Next Windows CE to support Bluetooth

The next generation of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows CE embedded operating system will include support for the wireless standard Bluetooth, paving the way for CE-powered computing devices to communicate with a variety of other wireless devices, the software maker said Oct. 30.

The forthcoming operating system, code-named “Talisker,” also got a new name: Windows CE .Net. The new handle follows Microsoft’s latest naming scheme as it releases more products tied to its .Net Internet initiative, which will enable users to access data from a variety of computing devices connected to the Internet.

Bluetooth is a specification designed to allow wireless computers, mobile phones and other portable handheld devices access the Internet through a radio frequency. Windows CE .Net, which is currently in beta testing, will be the first in Microsoft’s entire line of operating systems to ship with built-in Bluetooth support, the company said.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group Inc. (Bluetooth SIG), a panel of executives from the leading technology companies shaping the standard, certified that Microsoft’s implementation of Bluetooth in Windows CE .Net met its required specifications after testing it with several Bluetooth products from major manufacturers, Microsoft said.

Companies building and testing early applications for Windows CE .Net include Siemens AG, which is working on a Web-pad device based on the new operating system. The company will make use of the new Bluetooth support in its forthcoming Windows CE .Net devices, Siemens said in a statement.

Microsoft has developed a series of embedded operating systems used for devices from set-top boxes to smart mobile phones and manufacturing equipment. An embedded operating system is basically a version of the desktop or server software broken into components that customers can use to build custom operating systems.

Windows CE 3.0, the predecessor to the new .Net embedded operating system, is the foundation for Microsoft’s Pocket PC software. The company also offers Windows NT Embedded 4.0. In addition to Windows CE .Net, Microsoft is also planning to release an embedded version of its Windows XP operating system and the Windows .Net Server.

Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., can be reached at The Bluetooth SIG can be reached online at