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Windows Embedded Compact

Windows Embedded Compact

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    New Board Support Packages available for Windows Embedded Compact 2013

    Posted by Colin Murphy
    Product Marketing Manager, Windows Embedded

    To BSP or not to BSP: That is the question! Okay, maybe not so much. You need a BSP, or Board Support Package, if you are going to make a small-footprint device, even a “virtual device” and, as such, Windows Embedded Compact 2013 hits the ground running with three BSPs in the box:

    1. CEPC or “Compact Embedded Personal Computer” allows for the creation of a Compact-based device on both real and virtual PC hardware. Find out more about this BSP here.
    2. G-Series from AMD is an x86 processor based platform from AMD, and I have an AMDY-7002 to play with, myself. To find out more about this BSP, you can find its particulars right beside the CEPC in MSDN here.
    3. OMAP 4470 from Texas Instruments works with a super-cool developer kit called the Blaze 2 Tablet and I am also lucky enough to have one in my possession that will not be given up without a fight! This BSP is also documented close by the other two here.

    While these are great BSPs, Windows Embedded Compact relies on its partners to fill out the BSP landscape and enable even more hardware options.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Windows Embedded Compact 7 achieves important security certification

    Posted By Colin Murphy
    Product Marketing Manager, Windows Embedded

    Wouldn’t you like robust security to protect your data communication from malicious intent? Well, of course you would, and most government and military organizations require Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 protection to secure highly sensitive data communications. FIPS is essentially a series of standards and mandates for U.S. government agencies and supporting contractors. In many cases, if your device or service is not FIPS compliant/certified, then the government agency can’t use it. This also applies to other business enterprises in financial, healthcare and manufacturing industries that also need FIPS 140-2 to safeguard their informational assets and comply with government regulations.

    The good news for small-footprint devices based on Windows Embedded Compact 7 is that they are now FIPS 140-2 certified. Windows Embedded Compact 7 has achieved Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 Level 1 certification from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Level 1 validation is the highest level of certification allowed for software-only products.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Windows Embedded Compact 2013 Online Documentation Updates for July & August 2013

    Posted By Windows Embedded Team

    The July and August 2013 updates for the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 online documentation are now live on MSDN and CodePlex.

    These updates include the following highlights:

    • New developer guides:
      • Use the Sample Virtual Device (provided with Platform Builder) - Explains how to use a virtual device for Compact 2013 development.
      • Web Server - Explains how to use the Web Server to monitor, configure and remotely control a Compact 2013 device.
    • New sample applications and walkthroughs:
    • New Code Samples node
      • A new Code Samples node has been added to the Compact 2013 MSDN online documentation to highlight the sample applications that are shipped with Compact 2013 or posted on CodePlex.
    • Other updates:
      • The Tools table of contents was restructured.
      • Bug fixes and clarifications

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Creating a custom shell in Compact 2013

    Posted By Colin Murphy
    Technical Program Manager, Microsoft’s Windows Embedded

    The shell you say! What is a shell, anyway? Typically a shell application manages the base user interface of the system including access to applications and files and the ability to configure the system. In the case of an embedded device, a typical multi-function desktop shell is overkill, taking up way too much space and requiring far more overhead than a purpose-driven embedded device wants or needs.

    With that in mind, one of the most noticeable changes to Window Embedded Compact 2013 is the removal of the large and dated Windows 95-style shell. The Compact team was quite torn on this decision; on the one hand, it was an excellent developer tool-- easy to launch files, everyone knew how to use it--but when that same shell appears on your refrigerator, digital sign or vending machine, people were not as impressed by its versatility. Enter MinShell. This new Compact shell offers a much smaller feature set. It is basically an application launcher that can be customized to launch any application. For developers, it comes preset to launch “CMD.EXE,” a DOS command processor, so you can copy and launch applications as needed. But MinShell is designed, and begs to be, replaced.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    The hard and soft facts behind ‘real time’

    Posted By Colin Murphy
    Technical Program Manager, Microsoft’s Windows Embedded

    We’re excited by the prospects for Windows Embedded Compact 2013. Developers have been actively downloading the full toolkit since Microsoft announced the general availability in June. In a post to this blog at the time, I shared details about the GA including a look some of the newest tools like Microsoft Platform Builder and Application Builder.

    Today, I’m following up on my promise in the blog post to take a look at what it means to be real time and how that transfers to the expectation of real-time support on an embedded device. First, What do we mean when we say “hard real time” vs. “soft real time”? A hard real time statement refers to true determinism, or the ability of a system to meet a specified deadline for a task or process. A soft real time system may still offer a certain level of determinism but won’t promise to meet a deadline. Basically, a system that claims to be hard real time will fail to truly be so if it misses a deadline for a task or process.

    A real-world version of a soft deadline would be “Let’s get coffee around 4pm.” while a hard deadline would be “Let’s catch the train at 4pm”. The coffee shop is likely still serving coffee after 4pm so you can sit and have coffee with your friend even if you’re a few minutes late, but the train has likely left and your friend is waiting for you and fuming on the train platform as you arrive late. As there is probably not another train for quite some time, I hope there is a nice coffee shop in the train station!

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