Windows Embedded 8 Standard (WE8S)

Windows Embedded 8 Standard delivers all the power, familiarity, and reliability of the Windows 8 operating system in a componentized form for developers to create advanced commercial and consumer devices running thousands of existing Windows applications and drivers.

Unleash the power of Windows 8 technologies in Windows Embedded 8 Standard using a solid platform that fits into existing customer infrastructure.

The Windows Embedded 8 Standard includes over 150 different feature packages and over 500 driver packages that can be selected by the developer to include only the functionality and device drivers that are relevant to the embedded device giving greater control and flexibility in controlling the functionality.

Microsoft Windows Embedded 8 Standard is the operating system and development platform that delivers the power of the Windows operating system in componentized form to enable you to rapidly build reliable and advanced Embedded devices. Specifically, it’s comprised of three things:

  • It’s a componentized version of Microsoft Windows 8 – meaning you have the ability to select which Windows 8 features to implement in your device. You can choose out of 120 components to build your own Windows 8.
  • Over and above the Windows 8 features, it includes embedded specific features, such as the ability to run headless, diskless, and boot from flash, USB or CD/DVD.
  • To bring these features together, Microsoft provides a toolkit called the ICE (Image Configuration Editor) that enables you to build customized operating systems. The Windows Embedded 8 Standard image can alo be created easily by the installation wizard.

Find here an Overview Datasheet about Microsoft Embedded 8 Standard.

New in Windows Embedded 8 Standard

What’s New in Windows Embedded 8 Standard

New Components and Tools

  • Windows Multi Touch
  • Windows RT Framework
  • Modern Style User Interface (optional)
  • EFI / UEFI support (Secure Boot, UEFI Write Filters)
  • BranchCache
  • AppLocker
  • VHD Boot
  • Direct Acess (i.e. VPN channeling)
  • Sensor and Location Platform
  • Faster Boot Time
  • Improved Power Management (i.e. Core Parking)
  • VDI Remote Desktop
  • Bitlocker To Go

Development Process

Windows Embedded 8 Standard allows for application compatibility by containing the following utilities that simplify and streamline the entire development process.

The whole process is installation .wim file based. The developer can run through the installation wizard or generate an unattend.xml file for a keyless installation. There is no Target Designer or First Boot Agent (FBA) like in Windows Embedded Standard 2009 / XP Embedded any more.

WE8S Development Process

Image Based Wizard (IBW)

A wizard based tool that allows for rapid prototyping of images and provides the quickest way to install a customized image on a device. this is the same wizard as known from Windows 8 Professional or Enterprise but there are some extra chooser for all feature packs included:

WE8S Image Based Editor 1
WE8S Image Based Editor 2
WE8S Image Based Editor 3

Image Configuration Editor (ICE)

The Image Configuration Editor helps you build, develop, and customize embedded runtime images, with the ability to save the configuration into a unattend.xml file. this file can be used to the standard installation file for a keyless installation.

Time-saving features include:

  • Footprint Estimator Tool - Calculate the impact that adding certain components and component dependencies will have on the footprint of a runtime image.
  • Dependency checking - Determine the right dependencies based on the packages chosen for an image.
  • Advanced package browsing - Easily find desirable features using multiple tree views and customizable filters. Also includes an intuitive drag-and-drop user interface of selected features and automated dependency-checking and issues list.
  • Advanced search functionality - Quickly find the packages and settings you need to build your ideal image. Search for packages by package name, specific binary name, or associated metadata.
WE8S Image Configurator Editor 1
WE8S Image Configurator Editor 2
WE8S Image Configurator Editor 3

Other Design Tools

Module Designer
Now its possible to create your own .cab file installer packages to include into the ICE toolkit environment and let the packages install over the DISM toolset.

Static Dependency Analyzer
Automatically analyze third-party applications to determine which packages are required to ensure your application works correctly.

Target Analyzer
Detects the hardware configuration on your target device and automatically maps drivers to the detected hardware so that your image only contains the drivers you need.

Package Scanner
Allows developers to easily determine which updates are applicable to your image. This is helpful for devices which are not connected to a networked servicing infrastructure.

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)
Advanced command line servicing tool which allows developers to apply updates and configure runtimes.

Device Templates
Use available templates that make the creation of the devices simpler and easier. Allows developers to quick start the image creation process using a standardized template that includes the most common features required for the device type.

Windows Embedded 8 Standard Key Features

Key Facts

Description

Low Cost

Low upfront capital investment through free evaluation tools, free development tools and lower licensing costs than the full version of Windows 8.

Processor Architectures

Because Windows Embedded 8 Standard is based on the same binary than Windows 8, the processor support is the same. All x86 32-bit and 64-bit processors starting with 1GHz are supported.

Modular

More than 150 components and over 500 driver packages to select.

Small Footprint

The embedded core componten use around 860MB of the footprint. Normal industrial Windows Embedded 8 Standard devices use around 1GB - 2 GB, a full featured build around 4 GB. The application is not included.

Reliability

Special functionalities for embedded devices are included. You can make your system read-only with the File Based Write Filter (FBWF). You can switch off the device safely without shutting down Windows.
Also booting from read-only medias is supported as well as from flash and from USB devices.
Visit the secured download section for a document about the Embedded Enabling Features (EEF).

Time-To-Market

Windows Embedded 8 Standard provides embedded developers with a unified set of tools to build and deploy customized Windows 8 devices.

Industrial Standard

Windows Embedded 8 Standard interoperates with industry standards and existing Microsoft desktop and server technologies to help you create differentiated devices for a broad range of device categories, from commercial devices to consumer electronics products. Microsoft committed to a ten-year extended support for Windows Embedded 8 Standard.

Latest Technology

Internet Explorer 10, Windows Media Player 12, Remote Desktop Protocol, .net Framework 4.5 are included.

Application Development

All applications and drivers from Windows 8 will work on Windows Embedded 8 Standard. No rewriting or porting is necessary.