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Microsoft unveils Windows CE Driver Databases

Microsoft has announced two new online databases that list Windows CE drivers and BSPs (board support packages). The "regularly updated" databases are easily searchable by product category, manufacturer, processor family, and other relevant parameters, according to the company.

Microsoft describes the online driver database as "an extensive list of device drivers supported on Windows Embedded CE from Microsoft, Windows Embedded Partners, and third-party manufacturers." According to the company, the drivers listed are divided into three types:
  • PQD -- These "product quality developed" drivers were developed and distributed by Microsoft, and are incorporated into Microsoft's IDE (integrated development environment)

  • Microsoft-validated -- These are third-party drivers that were submitted to Microsoft via its Windows Embedded CE validation program, and passed standard quality performance tests

  • Non-validated-- These are third-party drivers that were not submitted to Microsoft for validation, but which are posted on the list "to generate product awareness"
Pull-down menus, as shown on the screenshot below, allow searching the driver database by validation status, Windows CE version, product category, and manufacturer. A "description" field describes each driver, and links to supplemental manufacturer information, if available.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's BSP (board support package) database provides "an extensive list of BSPs supported on Windows Embedded CE," according to the company. Pull-down menus allow searching the BSP database by Windows CE version, CPU name, processor family (such as MIPS, Xscale, or x86), and certification status, says Microsoft.

In addition, check boxes allow users of the database to narrow down their search by one or more target device categories. Device categories in the database are listed in the following order:
  • GPS
  • Medical systems
  • VoIP
  • Thin client
  • Kiosk
  • Printer
  • Gaming
  • Handheld terminal
  • Datacom
  • Digital media player
  • Digital TV
  • Projector
  • DVD player
  • Test and measurement
  • STB (set-top box)
  • POS terminal
  • Digital camera
  • Digital video player/recorder
  • Industrial and building automation
  • Other
The browser-based list of results, used by both the drivers and BSP databases, can be sorted any way a user wishes, simply by clicking on any column heading. Another useful feature is the ability to subscribe to an RSS feed that provides notification of new drivers or BSPs, according to Microsoft.

Driver database link
12:31 PM

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