Microsoft Corp. has introduced a new version of developer tools for the Windows CE 3.0 operating systems for embedded systems developers. According to Microsoft Platform Builder 3.0 and eMbedded Visual Tools 3.0 make it easier for developers to design embedded systems such as retail sales terminals, and automotive and industrial systems based on Windows CE 3.0. This is the same operating system that powers PocketPC PDA, which was introduced in April and is sold by companies such as Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. The new tools provide richer functions for Windows CE applications, including better Internet browsing with Internet Explorer 4.0, an integrated HTTP server and an integrated Microsoft Message Queuing service, plus support for nine languages in addition to English, Microsoft said. Developers using these new tools can build a prototype of a new product at no cost, Microsoft said, after which runtime pricing kicks in and developers pay full price. Microsoft will sell the Platform Builder 3.0 tool kit for US$2,999. Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., can be found at

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