Microsoft Windows 8 Embedded Preview Now Ready To Download

Windows Embedded Standard 8 doesn't have the same amount of fanfare behind it as does Windows 8, but it's still an important piece of software in the grand scheme of things. This week, Microsoft is making the preview available for download, enabling specialized devices running line-of-business applications to test out some new digs. Last November, Microsoft outlined a product road map for its intelligent systems vision. As part of that plan, today Microsoft is making the Windows Embedded Standard 8 community technology preview (CTP) available on the x86 architecture.

With Windows Embedded, developers can use the same trusted tools used in building applications for Windows 8 to build specialized devices within line-of-business applications - extending the power of Windows 8 and the cloud to intelligent systems. Using the Windows Embedded platform, retailers can build smart digital signage and intelligent kiosks. Manufacturers can connect shop floor devices to back-end IT. In medicine, equipment for ultrasounds, x-rays and MRIs can deliver results directly to doctors at the bedside.

The Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP is an important step in giving developers and enterprises an opportunity to evaluate Windows 8 technologies for connecting specialized devices to powerful back-end software. With the recent release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server 8 beta, along with this week's launch of SQL Server 2012 and Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP, Microsoft is offering a good look at a new, common set of technologies that spans specialized devices, servers, PCs and applications.

Enterprise users, time to fire up a test machine and see what's in it for you.