As part of the Windows Embedded Partner programme Microsoft awarded Beckhoff the status of Gold Partner. Gold status is a high and an exclusive level of the Microsoft partner programme, in Europe there are only 14 companies who have been awarded Embedded Gold status.
To qualify as Microsoft Windows Embedded Gold Partners, companies have to demonstrate above-average know-how and first rate embedded technology knowledge. Only companies offering specialised knowledge qualify for this partner status. With its PC-based control technology, Beckhoff can boast long-standing experience and advanced technologies in the embedded segment. The TwinCAT automation software enables real-time control systems to be realised under Windows XP Embedded and Windows CE. EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet technology developed by Beckhoff, is successfully deployed in combination with Windows operating systems. Beckhoff uses embedded operating systems in IPCs for different performance classes, products include modular embedded PCs, compact panel PCs, and traditional industrial PCs.
For Beckhoff the nomination as Windows Embedded Gold Partner is confirmation of the successful cooperation with Microsoft. According to Beckhoff, Microsoft and Beckhoff have already been cooperating in the area of technology development for several years. This cooperation has been a significant factor for the success of our PC-based New Automation Technology. As a Gold Partner Beckhoff gains even more intensive access to Microsoft
Technologies. This enables optimum integration of Beckhoff automation products into the Microsoft world. In addition, Beckhoff can direct Microsoft's focus towards the requirements of industrial control technology. This partnership will therefore continue to drive the technological convergence between IT and automation technology.
Beckhoff also commented that the partnership leads to a significant increase in product development speed. As an example, it enables it to present a preview of the new Windows CE 6.0 operating system running on its Embedded PCs at SPS/IPC/DRIVES in Germany at the end of November. Conversely, Microsoft utilises the experience with PC-based control technology to optimise its products for the requirements of automation.