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Anybody have advice on Windows Embedded?

I normally sell a turnkey package with hardware and my software pre-installed and configured, but since it's just Dell computers with standard XP Pro I typically end up butting heads with the customers' IT people who insist on installing their monitoring and update crapware, and often re-configure everything to conform to their "policies" (which sometimes breaks my system).

Windows Embedded seems like the solution -- what should I look out for? Or is it pretty simple to install and configure?
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Windows XP/Vista Embedded can indeed help you, but it requires much more of an investment from you in terms of configuration effort. You have to decide what services go on board; that's not as easy at it sounds. And from what you say about "IT policies" breaking your system, I suspect that you might have problems with a vanilla Embedded solution as well.

I suggest you do some more work on getting your system to work in restrictive environments, or at least get a very clear set of requirements for your system to work (does the user running the system have to be local administrator, what services need to be running, what is your policy about service packs, etc.).  Doing this will not only help in keeping your system running the way it is packaged now, but also help to create a good embedded profile if you choose to go that direction.

We live in interesting times; no solution is truly turnkey any more. My dang phone complains about the settings on my router.
Raj Chaudhuri Send private email
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
> Windows Embedded seems like the solution

Why not linux and sell it as an appliance? They won't mess with you then.
son of parnas
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I feel your pain - I spent the morning on the phone to a customer where an embedded control PC supplied by us had stopped working with our equipement.
Light finally dawned with the words 'our IT dept installed Novel on it'
Martin Send private email
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
BOFH's are the bane of development.  Consider it an arms race.  What do you think SOAP was all about anyway?
B. Afraid
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Windows XP Embedded is actually pretty cool.  It can be simple or complicated, depending on what you want to do with it.

Windows XP Embedded is just Windows XP, but you *pick and choose* which OS components to use.  You do this through a Visual Studio-like environment called Target Designer.

It will let you run a utility on an existing Windows XP system to autogenerate a list of hardware drivers that you will need, and it will add them to your target.

Once you are ready, you hit "build", and it will build you an XP image to your liking.  All in all, it took me less than a week to build an optimized installation for a kiosk system that I was building.

If you have the time, you can check it out (I think the trial is free).  It would definitely do what you want, since it would make it really hard from sysadmins to install their crapware on your system if they don't have the right libraries to do so :)
Sunday, June 17, 2007

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