For those that did not know, Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld is an extension of Windows Phone 8.1, providing the functionality and capabilities needed to make devices useful for businesses. OEMs can utilize Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld to tailor devices to meet the specific requirements for businesses.
Microsoft has announced the RTM of Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld as well as the availability of Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld SDK to allow any enterprise or developer to build apps for Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld devices.
"Just like a smartphone that has some capabilities out of the box for users out of the box and some capabilities that applications can use, Handheld 8.1 includes built-in apps and services, a library of configuration service providers (CSPs) that execute configuration requests by changing or querying the values of settings, and an application programming interface (API) for application development," Microsoft explains.
Here are some key features that this release brings:
- Management. Bulk provisioning of devices allowing enterprises to quickly deploy devices across their enterprise
- Assigned access. Extending device lockdown experience for multiple users that share the same device as well as button remapping, settings provisioning and an out-of-box experience to enable quick provisioning of industry handheld devices
- API support for integrated peripherals such as barcode scanner and magnetic stripe reader
- Support for USB Host
- Support for Wi-Fi only devices and hardware keyboard
The first two devices running Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld have already been announced from both Bluebird and Panasonic. These include the Bluebird BP30, a 5-inch device built to handle the extended-use demands of industry handheld devices, as well as the BM180, a 5-inch device that has a smaller form factor but comes with an optional integrated scanner and magnetic stripe reader. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 is built for the military, public safety professionals, and much more - also powered by Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld.
Hit the download link to grab the SDK.