windows embeddedMicrosoft has no plans to port Windows 7 to run on ARM processors. At least, no official plans. Instead, the company is suggesting that PC makers using ARM-based chips for their netbooks or “smartbooks” go with Windows Embedded CE, which can support devices with ARM, x86, and MIPS based rocessors.

IDG’s Dan Nystedt got a chance to ask Microsoft Windows Embedded manager Kevin Dallas a few questions about the company’s strategy for what Microosft calls CIDs, or Consumer Internet Devices. Dallas says CIDs don’t just include smartphones and netbooks, but also GPS devices, portable media players, and set-top TV boxes. Windows CE can be configured to power all of these devices, because it’s a light weight OS that works well when you don’t need all the power of a desktop operating system.

And Windows CE has come a long way in the last 10 years. There are a number of powerful Windows Mobile apps, for instance, that can edit Microsoft Office documents, or play HD video. But there are some things that it’s still not going to do, such as running most apps designed for the desktop version of Windows.

What do you think? Do you see a role for Windows Embedded CE in netbooks and smartbooks? Would you rather have a fuller-featured OS like Windows, OS X, or Ubuntu Linux? Or if you like the idea of a light weight OS, would you rather use Google Chrome or a stripped down Linux distribution?

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9 replies on “Microsoft pushes Windows Embedded for Smartbooks, ARM-powered devices”

  1. Actually I like what I have, Ubuntu/Windows 7 as a dualboot on the Dell Mini9. I have never tried WindowsCE. I am really only using Windows 7 to run iTunes. My plan is to do most of my work from Ubuntu and to keep Windows on a very short leash. So I’d rather see the netbooks run with a full OS.

  2. For some people, Linux just isn’t a very appealing option. CE (for my experience with the OS) really isn’t a viable option for Netbooks because of the multitasking capability, or lack thereof. I think Google Chrome OS might be a very good choice, and I will be paying close attention to new developments in that area. However, until such time, I will stick with Windows 7 on my Dell Mini 9. It runs smoother than XP does, and provides an acceptable user experience, even on such limited hardware. With that being said, I look forward to the possibility of a lightweight OS such as Chrome, that will bootup and perform more quickly. 90% of my netbook use is web browsing. If Google Chrome OS follows through on its promise and it functions well with my Mini 9, then I will certainly be making a switch.

    1. your comment confuses me, you say that linux isn’t an appealing option to people, then say that google chrome os is, in case you didn’t realise chrome os is linux…..

  3. MS is pushing CE because they have noting else for this market. They are scared to death that this will be the “foot in the door” for someone else to challenge their near monopoly. CE and Android will only find limited acceptance. ChromeOS and other linux flavors will be the big winners. I would bet money MS is working on something new for the ARM market, but it will be years before it is ready for release.

    1. Let’s see. Run Wince or a full Linux distribution (Ubuntu ARM, Fedora ARM, Debian, etc.). Tough choice. I think Microsoft has some worrying to do.

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