Mobile OS competition heating up later this year with Windows Embedded Compact 7 and Chrome OS
Only a week ago we were thinking that Microsoft had dropped the ball by planning not to bring Windows Phone 7 to tablets and other devices preferring Windows 7 for such devices, leaving the field clear for rivals and in particular Google's Android OS to divide and conquer. But the company's true game plan has now been revealed at Computex with the announcement of Windows Embedded Compact 7, the next generation embedded mobile OS to the aging Windows Embedded CE and WinCE. Designed to be a light-weight, touch-friendly version of Windows for tablets and mobile devices using ARM-based processors, a public test build of the new software has been launched by Microsoft at their website along with some preview videos. Some of the new features include an updated version of Internet Explorer, built-in support for Flash 10.1, Microsoft Exchange 2010, and Windows 7 Device Stage, a new software for synchronizing and transferring files between a PC and mobile device. The demo videos look quite impressive showing an emphasis on touch-based input with multi-touch support, and an iPhone-esque browsing experience.
The other big operating system news out of Computex today is for Google's Chrome OS, with the announcement that the final version will be released to the public this fall. The browser-based web-orientated software will be free for users to download and Google is also working with manufacturers to launch it on new devices. Although initially targeted at netbooks, the company intends it to make its way to tablets, desktops, and other hardware.
It's possible we may be in for some interesting competition with these two competing operating systems possibly launching in a similar time frame and targeting similar devices. Windows Embedded Compact 7 will also need to take on Google's increasingly entrenched Android OS in the tablet space as well. What are your thoughts on the WEC7 announcement? Has anyone given the public test build a try? Let us know in the comments.[Liliputing 1 & 2]