Microsoft is courting embedded device developers by including new tools with the release on Wednesday of Windows Embedded CE 6.0, designed to run a wider variety of applications.Among consumers, CE is one of Microsoft\u2019s lesser-known operating systems, but it can by used in a wide range of devices such as vending machines to parking meters and set-top boxes. Windows Mobile, Microsoft\u2019s OS for mobile devices, is based on CE.Microsoft is throwing in new goodies in the CE package. Developers will be able to look at all of CE\u2019s code and modify it without giving the changes back to Microsoft. Previously, Microsoft revealed only 56 percent of the code base.That\u2019s appealing to OEMs trying to differentiate their products, said Tony Cripps, software analyst for Ovum in London.CE 6.0 will come with Visual Studio 2005 Professional, an application development tool. The inclusion of Visual Studio should attract organizations already using it to develop other applications for the desktop or servers, as it\u2019s one of the most commonly used integrated development platforms, Cripps said.Visual Studio will also come with Platform Builder, an embedded-specific plug-in for building applications, Microsoft said.CE\u2019s kernel has also been revamped. It\u2019s capable of doing 32,000 simultaneous processes with 2 GB of virtual memory address space per process, up from 32 processes. The increase means developers can include more applications on devices.Other features include allowing devices to make data connections and voice calls over the cellular networks. Also, CE has new wireless technology that would, for example, let a laptop and a projector communicate wirelessly during a PowerPoint presentation, said Hardy Poppinga, a Microsoft product manager.CE 6.0 also enables new machine-to-machine data exchanges, such as parking meters communicating via Global System for Mobile Communications with servers to authenticate credit card information, Poppinga said.-Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (London Bureau)Related Links:\n\nMicrosoft Windows Mobile Security Blasted by Analyst\n\nMicrosoft Windows Media Player 11 Released\n\nMicrosoft Office Live to Emerge from Beta Nov. 15This article is posted on our Microsoft Informer page. For more news on the Redmond, Wash.-based powerhouse, keep checking in.Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.