The Microsoft has released Windows CE 6.0 version yesterday. The most exciting feature for me is the share kernel source (Since I don’t do any active platform building nowadays, I don’t bother much about other features in this shiny new version. You may refer this link for more info on that.
Why I consider open kernel source as important feature in Windows CE? Reason is obvious. Windows CE is not a Server or Desktop oriented OS, but it is closely bound with hardware of the system. In my ex-profession, our team had to live with Windows CE. We intended to tune the OS to our ever changing requirements, the effort continues still. Since we have struggled a lot with debugging device driver code and not knowing the limitation of Windows CE API (which is a small sub set of Win32 API), this is definitely a big boost to my friends who work in that project still. The following are expected impact due to shared kernel source on any Windows CE based project:
1. Hard core developer of Platform builder, who takes care of configuring the system according to the hardware configuration will get more help from the kernel source which sits very much in his own IDE. Debugging the kernel mode drivers will no more be a nightmare.
2. Windows CE kernel can be customized for smaller foot print and better performance. This is absolutely necessary in the embedded world.
3. This will pause the people who intend to move to Embedded Linux for technical compulsion, and have them to re look at Window CE. The chances for support to Windows CE from both technologist and management are very well there.
4. The Shared Source License has been simplified which may affect the production cost of the end product. Any body who knows, can post a comment on this. Here is a link on license details.
5. Getting a shared source kernel for paying big $$$$ for microsoft is reasonable now… happy to see this 🙂 🙂
Happy kernel hacking, my dear Windows CE friends!