One of the few teams doing any development work with Windows Media Center over the past couple years is the Windows Embedded team, back at CES in January they showed off some the enhancements they had made to Media Center but we haven’t really seen any of the units in the wild yet. Today Microsoft revealed its road map for the next version of Windows Embedded, there are going to be two platforms: Windows Embedded Standard v.Next and Windows Embedded Enterprise v.Next. The one that could be used for Media Center type boxes would be the standard edition:
Windows Embedded Standard v.Next — which will deliver the power, familiarity and reliability of the Windows operating system in a highly customizable and componentized form — will undergo a community technology preview for developers during the first quarter of 2012. General availability of Windows Embedded Standard v.Next will occur three quarters after Windows 8 is generally available for PCs. Microsoft is not disclosing specific dates for the Windows 8 release schedule at this time.
So that would mean OEMS wishing to build on the embedded platform with Windows 8 will have to wait almost a year after Windows 8 launch which is expected some time next year. So for embedded systems it looks like Windows 7 will be with us for some time, now we just need to see the current generation of the boxes ship.
More details on Microsoft’s Press Pass
Windows Embedded powered Media Center box at CES 2011