Windows 8 day is approaching, all the echosystem around it may (we hope) revitalive the market, but in these days less or nothing is in the news about the "other" Microsoft world: EMBEDDED.
Let me try to point the actual situation:
Windows Embedded Standard is in release previewtoday, as reported by Twitter channel of Windows Embedded.As the previous versions (till CTP3) we can try it downloading from Connect.
From the CTP3 distribution, the binaries are aligned with the RTM of Windows 8, the release preview add some fix, the online key activation and remove the USB Filter.
It's obviously possible to test the platform creating system images, I think to write a specific post about it.
The RTM will be in first quarter 2013.
Windows Embedded Compact: the last actual version available is ver 7, about vNext we only know that will arrive in the first quarter of 2013 (as Standard version), there will be the Visual Studio 2012 support, ARM, x86 e x64 platform will be supported (no words about others).
Obviously there's no info about the kernel whether it will continue to be based on the actual one (*), or will be based on the new kernel of Windows 8 as the new Windows Phone 8.
For the rule of backward compatibility that distinct all the Embedded version I think that will be an evolution evolution of the "old" core, but only time will tell.
For people like me who work in this industry, this news is a good sign, at least that there will be something new, as we began seriously to despair on the continuity and vitality of the platform in this regard I suggest a post about just the "vitality" of the platform quoting a speech of General Manager of Windows Embedded, Kevin Dallas. You can find it here.
(*) other system based on Embedded Compact are for example Windows Phone 7, Windows Embedded Handeld (CE 5) or Windows Embedded for Auto.