Microsoft Corp. today announced the worldwide availability of Windows® CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack, an optional set of software components designed to lower the total cost of development for device-makers wanting to create next-generation networked media devices (NMDs) and Internet protocol set-top boxes (IP STBs), which will become an increasingly integral part of the digital home. The Microsoft® Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack supports a broader range of video formats, PlaysForSure™ certification and digital video recorder (DVR) functionalities, and helps developers focus their time on device differentiation and innovation instead of middleware licensing and integration.
The Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack is being launched with worldwide support from consumer electronics companies such as Amoi Electronics Co. Ltd., HUMAX Co. Ltd., Media Excel Inc., Microsoft TV and Motorola Inc., many of which will bring to market new Windows CE 5.0 Networked Media Device Feature Pack-based devices this quarter. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across the globe, including U.S.-based Cisco Systems Inc. and Taiwan-based Tatung Co., currently use Windows CE 5.0 to develop STBs supporting the Microsoft TV Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) Edition software platform.
The net seems to be that Microsoft is providing these features for free so that their Windows CE OEMs don’t have to integrate a bunch of 3rd party code. Windows CE is also used in a variety of portable consumer electronics devices besides the set-top boxes.