http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/dec09/12-10wepp10pr.mspx Windows Embedded Partner Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Enhancements to Help Microsoft Ecosystem Support the Latest Windows 7 Technologies REDMOND, Wash. Ã¢â‚¬â€ Dec. 10, 2009 Ã¢â‚¬â€ Today, Microsoft Corp. celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its Windows Embedded Partner Program (WEPP) by announcing the next-generation program for participating partners, building on its recent release of Windows 7 technologies to manufacturers of specialized devices with new resources for its global ecosystem. Since the programÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s inception, WEPP has grown to more than 650 partners globally, including silicon vendors, independent software vendors, systems integrators, design houses and user experience designers, independent hardware vendors, and training partners in countries such as the U.S., China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the U.K., India, Russia, Germany and France. For its anniversary, WEPP is continuing to address the evolving needs of OEMs and partners working with Windows Embedded platforms to deliver reliable consumer and enterprise devices with rich user experiences and connections to the world of Windows. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The goal of the Windows Embedded Partner Program is to ensure that OEMs have strong support from our extensive ecosystem to help reduce development time and associated costs as they bring innovative Windows Embedded-based consumer and enterprise devices to market,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Olivier Fontana, director, partner and regional marketing, Windows Embedded business at Microsoft. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Through the updates to the program, Windows Embedded will better serve its global ecosystem by providing partners with tools and information to help meet the needs of their customers during every phase of the specialized device development life cycle.Ã¢â‚¬Â Recently, Microsoft released Windows 7 technologies to OEMs of specialized devices through the Windows Embedded Standard 2011 community technology preview (CTP), release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3, and RTMs of the next-generation platforms for Windows Embedded Server and Windows Embedded Enterprise. Microsoft also recently realigned its automotive business within Windows Embedded to capitalize on the synergies between the two business units and leverage the extended, global partner ecosystem of Windows Embedded. The current release of Microsoft Auto (version 4.1) and the next generation of Microsoft Auto, which will be announced in 2010 and is currently code-named Ã¢â‚¬Å“Motegi,Ã¢â‚¬Â underscore MicrosoftÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commitment to the market. To ensure confidence in these new platforms and technologies, Microsoft will be providing all Windows Embedded and Microsoft Auto partners with extensive training opportunities, ranging from online briefings to hands-on labs. Gold members also will receive a free MSDN Premium subscription, providing simplified access to Microsoft tools and technologies plus Windows Embedded platforms and technologies. WEPP will continue to help partners stay connected to the global ecosystem through regularly scheduled regional partner summits and briefings, as well as dedicated regional partner marketing managers. Summits and briefings offer partners the opportunity to meet distributors, members of the Windows Embedded product teams and other partners, while regional managers provide support and guidance to help them establish connections in the growing ecosystem. WEPP members also will have the opportunity to collaborate with Windows 7 partners within the Microsoft Partner Network interested in Windows Embedded technologies. Additional information on Windows Embedded outreach efforts with Microsoft Partner Network members can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/global/productssolutions/psembedded. All WEPP updates will go into effect in January 2010, including a standardized, points-based system to ensure consistency in rating Gold- and Silver-level members worldwide, helping OEMs identify and establish relationships that meet their unique business needs. Microsoft also will encourage partners and distributors to take an integrated business approach that will assist OEMs in delivering differentiated devices with compelling, immersive and connected user experiences.