Tuesday, 11 November 2008

10 Reasons to build your own Windows Embedded Standard Device

For those of you out there who did not manage to get time off and come to Barcelona - here are 10 Reasons to build your own Windows Embedded Standard device - a Breakout Session held by eMVP and Excellence Award winner Alexander Wechsler, today.
The 10 topics Alexander talked about can be devided into 5 groups:
  • Time to Market
  • Flexibility
  • Robustness
  • Security and
  • Change Management
So, let's have a look at Alexander's reasons for building devices with WES.

1. Fast OS Image Generation
Fast Image generation is not only essential to ensure fast time to market but also helps you to cut down on your coffee intake.
The toolchain offered by Microsoft, with Target Analyzer, Component Designer and Target Designer helps you to easily find the right components required for your Image and ensures that all dependencies are built into the image.

2. Reuse of XP Professional Dirvers and Applications
If it runs on on XP Pro SP3 it will run on Windows Embedded Standard ... that is if the right components are in the image.

3. Choose from over 11000 Components to Build an Image
OK, let's be precise: The current version of WES contains 11892 components! But, don't worry lots of these are drivers which means you only have to know around 3000 components when adding functionality.

4. Boot from any Storage Device - even into a custom shell
This is of course a prerequisite for embedded devices. Do we want moving parts in an embedded system? Of course not!
WES supports booting from flash disk, USB stick, compact flash, CD & DVD etc.

5. Disk Protection
Again, something most important for embedded devices. WES supports this by using Embedded Enabling Features (EEFs):
  • Enhanced Write Filter
  • File based Write Filter
  • Registry Filter
6. The fastest Way to Boot XP
is using HORM - Hibernate Once Resume Many. This way you can achieve boot times under 10 seconds. However this does depend on your hardware and specific image.

7. Built-in Security Infrastructure
WES supports all the infrastructure you would expect from an embedded OS based on XP Pro SP3:
Active Directory Security with all those industry standard secure protocols we love
Policy based Management
Device Security, i.e. Firewall, Anti-virus protection, File System Encryption etc.

8. Support for innovative Authentication Methods
Alexander showed us a demo here on how to use an RFID chip to automatically Log-in and out of the system. When you walk away from the system it automatically logs you out and when you come back it logs you back in again - great! This is something I guess alot of people could do with especially if their group policy automatically logs them out.

9. Manage Small to Large Deployments
Another main issue with embedded devices, especially when it comes to adding patches or even a complete image update. WES offers 3 possibilities to meet this issue:
  • Device Update Agent
  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)
  • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

10. SCCM OSD - Operating System Deployment
OSD is a new feature in WES which includes the sysprep utility and makes deployment of images a piece of cake.

So, enjoy building your Windows Embedded Standard images!

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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