Microsoft Corp is busy adding the finishing touches to the next version of its Windows CE operating system, due to be unveiled next month (CI No 3,500). Redmond said the latest roll out, code-named Jupiter, will most likely be announced in October, at the software giant’s Professional Developer’s Conference which starts in Denver. Phil Holden, group manager for CE told ComputerWire the launch date wasn’t definite as Microsoft is still making final tweaks to the software, which is currently in beta with 1,000 customers. But it looks likely that the software, the third generation of Redmond’s operating system for the handheld PC environment, will definitely hit the streets in the next month or two. Holden said another element of doubt was that Microsoft is still determining which manufacturers are planning to develop hardware platforms for the OS. He said that CE is a ROM-based OS, which means the software gets embedded inside the ROM of each machine. Each manufacturer has its own, proprietary ROM, he said, so many of them have been working on the system for some time but haven’t made any announcements yet. Manufacturers who are expected to demonstrate new systems include Compaq, IBM, LG Electronics, NEC, Fujitsu and Sharp. Holden declined to give any specific details about new features of the operating system, other than to say he expected the units to cost around $1,000.