Introducing SKU Compliance Packages

Introducing SKU Compliance Packages

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Windows Embedded Standard 7 can be licensed with different SKUs, each of which allows and prohibits certain features from being used on your embedded device. SKU Compliance Packages are a new feature that will be available in Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack 1 to help ensure that devices are in compliance with the terms of their chosen licensing agreement. They are currently available in the CTP.

In July 2010, we released the License Assessment Tool (LAT) for Windows Embedded Standard 7. The LAT analyzes an Answer File or DISM output file against a target SKU and determines whether it fulfills the terms of a given SKU’s license. The LAT is useful in the assessment phase – I have an Answer File, what SKUs are suitable for it? Where we thought we could help you more is once you’ve selected a SKU and want to be certain you are in compliance, which is where SKU Compliance Packages come in.

Here’s how they work: In the Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack 1 Distribution Share, which can be seen in Image Configuration Editor or Image Builder Wizard, you’ll see a new folder under FeaturePacks called SKU Compliance. The folder contains a package for each of the currently available SKUs – WS7C, WS7E, and WS7P. (For a full list of what features may be used with each SKU, please see this link). Once you have chosen a SKU for the device you are configuring, perhaps by using the LAT, you can add its respective SKU Compliance Package to your Answer File. Using the licensing frameworks built into Windows, the package will ensure that functionality not permitted under the terms of your SKU is disabled in the image.

The way each feature behaves depends on how the feature was implemented. For example, the Snipping Tool executable will be present on the device but will do nothing when launched. Windows Media Center will show a dialog box indicating that it is not permitted on the SKU. In most cases, it works on a feature level – that means, for example, that SKU Compliance Packages can disable DirectAccess even if networking packages are installed.

The documentation provided with the CTP contains more information about how each feature behaves with SKU Compliance Packages, but be sure to test your device scenarios to confirm they work as expected. SKU Compliance Packages are designed to be a tool to help you comply with your license, but they don’t replace testing your device scenarios or the terms of your licensing agreement.

I hope SKU Compliance Packages are useful when shipping your Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack 1 devices. Please be sure to read the documentation for some additional notes, and definitely let us know if you have any questions or feedback.

- Robert

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