News
News
4/9/2003
04:29 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Microsoft Opens Windows CE To Third Parties

The vendor expands the shared-source program for its operating system for handhelds, making all source code available to third parties and dropping the ban on commercializing changes to it.

Microsoft on Wednesday expanded its shared-source program for Windows CE, giving device manufacturers and others permission for the first time to commercialize the custom development work they do to the Windows CE source code.

Until now, Microsoft has allowed device manufacturers, chipmakers, and systems integrators to view, debug, modify, and distribute the Windows CE code, but they were prohibited from actually selling products that incorporated the customized code. Also, only about 45% of Windows CE's code was available for those purposes.

Under the new plan, called the Windows CE Shared Source Premium Licensing Program, all of Windows CE's source code is available to third parties, and the ban on commercializing changes to Windows CE--an operating system for handheld devices--has been lifted.

"In the embedded operating-system market, the ability to extend the source code to make it specific to a device type is an important and powerful capability," IDC analyst Al Gillen says. "I think it's a positive move." Among the companies expressing support for the new program are Intel, Matsushita Electric Industrial, MIPS Technologies, National Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics, and Toshiba.

The policy change is the latest in Microsoft's 2-year-old Shared Source Initiative; this change lets outsiders not only view and modify select pieces of Microsoft's software line, but also sell products that incorporate the modified code. Microsoft recently introduced similar programs that let others modify, distribute, and commercialize Microsoft code that integrates their products with Microsoft's .Net Passport and ASP.Net. "You can resell and not pay us a license fee to resell your modifications," says Jason Matusow, Microsoft's shared-source manager.

Microsoft puts tighter restrictions on who gets access to the source code for its flagship desktop and server operating systems. Only about 65 organizations, including large business customers and some foreign governments, have access to the Windows code for viewing or debugging. They are prohibited from modifying, distributing, or commercializing the code.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, don’t look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.