While Windows 8 works great with even some of the most basic hardware, for special business needs like medical equipment, retail kiosks and other unique devices, it might be a bit too ‘heavy’. So what do you do in a situation like that?
There are quite a few lightweight operating systems designed from embedded use, including quite a few Linux variants. For those that prefer to keep a unified Windows ecosystem in place for their business or organization, you will be happy to know that Windows Embedded 8 has now moved past the preview and has released the final version of the software.
According to Microsoft, the new version has quite a few features in common with its full-fledged brother, Windows 8.
In Microsoft’s own words:
From the rich, familiar experience of Windows to integrated management, analytics and cloud platforms, Windows Embedded 8 coupled with the full breadth of Microsoft technologies for intelligent systems helps enterprises gain lasting competitive advantages in retail, manufacturing, healthcare and a variety of industries.
Devices at the edge of enterprise networks connected to integrated Microsoft software and services help enterprises identify and act on opportunities that otherwise would be out of reach by improving access to data, enhancing performance, extending security and powering flexible line-of-business applications. With Windows Embedded 8, enterprises can harness Windows 8 technologies with additional features to support industry devices within intelligent systems — including rich, natural experiences that provide customers and employees with access to the information they are looking for while ensuring the consistency and predictability businesses require. In addition to finalizing embedded, Microsoft has also launched “GetWindowsEmbedded8.com” and provides more details on how organizations can best utilize the software.
That said, not every version of 8 Embedded is ready for prime-time. You can now get your hands on Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Pro, but the Windows Embedded 8 Industry SKU won’t be arriving until April 1st.
Microsoft also hopes to offer ways for customers to buy enterprise-specific functionality for their “Embedded 8-based solutions through licensing options”, with plans to offers some of those features in July.
What do you think of Windows 8 Embedded, how do you feel it compares to other solutions out there? For those already using some form of embedded Windows technology in your business or the business you work for, does your organization plan to upgrade or not?