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Probably the second most common question I get from people starting to use XP Embedded is "Why can't I update my Embedded runtime directly from the Windows Update web site?" (the first question I get is "Are you Windows CE?" <grin>). Here are some of the reasons I respond with.
Windows Update has no knowledge of Embedded as an OS platform, therefore there is no built-in logic to assess what features (and files) are present on the runtime. This means that Windows Update would blindly push down all security updates that were not already present on the runtime, whether they were appropriate or not. There are a number of reasons why this is a scary scenario:
Windows update packages include a payload that contains previous versions of files, which facilitates "roll-back" to a previous version of a file if the updated one causes a problem. This has footprint implications, because the install packages may be bigger than desired on an Embedded device. Also, XP Embedded does not support Add/Remove, so it would not support rolling back to a previous version.
XP Embedded does not have Windows File Protection. This means there is nothing to prevent the updated version of a file from overwriting the original one and causing other applications and features to break because of versions incompatibility.
Applying unnecessary updates to the device could cause it to run out of disk or memory space and to crash- having your Embedded device "blue-screen" in the field is not on any customer's wish list.
Ultimately the owner of the image would lose all control of that image, and not be able to reliably see what state it was in
Comments Product Updates
Posted By John BoladianMarketing Director, Asia Pacific & Greater China
Hi I’m John Boladian, this is my first entry here on the Windows Embedded Blog, so it’s probably worth introducing myself. I’ve lived in Asia for 14 years now, 7 with Microsoft and 5 in Taipei, arguably one of the technology capitals of the world. Each year industry leaders from around the world come to Taipei to discuss new products and look at ways of growing their business. Computex has rapidly become the largest ICT show in the world, with embedded technologies taking more mindshare year upon year.
Computex 2012 has come to a close, and there were quite a few highlights from this year worth spending some time looking through a little more closely.
This is the first time a car manufacturer has used Computex as a way to introduce a new car – one that uses its technology as a competitive advantage. Ford Motor Company introduced its first ever car with Sync for Taiwan, powered by Microsoft technology. With in-car upgradeable software, never again will you buy a car that starts its techno-redundancy the minute it leaves the showroom floor. Instead, a short trip to the dealer or even an owner-upgradeable solution enables the car to stay up to date with new technologies and devices, such as Bluetooth standards and profiles or new handsets. Ford is positioning themselves as a technology company and partnering with Microsoft gives them a chance to do this.
Comments Windows Embedded Standard
Posted By Phillip CaveSoftware 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]
In this post, we hear from Principal Program Manager Phillip Cave, who has spent years practicing Agile and acting as a consultant for those trying to transition to Agile. When Phil’s not moving folks toward Scrum, Kanban, or other Lean methodologies, he enjoys sharing stories at conferences such as Agile West. Phil has consulted at Microsoft and many other organizations large and small for the past 8 years. He has a passion for helping others see the pragmatic application of Lean thinking and recognizes that successful transformations are carried out by teams that see the opportunity and embrace change. When not following his passion to help teams, Phil enjoys the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a variety of activity from rowing crew to hiking the back country.
This is just the first of a series of blog posts on Agile. For each of the headings below, Phil will spend some more time in the future fleshing them out and giving us more detail.
Company transformations take time and energy. People are asked to move from one location to another intellectually. Moving is not always easy for some. Some love to move, to explore, to try new things, the author of this blog entry falls into that camp; others not so much and still more others are ambivalent.
This is the (short) story of the transformation taking place in the Windows Embedded group within Microsoft. The journey began as all journeys do; someone spoke up about not being satisfied with the status quo in the delivery of product solutions. Our ability to respond to the changing market place and the changing landscape in technology towards devices makes us think of how we deliver business value quickly. People with experience in the transformation heard that voice and thus the transformation was born. A consultant with experience was hired and combined with the internal team members the transformation took root.
Comments Intelligent Systems
Posted By Robert Peterson Sr. Product Manager
Welcome to the ‘new’ Windows Embedded Products and Services section of the Windows Embedded team blog.
As a quick introduction, I’m Robert Peterson, Sr. Product Manager in the Windows Embedded team. My team focuses on bringing new products and services to market around the world. This blog will cover the many ways our products and services are in the market.
Air travel can be great, well I am told it can be, and most of us have favorite stories about going through airports. Like you I often get frustrated at long lines and delays and try to avoid them. I thought about how I could have less hassle and realized there are lots of devices that make getting in and out of the airport so much smoother that we don’t even think about. On my last trip I decided to calculate how much time all those devices could save me:
I needed to check in (yes, I could have done this online but that would ruin the story); I used a Kiosk to check in at the entry of the airport as the lines were longer with the agents. If this Kiosk wasn’t working it would have taken me another 10 minutes to check in. Time saved: 10 min
Posted By J.T. KimbellProgram Manager
Over the next week we’re going to have a small series highlighting various Lockdown features on Windows Embedded Standard 8. In this first post Kevin Asgari gives us an overview of the Lockdown and Branding features found in Windows Embedded Standard 8. Kevin is a Writer for the Windows Embedded team and in his spare time enjoys reading, skiing, visiting wineries, and spending time with family.
Windows Embedded Standard provides a building block version of the Windows operating system, enabling you to create a smaller, customized version of Windows by removing functionality that your device does not need. In addition, Windows Embedded Standard provides additional functionality for embedded devices that is not available in the full Windows OS. In Windows Embedded Standard 7 and earlier, we called these new features “embedded enabling features”, or EEFs for short.
However, “embedded enabling features” is not a very descriptive term. In Windows Embedded Standard 8, we now call these features lockdown and branding features.
Lockdown features enable you to provide a controlled device experience, mainly by limiting the ways in which an end user can interact with the device. For example, your device may be a dedicated cashier device that runs a full screen cashier application, and you may want to prevent users from being able to use Windows shortcut keys like Alt+Tab to switch out of the application, or Alt+4 to close the application.
Branding features enable you to hide or change many of the parts of the OS that identify it as a Windows product. You may want the devices your company produces to show only your company’s branding to your customers for better brand recognition, or you may want to hide the underlying OS so that end users are less likely to try to break out of the tailored device experience.