December 2006
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Control Solutions, Inc. - Minnesota

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Microsoft Nominates Beckhoff Automation as Windows Embedded Gold Partner

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Control Solutions, Inc

Award further strengthens the technology partnership between Microsoft and Beckhoff

MINNEAPOLIS, December 7, 2006 – Microsoft has awarded Beckhoff the status of Gold Partner in the Windows Embedded Partner program. Gold status is the highest and most exclusive level of the Microsoft partner program – in Europe, there are only 14 companies that have been awarded Embedded Gold status.

To qualify as Microsoft Windows Embedded Gold Partners, companies must demonstrate first rate embedded technology knowledge. Only companies meeting the highest embedded technology standards can qualify for this partner status. With its PC-based control technology, Beckhoff Automation can boast long term experience and advanced technologies in the embedded segment.

Beckhoff’s TwinCAT automation software enables the creation of real-time control systems under Windows XP Embedded and Windows CE. EtherCAT, the real-time Ethernet fieldbus technology developed by Beckhoff, is successfully deployed in combination with Windows operating systems. Beckhoff uses embedded operating systems in Industrial PCs for different performance classes – products include modular Embedded PCs, compact Panel PCs and traditional Industrial PCs.

For Beckhoff, the nomination is viewed as a confirmation of the longstanding, successful teamwork with Microsoft. "Microsoft and Beckhoff have been cooperating in technology development for several years. This collaboration has been a significant factor for the success of our PC-based, New Automation Technology," said Hans Beckhoff, managing director of Beckhoff Automation GmbH. "As a Gold Partner, we gain even greater inside access to Microsoft technologies. This enables optimum integration of Beckhoff Automation products into the 'Microsoft World.’ In addition, we can help direct Microsoft's focus towards the requirements of industrial control technology. This partnership will also continue to drive successful convergence of IT and automation technology."

"The partnership leads to a significant increase in product development speed," said Hans Beckhoff. "As an example, it enabled us to present an advance preview of the new Windows CE 6.0 operating system running on our Embedded PCs at the 2006 SPS/IPC/DRIVES trade show in Germany.”

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