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From the monthly archives: January 2013

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Why should I use an Embedded Operating System on an Embedded Device?

This is a good question when it comes from people with no experience on embedded devices and a very bad one when you hear it coming from people that work on embedded devices. “I’m using a PC inside my embedded device, so I can use Windows as I use it on my PC” this is usually a statement made by people who actually design bad embedded devices. And those devices are not bad because they use a PC-based hardware (using a PC may be a good solution for some kind of devices where developing a custom board is too expensive and does not provide any real advantage in terms of cost), not because they use Windows. It’s because they use a Windows version designed for PCs, and so they behave like a PC and not like an embedded device! A PC has always a user taking care of it (or calling for help when something goes wrong beyond his recovery capabilities!), an embedded device must run unattended. Users don’t want or even can’t interact with it. It must be able to solve its own issues and, at least, report errors by itse ...

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Using SYSPREP in Windows Embedded Standard 7

Using Windows Embedded Standard 7 you can quickly build an Operating System configuration that support your hardware and include only the components required to run your application. Being able to customize the set of packages that are included in your image has multiple advantages: - reduced footprint (you’ll save storage and memory giving more resources to your application) - improved security (some services may have bugs that allows remote exploits and can become a security issue, removing them if they are not needed on your device will improve security) - improved reliability (less code, less bugs ). In Windows Embedded Standard 7 you can generate a set-up DVD or thumbdrive that can be used to install the operating system and your application on a target machine. Doing a full setup on each device could be a suitable solution, but it has some drawbacks. Setup may take a long time and may require some user interaction, some components may need to be installed or configured after the main OS setup etc ...

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