Microsoft Rolls Out ‘Talisker’ Beta 2

With Microsoft’s announcement today of its release of the beta 2 version of
the next version of the Windows CE operating system comes the promise of
smarter networked mobile devices. Codenamed “Talisker,” the successor to
Windows CE 3.0 gives embedded developers the opportunity to start working on
prototypes of the next generation of mobile devices.

By designing with Talisker, developers will be able to create 32-bit
connected devices that are rich in applications and services. For OEMS
developing smart mobile devices, such as PDAs and smart phones, it signals
an opportunity to create mobile devices with reliable persistent storage
systems in a small form without the power requirements, space constraints or
data loss issues of hard drives. “As OEMs continue to build devices on
smaller and smaller form factors, storage management is becoming a critical
consideration,” said Keith White, senior director of the embedded and
appliance platforms group at Microsoft.

According to Microsoft, Talisker is an important development because it
provides reliable network support through Bluetooth and 802.1x technologies,
supports enhanced multimedia technologies such as DirectX. and Windows Media
codecs and multilanguage functionality for Asian languages, and improved
security through Extensible Authorization Protocol. Other features of beta 2
include real-time collaboration capabilities using the SIP industry
standard, enabling messaging audio (Voice over IP) between any two
IP-enabled devices.

Recognizing the importance of getting developed products to market with
cost-efficient swiftness, Microsoft has made available the Talisker
Emulation Edition Preview, a free download that will let developers build
and test their Talisker-based designs on Windows 2000 or Windows XP
workstations without having to expend resources on additional hardware.
Alternatively, developers can order the Talisker Technology Preview, which
includes all supported processor architectures and is available on CD or

In order to gain technical feedback from the industry, Microsoft instituted
the Talisker Rapid Development Program (RDP). RDP members include Intermec
Technologies Corp., Siemens AG and Wyse Technology, companies that have
committed to actively develop products and services based on beta version of
Talisker. For their part in the development, the companies are provided with
early access to code that will reduce their time to market when the final
version of Talisker ships by the end of 2001.

According to Bill Veghte, vice president of the Embedded and Appliance
Platforms Group at Microsoft, Talisker beta 2 will continue to build on
Microsoft’s commitment to build the next generation of smart, connected
devices. “The broad code availability offered through the Technology Preview
Program combined with the in-depth alliance of the RDP will ensure that
Microsoft gathers extensive developer feedback while providing our partners
and customers with early access to the next version of Windows CE,” he said.

One company that has already been developing with Talisker is M-Systems. By
implementing its flash disk technology – DiskOnChip – in Talisker, OEMs can
store data onto the flash disk with 100% hard disk emulation, which in turn
saves parts, integration time and board space.

“Working with Microsoft has strengthened the growing support for DiskOnChip
in Windows CE-based applications,” said Chuck Schouw, president and CEO of
M-Systems, Inc. “The DiskOnChip product line has traditionally worked with
Windows applications. We are excited to see the new operating system
features and its USB connectivity for portable storage devices including our
DiskOnKey. We will continue to develop our flash data storage technology for
this increasingly sophisticated market.”

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