Part of what makes a netbook exciting is the fact that it runs a full fledged operating system like Linux or Windows XP. Unlike clamshell PDAs and “handheld PCs” of the past that ran EPOC, or Windows CE, you can run virtually every modern application on a computer like the Acer Aspire One. 

But what if you don’t need to run every modern application? What if all you need is a web browser and a word processor, and maybe a chat application. And what if you value instant on/off capabilities and an OS that takes up just a few megabytes of storage space? 

Quarta Mobile is working on a project that will allow manufacturers or end users to install Windows Embedded CE 6.0 on existing and upcoming netbooks. First up, Quarta is developing drivers for the Acer Aspire One and Lenovo IdeaPad S9. But other netbooks could follow.

Windows CE has a few advantages over Windows XP. First, it’s cheaper to license. And second, it includes that instant on/off feature I mentioned. And it has a few advantages over Linux as well, in that Windows CE has a look and feel that should be at least vaguely familiar to desktop Windows users. There are also thousands of free and commercial applications that run on Windows CE including a version of the Opera web browser.

On the other hand, Windows CE isn’t really designed to be a desktop operating system. It runs on PDAs, smartphones, and devices with dedicated functions, like ATMs. It’s not as flexible or powerful as Windows XP or Linux. But Quarta does plan to release an SDK for developers who want to create custom applications for the platform. Perhaps if we start to see native versions of applications like Firefox or Google Chrome, and maybe even OpenOffice.org Windows CE might really be a viable laptop operating system.

No word on how much Quarta’s software will cost manufacturers or end users, or when it will be available.

via Slashdot and WindowsForDevices

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11 replies on “Windows CE coming to the Acer Aspire One, Lenovo S9”

  1. tfgbd, you are the one that is retarded. Of course it has everything to do with M$.

  2. Are you people retarded? MS has nothing to do with this. They are simply the OS vendor. It sounds to me like this is just a 3rd party system integrator offering to sell a port for CE to these notebooks for use in niche market applications. The MS bashing just makes you look stupid when MS has little to do with this. Also, this article is especialy wrong about app availablity for Windows CE 6.0 on an x86 processor. It may be true of Windows CE on ARM or MIPS but there is sadly little software for x86 outside niche embedded stuff. And since it’s WinCE 6.0, even applications that do have an x86 build might break on the new kernel.

  3. How about adding splashtop instead? It will give you nearly “instant on” and a better surfing environment. Plus you can then boot into a real OS if you need to.

  4. This is pitiful. Is this the best Microsoft can do? So now they will demand all Windows partner OEMs to preload CE instead of Linux on the low end?

    How many customers will prefer the cut down IE in WinCE over Firefox with Flash support? The pocket version of Office vs OO.o?

    The only question is how the OEM’s who get forced to ship CE can still make sure customers can get a ready to install Linux image to replace it with. Because if they can’t they will end up losing the bottom end of the market to no-name vendors who don’t have to obey Microsoft.

    1. > “Because if they can’t they will end up losing the bottom end of the market to no-name vendors who don’t have to obey Microsoft.”

      If a manufacturer doesn’t have to obey Microsoft, there is no need for them to offer only bottom end netbook machines with Linux.

      Here is an example (60GB hard drive, bluetooth, webcam) from a small manufacturer where the OS is a separately-quoted item, and Ubuntu is one of the options and the only option that is no additional cost.

      https://www.pioneercomputers.com.au/products/configure.asp?c1=3&c2=12&id=2696

      This machine with a **full unencumbered version** of Ubuntu Linux installed from the vendor would absolutely spank any Aspire One machine with Windows CE installed.

  5. “And it has a few advantages of Linux as well, in that Windows CE has a look and feel that should be at least vaguely familiar to desktop Windows…”
    That is definitely not an advantage for Linux users 😛

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