Microsoft may have plans to release the desktop version of Windows 8 sometime in 2012 but a variant of the operating system, Windows 8 Embedded, is also in development. Computerworld.com reports today that Microsoft revealed its plans to show off a version of Windows 8 Embedded to developers sometime in the first quarter of 2012.
This version of the operating system is being made not for desktop or notebook PCs but for more specialized electronic devices such as kiosks, medical products and others. Like the regular version of Windows 8, Windows 8 Embedded will run on both X86 and ARM-based processors. The final version is expected to launch sometime after the standard Windows 8 OS is released.
While details of the OS have yet to be announced, Microsoft has indicated that Windows 8 Embedded will support different types of user interfaces. That likely means that it will support features like touch screens (something that the regular edition of Windows 8 will support) along with speech recognition.
Microsoft's efforts to market Windows 8 to developers and hardware makers have only just begun and you can bet that we will see and hear more about both the regular operating system and the Windows 8 Embedded variant in the months ahead of its release. Microsoft said that the Windows Embedded development team is working with the Window 8 client group in order to "bring that innovation to specialized devices."