An overview of updates to the Windows Embedded 8 platform

Posted By Cuong Pham
Product Manager, Windows Embedded

We’ve been working hard in the past few months to deliver the Windows Embedded 8.1 update to our customers and partners. In June, we made available the Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Release Preview and followed with the RTM in August. Our updated 8.1 platforms will be generally available on Oct. 17, simultaneously with the Windows 8.1 release.

Here’s a brief overview of the update strategy for Windows Embedded 8 with Windows Embedded 8.1:

  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry is full Windows 8.1, with embedded capabilities including advanced lockdown (write filters, gesture filter, USB filter, etc.) and retail peripheral support (magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner).
  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Pro delivers the full power of the Windows 8.1 operating system in a version designed specifically for industry devices within intelligent systems.

While we will deliver the 8.1 update to Windows Embedded 8 Pro and Windows Embedded 8 Industry, it’s important to note Windows Embedded 8 Standard will not be updated with Windows 8.1 technologies. Our strategy with Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry is to provide full application and driver compatibility with Windows 8.1 in a consistent, connected architecture from the device layer to back-end software and services. Oppositely, Windows Embedded 8 Standard is a modular version of Windows 8 that comes with a toolkit which an operating system (OS) developer—typically at an OEM partner—can use to create a custom OS image specific to an industry device; for example, a thin client, a medical device, a manufacturing device, or a device that requires a high level of customization and optimization.

We understand there’s need for a modular version of Windows, which will continue to be addressed with Windows Embedded 8 Standard. And, we equally understand there is a need for a platform built on full Windows with embedded capabilities – Windows Embedded Industry will be updated with Windows 8.1 technologies to meet this need.

We are excited about this next milestone with Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry – download the Release Preview today.

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