Las Vegas- iCEBOX, the makers of a line of kitchen-centric interactive TV terminals, announced here that it will develop an interactive kitchen entertainment terminal as a rapid development partner for Microsoft's Windows CE.NET operating platform.
Windows CE.NET is an embedded operating system designed for maximum interoperability between CE devices while allowing a broad range of Internet-based features including instant messaging and home networking capability using such standards as wireless 802.11. iCEBOX executives said the "thin client" OS needs minimal storage memory and is said to be ideal for typical CE devices that have only DRAM or internal Flash memory chips to store software programs.
Other key benefits of the new version of the OS are said to be: reduced overall cost to consumers, faster delivery of products to market, and an open environment for third party developers to write additional software programs. Also, because device and software interoperability is enhanced, Windows CE.NET products will be less likely to crash, iCEBOX exeuctives said.
iCEBOX executives said the new OS should cut down on product development cost since it is designed to require a minimal amount of customization when manufacturers plan to add new features or functions. Earlier iCEBOX products had been based on a Wind River operating system.
Home networking and interoperability between CE devices will be enhanced as Microsoft expands its list of manufacturer partners building Windows CE.NET into next-generation devices.
As a rapid development partner, iCEBOX has agreed to have a Windows CE.NET-enabled kitchen terminal by the second quarter of the year. The company is demonstrating an early prototype with an undercounter LCD display design at CES.
iCEBOX expects its first Window CE.NET product will leverage such applications as Microsoft's calendar system for a family calendar. The company's kitchen terminals combine TV reception with DVD, and CD playback, and Internet access.