July, 2012

Introducing Microsoft
Azure Intelligent
Systems Service
How big data
creates new
marketing options
for retailers
Enabling productivity
with the
Internet of Things
Innovate data management
With Windows Server R2
for Embedded Systems



  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Optimizing Performance and Power in Windows Embedded Compact 7

    Posted By David Campbell
    Program Manager

    Doug Boling recently hosted one of his regular webcasts on Optimizing performance and power on Windows Embedded Compact 7 and has graciously provided me with a companion article. Thanks Doug! There’s more information later in the article about how you can sign up for these webcasts so please do join us for the monthly sessions.

    Embedded hardware is slow. It’s designed that way. Unlike Personal Computers which are sold to customers who are dazzled by high gigahertz numbers and massive hard disks, embedded customers buy a widget that does something. If the widget does something well that’s all that matters, so the manufacturer of that widget is going to use the slowest (and often least expensive) hardware possible to implement that widget. This is one requirement that makes embedded software so challenging to write. Embedded software must have great performance so that the hardware can be as inexpensive as possible.

    In this blog post, I will review some of the techniques for system design that can improve performance, and as a consequence, the power consumption of a system. I’ll also cover some lower level application driver characteristics that can lower power consumption directly.


    Comments Windows Embedded Compact

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Updating Your Windows Embedded Standard 8 Devices

    Posted By J.T. Kimbell
    Program Manager

    When thinking about the newest features or the things that may excite you about the next Windows Embedded release, servicing may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, as many of you know, servicing and managing your devices comprises a huge part of their lifecycle and cost. We realize this as well in the Windows Embedded team and strive to make the servicing and update experience as simple as possible for Windows Embedded Standard 8. In many ways, this means making the experience as close as possible to the Windows 8 servicing experience.

    Changes to Windows Update Experience

    In Windows Embedded Standard 7, all updates to Windows were applicable to Windows Embedded, but only security updates appeared through Windows Update. Additionally, those security updates were packaged separately from the Windows security updates. As such, they would appear in the IT administrator’s consoles separately as “Security Update for Windows 7” and “Security Update for Windows Embedded Standard 7” even though they contained the same payload.

    For Windows Embedded 8, all update types will be available through Windows Update (with the exception of service packs) and these will be packaged together with the updates release for Windows 8, meaning less clutter in the IT admin’s console. To learn more about the nine different update types, please see the appendix below.

    Also, several changes have been made to Windows 8 that will also improve the Windows Update experience for Embedded customers. As described in this blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog, there will be less disruptive reboots due to Windows Updates, which is being achieved in a handful of ways:

    1. Updates will only cause a reboot when security updates are downloaded during the 2nd week of each month, regardless of when these other updates that require a reboot were downloaded
    2. Required update notifications will no longer appear as a popup or “toast”, but instead the notification will appear on the logon screen
    3. The computer will not restart if there’s the potential to lose data


    Comments Products in Development

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Embedded Agility - Define Small Customer Experiences

    Posted By Phillip Cave
    Software Development Engineer

    [UPDATE from J.T. (7/30/12) - Phil has now become a blogger on the site and I've moved this post to his page]

    Last month Phil Cave provided us with an overview of Agile software development in Windows Embedded and set the table for some great follow-up posts. In this post Phil dives deeper into defining small customer based experiences. In my opinion, he did so masterfully and I hope you find it as insightful as I did.

    The introduction to this series on “Embedded Agility” summarized the transition and ongoing transformation of Windows Embedded to a delivery model based in Lean thinking. That first post outlined 3 basic tenets:

    1. Define small customer based experiences (user stories)
    2. Make all these experiences visible within the execution process in which they are delivered
    3. Manage the work in process of those experiences

    This blog post begins a deeper dive into the topic of defining small experiences. This first principle has a profound implication on flipping our approach from technology layers to business value slices of functionality. Instead of creating a very large batch of user stories and treating them as if they are exactly the same, defining these customer experiences requires communicating in terms of the business and customer to define value as they would experience it; and then delivering those slices of business functionality incrementally.

