Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Windows Embedded Standard Launch

Blogging from the German Windows Embedded Standard Launch Event currently taking place in Munich.

But, "Windows Embedded Standard 7 has been available since the end of April this Year" you may bee asking yourself. Why do an event so late? Well, Microsoft - together with the partners and distributors - decided to organize a series of events throughout the year rather than doing just one single event...

During the current event, Distributors and Partners, are showing the use of Windows Embedded Standard 7 and providing information around Microsoft's newest addition to the Windows Embedded family:

Arrow, Beckhoff, EB, freindlyway, Höfft und Wessel, Intel, Reycom, Silica, Wechsler Consulting, ... just to mention a few

So lets have a look at the differences between WES 2009 and WES 7 starting with the toolchain.

In WES 2009 Target Analyzer (TAP) was used - as the name says - to analyze the target hardware to identify neccessary device drivers and components for the operating system. In WES 7, TAP is still used to perform this task, however it is now executed in the background through the Image Builder Wizard.

The Image Builder Wizard (IBW) is the main tool to create a WES 7 image and replaces the Target Designer tool used in WES 2009.

As you can see Life is getting easier - instead of two tools we now have one.

Although tools do help us in our daily work, they also reduce flexibility - just look how many developers still use the command line although an IDE is available.
In this case, WES 7 offers an additional tool called Image Configuration Editor (ICE) which is for advanced developers who require more flexibility.

The Image Configuration Editor can be best described as being the counterpart to Target Designer.
However, whereas Target Designer creates an OS Image, ICE creates an XML File which is called the Answer File. The Answer file is then used by IBW to install WES 7, in the defined configuration, to the target device.

And this is where you can see one of the main changes in WES 7:
With former Embedded Standard versions the operating system image for the target device was more or less set in stone; WES 7 images, however, can be easily changed!

Sounds easy as pie - it actually is. Go ahead and try it out!

Look out for more information on WES 7 in the near future.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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