Microsoft formally announced the launch of Windows Embedded Standard 7 at the Embedded Systems Conference yesterday. The operating system, first introduced last fall, is targeted at OEMs who want to include Windows 7 features and capabilities in specialized devices. It includes support for multi-touch interfaces, new smart power management APIs and an ability through Windows Media Center to let consumers merge media content from different sources.

This integration lets manufacturers build devices such as set-top boxes with centralized multimedia content. Users can tap into services from broadcast TV and streaming video, or they can access music, photos and videos in their personal multimedia libraries – a video posted by Microsoft shows how it works.

Applications and drivers for Windows 7 work on the embedded version of the operating system, which also includes desktop functionality such as Internet Explorer 8, Windows Media Player 12, Remote Desktop Protocol 7, Silverlight 3 and .Net Framework 3.5 SP1. Companies already planning to ship products with Windows Embedded Standard 7 include AOpen, C-nario, DT Research, Micro Industries and YCD Multimedia for digital signage; HP and Wyse Technology for thin clients, and Heber for industrial control systems.