A new testing milestone of the next iteration of Windows CE is now available for download from Microsoft.

Dubbed Windows Embedded Compact 7, the successor of Windows CE 6.0 R3 is offered to early adopters through Microsoft Connect.

Some testers might already know that the Redmond company released the first Community Technology Preview of Windows Embedded Compact 7 back in mid-2010.

Now the software giant is offering what it calls the Windows Embedded Compact 7 Public Community Technology Preview (PCTP) January 2011 Refresh.

Testers need tone head over to Connect, sign into their accounts using a valid Windows Live ID and download Windows Embedded Compact 7 CTP January 2011 Refresh.

“A new drop has just been published on the Connect portal for you to get a sneak peek at the upcoming Windows Embedded Compact 7 toolkit.

“Go give it a try, you just need to register on Connect and select the Windows Embedded Compact project in the Directory. Note that in the Directory of Connect, you need to select the “projects currently not accepting feedback,” revealed Microsoft’s Olivier Bloch.

Despite the presence of the number 7 in the product’s moniker, Windows Embedded Compact 7 has nothing to do with the Windows 7 client.

While Windows 7 is indeed at the core of the embedded and componentized Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows Embedded Compact 7 is only the seventh release of this particular Windows flavor and nothing more.

After all, Windows Embedded Compact 7 is considered to be the next generation of Windows CE, and the last version shipped to customers was Windows CE 6.0.

“The January 2011 refresh of the Compact 7 PCTP will be available for download by end of day 1/27/2011. We are delighted that you’ll be involved in this exciting milestone release and that you’ll be among the first to experience the new Windows Embedded Compact 7,” Microsoft revealed.

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