Embedded Operating Systems & Imaging Services

Steatite are a Windows Embedded Gold Partner

What is Windows Embedded?

Windows Embedded is a range of Microsoft operating systems that are designed for use on fixed function PCs. The range is split into three distinct areas, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded Enterprise and Windows Embedded Server.

Windows Embedded Standard is the range of operating systems that most people will think of when you say ‘Windows Embedded’. Windows Embedded Standard operating systems can be heavily customised to suit the particular needs of the embedded system you are building, including the removal of superfluous Windows functionality, resulting in a more efficient system. It also includes additional technologies that are designed to make the embedded system more reliable and easier to manage.

  • Enhanced Write Filter (EWF) – The EWF write-protects an entire partition, preventing O/S corruption if system power is lost
  • Componentised O/S - Include only the Windows features required to support your application
  • No Windows Activation – This makes it very easy to deploy Windows Embedded Standard across multiple systems
  • Device Update Agent (DUA) – DUA gives you a mechanism to update your embedded devices without the need for user interaction 
  • Hibernate-Once, Resume-Many (HORM) – HORM allows your system to boot quickly to the same predefined state every time
  • Reduced Licence Cost – Compared with the equivalent ‘desktop’ O/S, a WES licence is more cost effective

Windows Embedded Standard 2009 is based on the tried and tested Windows XP code base. It will be supported by Microsoft until 2019

Windows Embedded Standard 7 is based on the popular Windows 7 desktop O/S. Microsoft support will continue until at least 2020

Windows Embedded Enterprise covers the more traditional ‘desktop’ operating systems that we use every day, such as Windows XP and Windows 7. They are technically identical to their OEM counterparts, but there are a couple of major advantages. Firstly, they are available to purchase for a minimum of 10 years from launch, meaning we can still supply old timers such as Windows XP Pro and even Windows 2000. Secondly, an embedded licence allows for worldwide shipping of the device, whereas an OEM licence restricts you to shipment within the territory where the licence was purchased. This also applies to devices using Embedded Standard and Embedded Server operating systems.

Windows Embedded Server is a huge range of server operating systems that includes legacy versions such as Windows Server 2003, as well as the latest versions available through the standard OEM and retail channels. Windows Embedded Server operating systems can offer some distinct advantages over OEM, including industry specific versions, reduced CAL requirements and reduced licence requirements when building a virtual server.

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Why should I use a Windows Embedded operating system?

  • Worldwide shipment – A system based on a Windows Embedded O/S can be shipped worldwide, whereas systems based on Windows OEM can only be shipped within the territory where the licence was originally purchased.
  • 10+ year availability – All Windows Embedded operating systems are available for a minimum of 10 years from launch
  • Customisation – All Windows Embedded operating systems can be customised to suit the needs of your specific project
  • Cost effective – Certain Windows Embedded SKUs offer a significant cost advantage over their OEM counterparts. Particularly Windows Embedded Server, SQL Server and Windows Embedded Standard

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How can Steatite help?

Steatite can design a custom Windows Embedded image to meet the specific requirements of your project. Whether you are building an embedded computer for data capture, or a rack-mount server to run an SQL database, we can build a Windows Embedded image to suit.

Having offered Windows Embedded solutions since 2006 and delivered 100s of projects over that time, our Microsoft certified engineers allow us to build an embedded operating system to meet the most demanding of applications.

In recognition of our technical capabilities, Steatite was awarded Microsoft Windows Embedded Gold Partner status in 2008, one of only a handful in the UK, and has been a gold partner ever since.

Steatite Windows Embedded Gold Partner Profile

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Which Operating System is right for you?

Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems Microsoft Windows XP Professional for Embedded Systems is only available through Microsoft Authorized Embedded Distributors such as Steatite until 2016. Windows XP Pro for Embedded Systems contains the same software components and operates identically to Windows XP Pro. Windows XP Pro for Embedded Systems has licensing restrictions which restrict its use to an embedded solution. Windows XP Pro is used for general purpose PC’s whilst Windows XP Pro for Embedded Systems is used for embedded systems such as ATM’s, kiosks, medical devices and industrial controllers.

Windows 7 Professional Unless otherwise stated in the product literature, Windows 7 Professional is the Operating System supplied on our range of large form factor products (laptops and tablet PCs) by default. This is the mainstream operating system supported by most organizations, providing a secure operating platform with a high degree of compatibility with current software. Windows 7 offers support for single and multi-touch touchsreen displays offering seamless operation on both laptops and tablets.

Windows 8 Professional Windows 8 Pro is comparable in application to Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate and is targeted towards enthusiasts and business users; it includes all the features of the basic version of Windows 8. Additional features include the ability to receive Remote Desktop connections, the ability to participate in a Windows Server domain, Encrypting File System, Hyper-V, and Virtual Hard Disk Booting, Group Policy as well as BitLocker and BitLocker To Go. Windows Media Center functionality will be available only for Windows 8 Pro as a separate software package. Windows 8 provides an additional overlay / front-end in the form of the Metro interface, providing the user with a full-screen “Start Menu” experience, in addition to a full support for multi-touch capacitive touchscreens and a host of operational and security improvements.

Windows 8 RT Windows RT is only available pre-installed on compliant ARM-based devices such as selected rugged tablet PCs. It includes touch-optimized desktop versions of the basic set of Office 2013 applications to users—Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and support device encryption capabilities. Several business-focused features such as Group Policy and domain support are not included. Windows RT only supports software designed for use in the RT environment and will not support software designed for use on Windows 8 Professional.

Google Android Google Android is a Linux-based operating system designed specifically for touchscreen mobile devices such as our range of rugged tablet PCs. It is only available pre-installed on compliant rugged tablet PCs specifically designed for use with the Android OS and will not run on x86 hardware. Software installed on an Android platform must be specifically written for Android.

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Configuration Services

Software configuration is a time consuming exercise for any IT department, particularly when deploying the same configuration across multiple identical-spec systems. Our 26,000ft² facility in Redditch, Worcestershire offers a production facility fully equipped with both the capacity and the technology to deploy customer-configured hard disk images to multiple devices simultaneously. This popular service involves working closely with you to develop a fully-configured “Gold” disk image with your exact configuration of software, applications & drivers. Steatite will then ensure that your order is delivered to you with this image pre-installed in a state ‘ready for immediate deployment’, saving a considerable amount of time and valuable resource - in some instances, this service has saved IT teams literally days of configuration work.

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Consultative Sales Services

Our approach to consultative sales ensures that we fully understand your needs as a customer and it guarantees that you get the most appropriate solution for your requirements. With over 20 years’ experience in the rugged computer industry we have extensive experience of applications in virtually every sector. Steatite employs vertical market sales specialists who understand the industry and appreciate how the equipment is to be used, offering advice and recommendations based on historical experiences whilst embracing current and emerging technology to ensure that your solution remains both cutting edge and – most importantly – reliable.

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To find out more, or discuss your specific requirements, call us on +44(0)1527 512400, drop us an email at sales@rugged-systems.com or download our Steatite Company Overview for more information on all our capabilities.

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