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**Updated 3/26/09 with preface
[The following article is authored by one of the Windows Embedded MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals). Our MVPs have a heavy background in Embedded systems and are a great repository of information on Windows Embedded products. We’re providing this space on our team blog as a service to our readers by allowing MVPs to share some of their knowledge with the rest of the community.]
To design and build a device are just the initial steps in the complete life cycle of a modern embedded system. Connected devices, especially, can and need to be updated, either to enhance their value while in field, or to guarantee their correct behavior by rolling out necessary patches to fix bugs or security holes.
Embedded devices quite often have special footprint requirements that have direct effects on the way these devices can be managed. Small footprint, for example, may mean fewer management capabilities available on the device. This leads to different management scenarios.
If there is one change management tool in the Microsoft platform that comes close to a Swiss army knife then it is System Center Configuration Manager (formerly known as SMS server). This piece of back-end infrastructure is capable of doing sophisticated, enterprise class device management, fulfilling most of the requirements administrators have in their daily business.
By now you’ve probably seen that the Service Pack 3 update for Windows XP Embedded has released. Additionally for those of you who have purchased Windows Embedded Standard 2009, you should be receiving, or have already received, the Standard software.
Beginning with the December, 2008 Security updates, servicing for both of these products will commence. To support Service Pack 3 and Standard servicing, you will notice a couple of changes to the security update download. For the past couple of years, we have been shipping a CD .iso image containing the Security updates. Beginning December, 2008, the Security updates will be shipped as a DVD .iso image.
Also beginning with the December, 2008 Security updates, you will see a change to the disk structure. At the top level, there will be a directory for each product line. Within that top level directory will be a sub-directory structure for each of that product’s versions currently in support:
Disk protection in Windows Embedded Standard is part of the so called “Embedded Enabling Features” or EEFs. This name describes a group of functionality that, unlike the rest of Standard’s features, is not available in XP Pro SP3 and has been designed specifically to meet the needs of embedded device manufacturers. Among all EEFs, disk protection is the most prominent one, because it is able to satisfy unique scenarios that are very common across the vertical markets embedded devices are used in.