Microsoft has formally announced its long-awaited embedded version of Windows NT, which is now in beta. Windows NT Embedded 4.0, unlike "normal" versions of Windows NT, will be stored completely in ROM on a new breed of non-PC devices aimed at telecommunications, retail point of sales (POS), high-speed copiers, manufacturing, office automation, medical patient monitors and a variety of Internet devices, such as routers. Windows NT Embedded 4.0 is based on Windows NT 4.0 SP4 and includes the core of the Win32 API and compatibility with BackOffice servers, such as SQL Server 7.0.

"We have received excellent feedback from our alpha testers on Windows NT Embedded 4.0, and now we are looking to expand the program even further," said Jim Allchin, a senior vice president at Microsoft. "Windows NT Embedded 4.0 will provide vendors with one of the fastest ways to deliver embedded products and solutions to the industry."

Windows NT Embedded will work in a "headless" mode where no mouse, keyboard, or monitor is required and user input is communicated remotely. According to the Bridge's Jennifer Edstrom, Microsoft will ship Embedded NT by the end of the year