Microsoft has announced two new Windows operating system releases planned for delivery this year and the next, both essentially flavors of the same platform. The plain vanilla version of Windows Embedded Handheld will be launched in the second half of 2010, while its successor, Windows Embedded Handheld 7, will drop one year later, in the second half of 2011. The two upcoming Windows releases have the new Windows Embedded Handheld platform at the core, announced by the Redmond company on June 17th, 2010.
At this point in time, original equipment manufacturers building ruggedized mobile PCs and devices are tapping the software giant for either Windows Embedded CE or Windows Mobile platforms to power their products. Analyst firm VDC Research reveals that Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile account for over 87% of the OS market for handheld devices, some 2.3 million of which were produced in 2009, but with the number forecasted to reach 4.3 million in 2014.