    Our business partners and customers focus on the experience of the device they are using. Yes, they expect a certain acceptable performance of the device as part of that experience and that performance is in relation to the experience of using features. The road to business agility begins with understanding what is of value and what is not. This includes the software features we deliver as well as the system in which we deliver those software features. Our customers understand this and communicate this way.

    We deliver experiences. We deliver capabilities to fulfill experiences. Windows Embedded creates and delivers software that does both. The Auto team directly creates user experiences when delivering the Sync product to Ford. The Cassini and Compact teams create platforms upon which others may develop experiences. The creation of those platforms provides experiences (or ability to create experiences) to our partners who use the platforms.

    Examine the picture below to see a visual representation of the experiences and capabilities of which I write. The Agile world of execution labels these experiences as “user stories”. The systems model on the left represents building out our software in one large batch of experiences. The systems model on the right represents building out our software by incrementally delivering smaller batches of experiences.


    Comments Intelligent Systems

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    The Intern Perspective: Jordan Goldberg

    Posted By J.T. Kimbell
    Program Manager

    Just four years ago I got the chance to spend a summer as a Microsoft intern, which was an absolutely fantastic experience. This summer we have quite a few interns getting a similar experience on Windows Embedded. Jordan Goldberg’s post is the first in a series of blogs from those interns to let you learn more about their experiences, their projects for Windows Embedded, and Microsoft’s culture. We hope you enjoy reading about their experiences!

    Hello World! My name is Jordan, and I am an intern here on the Windows Embedded team. Today I would like to share the experience I have had here at Microsoft and how I’ve been given the opportunity to make an impact with my work. To start, let me introduce myself. I grew up in the “Great White North” -- Canada, or more specifically, the town of Caledon which is slightly Northwest of Toronto. I am currently completing my undergraduate degree in Computer Science at the University of Guelph and my interests range from playing guitar to practicing parkour to developing mobile and web solutions. This summer I have had the extreme pleasure of moving to the West Coast to complete an internship with Microsoft! For the past 8 weeks I have been working on developing a Windows Debugger Extension for the new Unified Write Filters feature in Embedded Standard 8; but I will delve more into this experience later.

    Experience at Microsoft

    Life here at Microsoft has been nothing short of remarkable. In the short time that I have been here Microsoft has announced the innovative Xbox Smart Glass platform, unveiled the highly anticipated Windows Phone 8 and revealed the ultra-secret Microsoft Surface; I can proudly say that I am working for one of the most exciting tech companies in the world! On top of this, the Redmond campus is absolutely breathtaking. Being surrounded by snowcapped mountains, green vegetation and sprawling forests makes the commute to work each day a treat. And with a population of over 40,000 Microsofties, the campus feels more like a city than a corporate headquarters!


    Comments Windows Embedded Standard

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Microsoft and Ford look further

    Posted By Chris Elliott
    Senior Marketing Communications Manager

    Go Further with Ford Trend Conference is becoming an annual pilgrimage for journalists and bloggers interested in learning more about Ford, its business plans, and its newest model lineup. This event at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan attracts hundreds of journalists from all over North America to learn about the company and its cars, including the technology Ford uses in its products and its plans for its technological future. And we had the opportunity to share our vision for the connected car with attendees.

    It’s not very often the Ford Motor Company opens its top secret testing facility for media to not only get a peek at the facilities, but also to experience firsthand some of the brand’s latest offerings. And this rare treat was not lost on the event’s participants. To make the experience even more special for its guests Ford created various stations and courses to showcase the new Mustang and its All-American muscle; get a ride in a police interceptor with a professional driver behind the wheel; experience the surprising off-the-line torque of an electric car; and participate in a tech relay race that featured self-parking cars and automatic lift gates.

    And, lest I forget, the off-road thrill ride that challenges the senses while testing one’s notion of what a truck can do in the dirt when in the hands of a slightly crazed professional driver. The truck? The exciting 2013 Ford Raptor.

    This year, Bill Ford Jr. kicked off the event and discussed with the audience the company’s global vision of what Ford is doing with its advance technology research. Bill’s concerned about the planet, its population of people and how best to prevent things like 100 mile traffic jams from happening again in developing countries. He also sees how the millions of bits of information that are being generated daily by automobiles on the road can be used to help conserve fuel, reduce pollution and even stress in our daily lives.


    Comments Intelligent Systems

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