What is Windows Embedded?

//What is Windows Embedded?
Windows Embedded

The Windows Embedded family of operating systems, tools and services help OEM system builders and enterprises leverage a reliable and proven platform to create intelligent systems and embedded solutions.

Introduction

Most users are familiar with Microsoft Windows in the form of a desktop or server operating system. However there is a subcategory of operating systems from Microsoft intended for embedded systems and devices known as Windows Embedded. Desktop and server operating systems are not always ideal for certain applications, specifically embedded applications where the scope of functionality is defined and narrow. Windows Embedded is meant for use in real-time devices, point of sale (POS) systems, kiosks, thin clients, small-footprint, headless systems, automotive computers, automation devices, hand held mobile devices, digital signage, and more.

Examples of Windows Embedded Devices

Embedded Systems

Embedded Systems

Embedded Boards

Embedded Boards

Digital Signage

Digital Signage

Vehicles

Embedded Systems

Medical Devices

Medical Devices

Tablets

Tablets

Handheld Devices

Handheld Devices

Kiosks

Kiosks

Why Windows Embedded?

Heart monitoring device based on Windows Embedded

Heart monitoring device based on Windows Embedded

Cost

One of the leading reasons to choose a Windows Embedded operating system is cost. Typically the license fees are lower than the desktop and server equivalent. In the case of Windows Embedded Compact operating systems, the license fees can be quite a bit lower. Windows Embedded Compact licenses can be as low as $12.00.

However users have to consider the hidden costs associated with Windows Embedded operating systems such as development cost. Unless a board support package (BSP) or drivers are available for the motherboard or embedded system being used, development cost to enable Windows Embedded support can be quite high. In most cases development costs can range from $10,000 to $60,000 and take months to complete. This does not include application development, third part testing, and production quality level testing. Always check with the manufacturer to see if they have BSP available, Windows Embedded drivers, or a Windows Embedded image for their board or system. This can save you tens of thousands dollars and decrease your time to market.

Enoch Systems has systems and boards that are Windows Embedded ready, let us help you find the right solution for your needs.

Footprint

Unlike desktop systems and servers, storage and memory capacity are usually very limited in embedded devices. Desktop operating systems such as Microsoft Windows 7 Professional require a minimum over 16GB for 32-bit and 20GB for 64-bit. By comparison, Windows Embedded Standard can be installed in as little as 1GB – 2GB, a full featured build only need 4GB of storage. Windows Embedded Compact needs less than 50MB of storage. The same thing can be a said for the memory footprint; Windows Embedded Compact can run in less than 1MB of memory.

Modularity

Windows Embedded operating systems are modular and a unique set of packages, components, or modules can be selected to meet your specific applications needs.  The ability to choose only the most necessary components allows for an optimized operating system with the smallest footprint possible.  There is no concern about unnecessary background tasks or services that increase the operating system overhead. This optimization lends to lower processing power needs, enabling the use of cheaper lower power ARM and RISC-based processors.

Customization

In addition to modularity, there are many tools from Microsoft that allows for customization of menus, dialog boxes, and boot screens for Windows Embedded operating systems.   Windows and Microsoft branding can be replaced with your corporate identity and branding.  Certain operations, messages, and dialog boxes can be customized, changed or suppressed to give your users the experience you want them to have.

Who Uses Windows Embedded?

Who Uses Windows Embedded?

Windows Embedded operating systems are used by OEM manufacturers as a platform to run their software on.  This operating system and software combination is then used in some kind of proprietary hardware developed by the OEM.   The OEM’s software enables certain operational functionality or intelligence in the hardware.  Some products developed by OEMs have the operating system and software running in a headless environment.  This is where the end user has no access or visibility into the software environment.  The OEM might allow certain interaction through LED indicators, switches buttons or knobs, but nothing else.

A great example of headless environment is in the automotive industry.   Today’s cars are technological marvels compared to their counterparts 20 years ago.  Almost every new car sold today has an onboard computer running some kind of Embedded Real Time Operating System (RTOS).  Automakers such as Ford, Fiat, Nissan, and Kia use Windows Embedded operating systems in their cars to connect drivers with a range of devices and services available in the vehicle.  However you will never find a monitor, keyboard and mouse in one of these cars.  Instead these automakers give you access though dashboard indicators, LCD instrument panels, buttons, switches, knobs, and levers.

