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Posted By J.T. KimbellProgram 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.
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:
Also related to those improvements is the new Automatic Maintenance functionality. This allows system maintenance and updates to happen intelligently when the PC is not in use. This improves the user experience on the device and also reduces power consumption. For example, all activities that are part of Automatic Maintenance will stop within 2 seconds of user activity on the system. Automatic maintenance can run in two different modes:
To learn how to create or add a task to Automatic Maintenance, please see this link for XML and this for C code.
If there are any service packs for Windows 8, there will also be a service pack released for Windows Embedded Standard 8 at the same time. There are three differences between the Windows service pack and the one that’s release for Embedded:
In Windows Embedded Standard 7, many customers have noticed that their device footprint will increase over time. This is a result of servicing files remaining on the system after installation, previous updates remaining on the system, and from unused system files. In Windows 8, customers will be able to combat this with scavenging of the contents of the Windows side-by-side store. This can be done via the Disk Cleanup Utility or by running the following DISM command:
Dism /online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
For Windows Embedded Standard 8, Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU) is the best way for developers to keep their toolkit up-to-date and ensure all devices they create are secure and robust. By using WEDU, developers can include the latest Windows updates in their toolkit, download updates to modules and the catalog, and receive updates to the toolkit.
Windows Embedded Developer Update is a single application through which user can find the latest updates for Windows Embedded development environments. By utilizing the Microsoft Update service, Windows Embedded Developer Update provides an easy and reliable way to update the distribution shares, catalogs on your computer and across the network.
Key features of WEDU for Windows Embedded developers:
Update for Windows 7 – Resolves a Windows Media Center 7 for systems configured for ISDB broadcasts
Windows Genuine Advantage Notification Application
Definition Update for Windows Defender
Definition Update for Microsoft Forefront Client Security
Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool
Update for Windows 7
Windows Vista Service Pack 1
Office 2003 Service Pack 3
Microsoft .Net 4 Client Profile for Windows 7
Update for Windows 7 – Install this update to prevent unexpected shutdowns or bluescreens when you are using a USB video device
Update for Windows 7 – A performance and functionality update
1.Helps address security or privacy vulnerabilities,
2.Provide reliability or compatibility updates for sever problems such as blue screens and crashes,
3.Provide new or improved security or privacy features,
4.Provide updated definitions or signatures used by the anti-spyware or anti-malware software that helps protect your PC,
5.Enable playback of media content such as movies or music which have been protected by the copyright owners,
6.Help detect counterfeit Microsoft software
1.Provide reliability or compatibility updates that may address non-critical problems,
2.Improve content in areas such as help files
3.Upgrade or add a new feature to the Windows operating system,
4.Upgrade or add a new feature to software you’ve previously installed (Microsoft Update only)
1.Upgrade or provide new, free, or trial Windows software.
2.Upgrade or provide new, free, or trial Microsoft software (Microsoft Update only).
3.Provide drivers & the associated software that supports device functionality.