ZDNet News: MS may try to boost WinCE, Linux-style

Feeling pressure from Linux in the embedded-device market,
Microsoft Corp. is contemplating giving Windows CE to some
developers for free….

“For embedded-device markets such as set-top boxes, Microsoft
easily could afford to give away the OS to encourage developer
support. Licensing fees for a set-top cable box, for example, costs
little on a per-copy basis; one source speculated that, in large
deals, Microsoft charges less than $1 per copy. Microsoft’s revenue
comes, instead, on development tools and maintenance contracts,
sources said.”

“For now, developers say, Microsoft isn’t contemplating going so
far as to turn Windows CE into an open-source project, which would
allow developers to make changes to the source code and share their
work with Microsoft and others in the development community.”

“Instead, the move will be more of a public relations move, an
attempt to capitalize on open source’s popularity.”