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Posted By Jeff WettlauferSr. Technical Product Marketing Manager
Hi everyone. Last week, we achieved a major milestone within the Windows teams: the RTM of Windows 8.1 for both Windows and Windows Embedded platforms. In this post, I would like to share with you some technical highlights with the new release of Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry, and talk about some of the key elements that are new from a technical perspective.
It is important to first note a big change for Windows Embedded: In the past, the Embedded versions of Windows, right up to the 8 wave, were released a short period of time after the RTM of Windows Client. With the release of 8.1, Windows Embedded is aligned at an engineering level that not only effects timing of release, but the code base. Windows Embedded 8.1 is now built fully on Windows Client with Embedded features added (think of Embedded as a superset of capabilities over Client), and also on the same dates.
This alignment spans several levels of the stack. The hardware and OS stack are much more closely aligned than ever before, bringing better consistency for drivers and chipsets. Above the OS stack, we have integration with other infrastructure, such as identity (think AD) and development, deployment and management tools (Visual Studio x, System Center, Windows ADK and more) and at an app layer (with some API support for modern apps and industry specific peripherals). Finally, this alignment is more cloud-enabled than ever before, supporting smart, connected scenarios and services for edge devices.
Comments Product Updates
The September 2012 Optional Updates are now available on the ECE site for Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Embedded POSReady 7.
The list below applies to Windows Embedded Standard 7 and Windows Embedded Standard 7 SP1:
The list below applies to Windows Embedded POSReady 7:
As mentioned in the blog articles “Image Builder Wizard – Quick and Easy Embedded OS Creation – Part 1” written by Robert and “BitLocker in Windows Embedded Standard 2011” written by Hema – the BitLocker feature requires two partitions. The first partition is a system partition contains the BCD (Boot Configuration Data) store and remains unencrypted. The second partition is the partition that contains Windows, programs, etc and can be encrypted. IBW does a good job in ensuring that the user is required to partition with a separate system partition if the user has added the BitLocker feature. It is able to do that because it has an awareness of whether the feature is added by the user.
What’s the “Gotcha” you may ask? Well, during Mass Deployment scenarios, such as using WDS or IBW to deploy a custom WIM, the disk partitioning dialog has no awareness of whether the BitLocker feature is in the image. That means that it is possible under these circumstances to create a system with the BitLocker feature and only have one partition. This is not a supported setup for BitLocker and the feature will not enable or allow the Windows partition to become encrypted.
As PC users & developers, we are faced with situations where we want to save the current state of the operating system along with its applications. One such situation is when developers have to reproduce a bug in the system/application that is hard to recreate or that occurs only occasionally. The Snapshot feature in Hyper-V is a developer’s dream in this regard- capable of saving the current state of the OS and its applications. Later, a dev can choose to restore to the saved state as many times as possible to work on the hard-to-create OS/Application state.
PC users & developers can now play with installing different applications, tweaking some system settings, editing the registry and easily go back to the previous state of the OS with the cool snapshot feature.
Here are a few scenarios where snapshots are quite handy for Windows Embedded Standard 2011 Developers:
Mass deployment is the process of creating a master Windows Embedded Standard 7 runtime image on a reference system and then deploying this image to multiple target systems. The deployment process typically uses specific tools such as System Preparation tool (sysprep.exe) and Imagex.exe as well as Windows PE Environment to perform the following tasks:
- Generalize the master system by removing machine specific information
- Capture the system into a Windows image (wim) file