SAN FRANCISCO (03/23/2000) - Microsoft Corp. is close to releasing a slimmed-down, embedded version of its Windows 2000 operating system that is able to run custom applications, analysts said today.
Last month, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates said the OS, called Windows 2000 Embedded, would be forthcoming later this year. [See "UPDATE: Gates Calls New OS Most Ambitious Ever," Feb. 17.}Analysts today said several companies, including IBM Corp., are ready to market products using the embedded Microsoft operating system.
"The OS is between a thin client and a PC," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with Giga Information Group Inc., a Santa Clara, California-based market research firm, in a phone interview today. "It has the underpinnings of a full operating system. You can run custom applications on it. It's for devices primarily connected to the back end."
A forthcoming IBM server appliance, codenamed Pine Hill, will run on the embedded Microsoft OS and facilitate faster Internet connectivity, Enderle said. He added that several other companies are preparing product launches related to Windows 2000 Embedded. Enderle declined to list the companies, citing confidentiality agreements.
The new OS is an extension of Windows NT Embedded 4.0, according to Dan Kuznetsky, an analyst with International Data Corp. (IDC).
Microsoft, in Redmond, Washington, can be reached at +1-425-882-8080, or at http://www.microsoft.com/.