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March, 2010

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    The Meaning of RC

    As has been announced previously on this blog, the Release Candidate (RC) build of Windows Embedded Standard 7 is now available.  You can download this RC from Microsoft Connect (https://connect.microsoft.com/windowsembedded).  I would encourage you to download the RC build, create and deploy some OS images, and let us know what you think.  

    For both the products that I am currently working on and the products I am excited to begin using, the different builds mean different things to me:

    • CTP (Community Technology Preview) builds are interesting to look at as they give an advanced look at the bleeding edge of new product development and give me the chance to provide feedback at an early stage.
    • When I see the 2nd or 3rd CTP build come out (some products will use the term “Beta” for this), this is great opportunity to begin using a product in the same way you will use it once it is released.  However, I know there is still work to be done and changes to be made.
    • RC builds are "Really Cool". They tell me that this product is almost done and the date it will be made available will probably be "Really Close."  For both the products I am currently working on and ones I am excited to begin using, this is an exciting time.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Diagnosis of Driver Setup Issues in Windows Embedded Standard 7 – Part 2

    *Updated formatting - 4/13/10*

    Introduction

    This is the second blog in a series of articles which discusses the troubleshooting and diagnosis of driver installation issues in Windows Embedded Standard 7 (Standard 7). Previously we presented the different phases of setup and a brief introduction to SetupAPI logging and the SetupAPI.dev.log file. We will now start off with the format of the SetupAPI.dev.log file.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Using AppLocker in Standard 7

    * Updated 4/5/10 with clearer instructions for step 1* 

    In my last blog, I gave an overview of how AppLocker can help you lock down what applications can run on your Windows Embedded Standard 7 device. To demonstrate how AppLocker works, I’ll walk through an example of how to create a rule to block Internet Explorer from running. Here’s how, step by step:

    1. AppLocker can be configured through wizards in the Local Group Policy Editor, which you can start by running “gpedit.msc”. AppLocker is located under “Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Application Control Policies” in that window.  Navigate to the Executable Rules option in the navigation on the left. In the Action menu, click Create New Rule.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Application Lockdown with AppLocker on Standard 7

    A common requirement for Windows Embedded Standard 7 devices is controlling what applications can run on the system. If the device only runs your own custom application, such as a kiosk or set-top box, then you might want to ensure that no other applications could be run to break out of the experience. If the device runs a more open shell, such as thin clients, you may want to restrict the set of applications that are allowed to run.

    Since Windows Embedded Standard 7 is based on Windows 7, we can leverage a new technology that has been introduced: AppLocker. AppLocker builds and improves on Software Restriction Policies (SRPs) to allow for easy and flexible application lockdown. You can find a thorough summary of AppLocker at its Executive Overview and other articles around the web, but I will offer some highlights and an example. Some of its features are:

    • AppLocker can enforce four different kinds of rules. The first is applications (.exe), which I’m focusing on in this article. However, in addition to applications, AppLocker can also block scripts (.ps1, .bat, .cmd, .vbs, and .js), installer files (.msi, .msp), and even libraries (.dll, .ocx).
    • You can configure AppLocker to either enforce the rules you define and block applications from running, or just audit events that break your rules to review in Event Viewer. Audit mode can be especially useful during testing, but can also be used to monitor undesired activity remotely.
    • AppLocker rules can be pushed down by Group Policy in a domain environment; however, they can also be applied individually to a device through Local Group Policy, even if the device is not in a domain environment or even connected to a network.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Service Packs in Windows Embedded Standard 7

    *Updated 3/25/10- removed section "Types of Service Packs" , added section "Service Packs and Distribution Share"*

    This article discusses Service Packs and how they will be used in Windows Embedded Standard 7.

    What is a Service Pack?

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