Some Thoughts about Application Templates in Windows Embedded Standard 2011

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Some Thoughts about Application Templates in Windows Embedded Standard 2011

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Now that Windows Embedded Standard 2011’s CTP2 has been publicly available for several weeks I hope you’ve had the chance to take a look at our new Application Templates web page. Finding the dependencies for an application to ensure it runs correctly on your embedded image has always been one of the biggest challenges in using Windows Embedded and we hope to make life easier for you by providing answer files for specific applications, saving you time and effort.

Currently, the Application Templates web page displays templates we have created for some Microsoft applications and allows you to download and utilize the templates. It functions well as a little repository and currently suits what we are doing. However, we want the Application Templates site to be a place that a community can be built around, benefitting all OEMs, ISVs, developers, and other potential customers that use Standard 2011. At a high level, here are some of the things you should be seeing in the future as we improve the Application Templates website.

Website

While I can’t promise exactly what features we will be adding or how the website will be improved, we are very much looking to make the site customer-oriented and community-driven while also attempting to integrate the experience with our tools as much as possible. Here are some possible ideas for the website:

  • Add sorting and searching to the website
  • Give each template its own page with comments and ratings
  • Allow the templates to be downloadable from the website while in ICE
  • Allow for anyone’s template to be uploaded to the site

Templates

In the coming months, we hope to add three different kinds of templates to the site:

  1. More Microsoft application templates, such as:
  • Silverlight 4
  • XNA
  • SQL Express
  • System Center Configuration Manager
  • And several others
  • Templates, created by Microsoft, for third-party applications. Possible examples include:
    • Adobe Flash
    • eTrust Antivirus
    • Symantec Altiris
    • Citrix Receiver
  • Templates for third-party applications, created by the companies that own those applications. We’re very excited about these, since these templates are created by the developers of the applications. This will ensure that they are being created by the individuals who know that application better than anyone else in the world and allow for better testing and smaller footprint sizes. We are working with several companies on this at the moment, and you should be seeing these templates show up over the coming months
  • Eventually, we hope to allow for user-created templates to be uploaded to the site as well, allowing for a fourth kind of template.

    Documentation and Tools

    More and more documentation will be posted to explain the new features and how to get started with using the template site or making your own application templates. Blog articles, video tutorials, live meetings, and whitepapers will all be available in a new “Documentation & Help” section on the application template website.

    In addition to this documentation, we are working on some small downloadable utilities that will make dependency analysis and template creation easier for everyone.

    All in all, there’s a lot of work to be done in this area, but we’re very excited about where we are and how we’ve started out, and we hope continually improve the application template experience so it can be useful for everyone.

    What do you think of the ideas? Is there something you’d like to see added? We’re very interested in your thoughts and feedback, so post a comment on the blog site.

    - JT

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