Microsoft releases its stripped-down Windows 7 Embedded edition to run TV sets and set-top boxes, while Samsung talks up ‘Google TVs’ powered by Android. Get ready for the TV OS...
The push towards Internet-connected TVs, on-screen widgets and that wall-hugging panel becoming just one more monitor for your home network is taking a new turn towards ‘TV operating systems’.
This week Microsoft announced it had completed breaking Windows 7 down into its components and repackaging those Lego-like building blocks for the ‘embedded’ market.
Windows Embedded Standard 7 is the latest in Microsoft’s skew of operating systems intended for devices which are not PCs, smartphones or slates but still run and rely on an x86 processor. This ranges from fuel pumps and industrial control systems to retail PoS (Point of Sale and Point of Service) systems, information kiosks and digital signage.
Also on the Windows Embedded hitlist: multimedia Internet appliances, multifunction printers, set-top boxes and even having Windows and Windows Media Centre built right into your TV set (oh, joy).
Microsoft touts Windows Embedded Standard 7 a “a fully componentised version of Windows 7” which can be as small as 40MB with a bootable kernel. It runs on 32-bit and 64-bit processors with developers able to install almost any Windows 7 desktop component as a plug-in module – including Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player 12 and Silverlight 3.
Samsung is also eyeing off the TV OS scene but has Android on its dance card. The Korea Herald
reports that a Samsung executive said the company is considering making “Google TVs” running Android.
“We are considering (developing) Google TVs. We are examining the business feasibility of Google TVs” the executive told the newspaper, while suggesting that arch-rival Sony would release an Android TV later this year.