Windows Embedded operating systems are used everywhere in every day devices.  While some users might be aware they are using a Windows Embedded device, such as a hand held mobile computer, most of time they will never know.

Who Uses Windows Embedded?

As of June 30, 2014.

windows-embedded-family

Windows Embedded 8

Windows Embedded 7

Windows Embedded Compact

Windows Embedded Professional

Windows Embedded Server

Windows Embedded lifecycle and support schedule

As of June 30, 2014.

Product Name General Availability End of Support End of License
Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems November 1, 2013 January 10, 2023 June 30, 2027
Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry October 17, 2013 July 11, 2023 April 30, 2028
Windows Embedded 8.1 Pro October 17, 2013 July 11, 2023 March 31, 2028
Windows Embedded Compact 2013 June 13, 2013 October 10, 2023 May 31, 2028
Windows Embedded 8 Industry April 2, 2013 July 11, 2023 April 30, 2028
Windows Embedded 8 Standard March 20, 2013 July 11, 2023 March 30, 2028
Windows Embedded 8 Pro March 20, 2013 July 11, 2023 March 31, 2028
Windows Server 2012 for Embedded Systems October 30, 2012 January 10, 2023 June 30, 2027
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 for Embedded Systems May 20, 2012 July 12, 2022 March 31, 2027
Windows Embedded Automotive 7 March 1, 2011 March 1, 2021 February 28, 2026
Windows Embedded Compact 7 March 1, 2011 April 13, 2021 February 28, 2026
Windows Embedded POSReady 7 July 1, 2011 October 12, 2021 September 10, 2026
Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 April 1,2011 January 9, 2018 April 1, 2016
Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 December 17, 2010 January 14, 2020 April 30, 2022
Windows Embedded Standard 7 July 27, 2010 October 13, 2020 July 27, 2025
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 for Embedded Systems July 20, 2010 July 9, 2019 July 9, 2024
Windows 7 Professional for Embedded Systems October 22, 2009 January 14, 2020 September 30, 2024
Windows 7 Ultimate for Embedded Systems October 22, 2009 January 14, 2020 September 30, 2024
Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 December 9, 2008 April 9, 2019 February 11, 2024
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 for Embedded Systems November 6. 2008 July 9, 2019 July 9, 2024
Windows Embedded Standard 2009 October 7, 2008 January 8, 2019 January 8, 2024
Windows Server 2008 for Embedded Systems May 6, 2008 January 14, 2020 May 6, 2023
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Embedded Systems February 6, 2008 January 14, 2020 February 6,2023
Windows Embedded CE 6.0 Operating System (Toolkit and Runtime), all versions November 1, 2006 April 10, 2018 February 28, 2022
Windows Server 2003 R2 for Embedded Systems March 5, 2006 July 14, 2015 May 28, 2018
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 for Embedded Systems January 14, 2006 April 12, 2016 April 1, 2021
Windows Automotive 5.0 August 8, 2005 August 8, 2015 August 31, 2020
Windows Embedded for Point of Service 1.x, all versions May 24, 2005 April 12, 2016 May 24, 2020
Windows CE 5.0 August 31, 2004 October 14, 2014 August 31, 2019
Windows Automotive 4.2 June 1, 2003 June 1, 2013 June 1, 2018
Windows CE .NET 4.2 June 1, 2003 July 9, 2013 June 1, 2018
Windows Server 2003 for Embedded Systems May 28, 2003 July 14, 2015 May 28, 2018
Windows CE .NET 4.1 October 29, 2002 January 8, 2013 October 29, 2017
Windows CE .NET 4.0 April 1, 2002 July 10, 2012 April 1, 2017
Windows XP Embedded (Toolkit and Runtime), all versions January 30, 2002 January 12, 2016 January 30, 2017
Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems December 31, 2001 April 8, 2014 December 31, 2016
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 for Embedded Systems November 30, 2000 April 9, 2013 November 30, 2015
Windows CE 3.0 July 30, 2000 October 9, 2007 July 30, 2015
Windows 2000 Server for Embedded Systems March 31, 2000 July 13, 2010 March 31, 2015
Windows 2000 Professional for Embedded Systems March 31, 2000 July 13, 2010 March 31, 2015
Windows NT Embedded 4.0 August 30, 1999 July 11, 2006 August 31, 2014
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2018-05-16T17:00:43+00:00 December 27th, 2014|Categories: Tutorials|