On Tuesday, Microsoft announced Windows CE .NET 4.1 (code-named Jameson), a major update that adds support for IP version 6 (IPv6) and speech technologies, Microsoft Office document compatibility, and various performance improvements. Windows CE .NET is Microsoft's embedded OS for next-generation mobile and small-footprint devices.

"Windows CE .NET continues to be the platform of choice for building 'smart,' connected mobile devices that require rich applications and services," says Todd Warren, general manager of the Embedded and Appliance Platforms Group (EAPG) at Microsoft. "This update underscores our commitment to quickly deliver the latest technologies to our Windows Embedded customers. We're excited to see strong momentum in the embedded marketplace with rapid adoption by top OEM customers of Windows CE .NET, with many customers cutting their development time in half."

Specifically, Windows CE .NET 4.1 includes support for IPv6 networking technology; Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint document viewing; Adobe Acrobat document viewing; the Microsoft Speech API (SAPI) 5.0; and an updated version of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, which enables developers to write .NET applications and services for CE .NET-targeted devices. Microsoft says that performance improvements range from 15 to 20 percent for Web browsing, remote desktop display through the Remote Display Protocol (RDP), and Windows Media Video (WMV) playback. Companies such as ViewSonic, Samsung, Hitachi, and NEC will include Windows CE .NET 4.1 technologies in Windows Powered Smart Displays (code-named Mira) and other devices coming later this year.