Microsoft: Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld RTM completed, SDK available

Microsoft released the developer version of Windows Phone 8.1 last week to the masses and now the enterprise version of the OS has been finished as well. Microsoft announced this week that Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld has reached RTM status and is now available for hardware partners to install on their devices.

Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld has a number of security enhancements that Windows Phone 8.1 does not have, along with features that would only be used in a business or enterprise setting. In a blog post, Microsoft says that some of the new additions in the OS, compared to previous versions, include bulk provisioning of devices so businesses can quickly deploy those products.

Panasonic's FZ-E1 can support Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld.

It also has API support for devices that have integrated peripherals like barcode scanners and magnetic stripe readers. Finally, Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld supports Wi-Fi only devices, USB Host and hardware keyboards for the first time.

Bluebird has two 5-inch devices that already support the OS and Panasonic's rugged FZ-E1, announced in February, can also use Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld; developers can download the SDK here.

Source: Microsoft via WinBeta | Image via Engadget

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8 Comments

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It's too bad that the major players have all said they were tired of waiting and invested heavily in android. Motorola/Honeywell were the biggest players left and they both may be on the select partner list for WP8EH, neither of them will do it justice.

The fact that all the existing windows mobile applications have to be rewritten completely to work on this platform doesn't help either. If they're going to rewrite, they'll probably pick multi-target with cheaper android devices or just android.

joshua.barker said,
.....

Universal Project + Xamarin covers all screens.
Anyone in this space who is focusing on one architecture alone will lose.
so for those who were tired of waiting and invested heavily in Android have done themselves a disservice.

Does this version have any restrictions on the types of apps it can run (other than architecture-based restrictions of course)?

Romero said,
Does this version have any restrictions on the types of apps it can run (other than architecture-based restrictions of course)?

It's a tweaked version of WP8.1 so it's going to run WINRT apps.

Romero said,
Cool, so universal apps too?

I don't see why not, the added benefit here is that enterprises can side load their own apps and the OS does, as it says above, support more things than default WP8.1 does, like barcode scanner hardware add-ons and so forth. The app APIs should be exactly the same as WP8.1 though but with a few more added on that they can access that you just won't find in a standard consumer smart phone.

Romero said,
Cool, so universal apps too?

Sure I would bet it's possible. But these types of devices are not meant for that. These are for specialized devices, not consumer electronics.

pack34 said,

Sure I would bet it's possible. But these types of devices are not meant for that. These are for specialized devices, not consumer electronics.

Uhm, I can think of a few Universal apps that would be handy on these devices. Direct access to CRM\ERP\etc systems for one.