Windows Embedded Compact will get boosted real-time capabilities and a slimmer footprint with a release due before June, a Microsoft executive said at the ARM TechCon here.
In a separate keynote, an Oracle executive reiterated the company's commitment to consolidate fragmented versions of Java in 2013 releases. The new software also will be more modular, opening the door to configurations with significantly smaller footprints or more new features. Java's role in the hot area of tablets, however, is still uncertain.
The 2012 update of Windows Embedded Compact will sport an updated kernel, faster file system and broader hardware support, said Dan Javnozon, a group product manager for Windows Embedded, speaking in a keynote here.
The software also will support Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010, an updated browser, Sliverlight--Microsoft's media authoring program--and a choice of input methods, presumably including multi-touch displays.
In a brief interview after the keynote, Javnozon (pictured above) declined to provide any specifics about the real time support or code size for the release. The hardware support will include chips from Freescale, Nvidia, Texas Instruments and others.
Microsoft also plans an interim update for the current Compact 7. It will be released before the end of the year, he said.
Separately, Oracle reiterated its promise to consolidate four versions of Java down to three with a set of releases coming in 2013.
With Java Micro Edition for embedded systems there is "some fragmentation here," said Henrik Stahl, senior director for product management in Oracle's Java group. "We don’t like the fact this has diverged, so we want to bring all of Java together," he said in his keynote.
The 2013 release of Java Standard Edition 8 will essentially replace the so-called CDC version of Java geared for mid-sized embedded systems such as e-readers, printers and set-top boxes.
The Standard Edition will continue to serve high-end embedded systems such as kiosks, netbooks, embedded servers and medical and industrial systems. Java Micro Edition will basically be collapsed to what was formerly called CLDC, covering feature phones, smart meters and other small embedded systems.
Java SE 8 will also be more modular, allowing configurations as small as 10 Mbytes, about a quarter of today's base platform. "This means the reach of SE will increase in embedded," said Stahl.
Going forward Oracle will release new versions of Micro sand Standard Edition in tandem. "ME will be a proper subset of SE so that any app that runs on ME will run on SE, and if you are careful how you write an SE app it will be easy to port to ME," said Stahl.
"We don’t have a story for tablets today," Stahl admitted. "Java runs on Windows tablets today, and Java apps can work on iOS and other platforms, but we are waiting for feedback on whether people want to write Java apps for tablets," he said.
Oracle is suing Google for infringement of Java patents Oracle acquired with Sun Microsystems. Oracle wants Google to bring Android into compliance with Java. Android currently uses a variant virtual machine called Dalvik that is not compatible with the Java VM.