Windows Embedded 8: A Developer’s Perspective

Posted By Barb Edson
General Manager, Marketing and Business Development

This week marks a major milestone for Windows Embedded and intelligent systems. Microsoft Windows Embedded’s senior product manager David Wurster has details.

The day is finally here: Windows Embedded 8 products are generally available, and our OEM partners can start shipping their Window 8-based edge devices to customers.  Bringing Windows Embedded 8 to edge devices is an important milestone as the role of edge devices and intelligent systems continue to transform the way business gets done. 

On March 20, we announced the immediate availability of Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Pro to our OEM partners, and that Windows Embedded 8 Industry will be available to OEMs the week of April 1 (no joke). Enterprise customers will have the ability to add additional functionality to their edge devices through Volume Licensing starting July 1. 

To share our enthusiasm for the launch, we created a Windows Embedded 8 launch portal ( that will serve as the primary resource for OEMs and enterprises to learn how they can transform their business with intelligent systems and Windows Embedded 8. The portal will host new content and a series of videos that focuses on intelligent systems and Windows Embedded 8 solutions for the manufacturing, retail and healthcare industries. No matter what role you play in enabling intelligent systems, I encourage you to go to the portal to get the perspective of Microsoft, industry analysts and OEM partners on how Windows Embedded 8 will transform edge devices.

Dan O’Farrell of Dell WYSE joins Adam Lesser of GigaOM Research to discuss the evolving needs of retail businesses and the role that Windows Embedded devices play in enabling intelligent systems that will yield a competitive advantage.

It has been over a year since we first introduced Windows Embedded 8 to our partners with the Windows Embedded 8 Standard Community Technology Preview in March 2012. During that time, it has been exciting to work with our customers and partners to see how they are extending Windows 8 to fit their customers’ needs.  Through these engagements, the key benefits Windows Embedded 8 brings to edge devices and intelligent systems emerged:

  • Delivering a rich, natural user experience on an edge device:  Whether you are talking about a Point of Service terminal in retail, an HMI in a manufacturing environment or a Thin Client in a healthcare setting, delivering a rich graphical experience that you can engage through natural touch and gesture input is necessary to meet customer expectations. With Windows Embedded 8 we provide support for multi-touch and gesture input as well as Kinect for Windows, which partners can use as the foundation to deliver the rich experiences customers need.
  • Securing and managing devices alongside PCs and servers: Edge devices are becoming integral components of the enterprise IT environment, and it is imperative that these devices can be secured and managed like first-class citizens on the corporate network. Windows Embedded 8 products were designed with security and management in mind. All Windows Embedded 8 products can be managed with System Center and secured with enterprise-grade anti-malware solutions, to meet the needs of enterprise customers.
  • Connecting to IT infrastructure: To realize the intelligent systems vision, edge devices have to be part of the broader system that generates data that can be analyzed and turned into business intelligence.  By building on the proven Windows platform, Windows Embedded 8 devices include technologies like Group Policy and Active Directory to help connect edge devices to other IT assets.
  • Common application platform: Having a consistent application experience across devices has long been a desire of enterprise customers to deliver a rich customer-facing experience and to drive efficiencies with employees.  By supporting the Windows desktop application model as well as the new Windows 8 application model in Windows Embedded 8, customers have the ability to deliver a rich, powerful, cross-platform application experience.

GigaOM Research’s Adam Lesser speaks with HP’s Lance Stevens to discuss how his company’s Windows Embedded devices enable healthcare organizations to seamlessly and securely access data across multiple touch points while driving operational efficiency for increased productivity and improved patient care. 

The Windows Embedded 8 family of products represents a great opportunity for our customers and partners to take the next step toward intelligent systems. As much as I have enjoyed working with our partners before the release, I am extremely excited to see the great devices that will come to market on Windows Embedded 8 in the coming months that will help our enterprise customers evolve their business.

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