catch, Catch-22, which means when you agree to the CE 6.0 Kernel license, you are giving up a lot of your rights to Microsoft plus fees to even look at the CE 6.0 Kernel.

On the other hand, the ReactOS [reactos.org] Kernel and entire OS is open source, and I'd much rather see people try to convert ReactOS 0.30 to Windows CE devices and develop drivers for it. No Catch-22 there, but it is free as in speech not as in beer, still it is free to download and look and work with it (not counting the bandwidth costs to download the source code).

I got an old Windows CE 2.0/3.0 iPaq h2215 that would love to get an OS upgrade, it is one of the many Windows CE devices that Gates forgot. It can still be useful. I think there might even be a Linux for it or something if I look hard enough for one. I'd much rather have ReactOS for it, if possible, so it can a Windows like OS and still look like a Windows based PDA rather than a Linux PDA. I am sure they can compile F/OSS Windows programs over to the ReactOS PPC, ARM, MIPS, etc formats and make them work with lower screen resolutions. If anyone knows any alternative OSes for the iPaq h2215 please write me an email or reply to this post.

I doubt Microsoft will allow a Windows CE 6.0 upgrade for it.

ReactOS is as close to a F/OSS version of Windows that we are ever going to get so far, and I think it needs more support. It shares code with the WINE project, so helping ReactOS will help Linux users who want a better WINE program.
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