Windows CE saw its lifecycle start on 31.8.2004 with the release of Microsoft Windows CE 5.0. This version is long gone and past any support window (which does not make it unlikely that you still encounter those type of devices in crucial infrastructure installations). Its successor, Windows Embedded CE 6.0, has ended the “extended support period” on 04.10.2018 with a scheduled end of distribution in 28.2.2022. Also Windows Embedded Compact 7 and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 are slowly approaching extended support.
So what are your real alternatives when you need to update your embedded project, especially if you might be stuck with the old and limited hardware for some reason?
We believe that Linux or FreeBSD can be a good alternative to supersede Windows CE
Of course it is not a good situation to need to change an operating system which often mandates to recreate a lot of the intellectual property (IP) on the new system. But current Linux flavours as well as FreeBSD might be a good fit. Today most companies are heading down the regular Linux road but for some FreeBSD might be an interesting option due to the different license conditions. While regular Linux is licensed under the GPL FreeBSD is licensed under the BSD license. If you want to implement your own IP into your SPS or are interested in adding your specific real-time know-how FreeBSD might be only way to go.
If you are heading down that road you might need a device management solution to quickly get you up to speed. We have developed qbee.io as a universal device management and automation solution with a lot of additional features. Our focus is on being able to run on any of the available Unix and Linux flavours. This does not mean that we support all Linux flavours out of the box, but in case we find a substantial business case we will do exactly this. This includes FreeBSD.
Do you work on FreeBSD and Need a device management solution? Let’s talk!
So if you are interested to have a tool that allows you to do fleet management and device automation for FreeBSD feel free to reach out and we can initiate a project. We see the potential for FreeBSD as well as for any other Linux flavour.
If you want to quickly test drive our solution we have a free 30 day trial available here.