Microsoft has posted the community technology preview for its forthcoming Windows Embedded Standard 8 operating system.
Windows Embedded Standard 8, as the embedded version of Windows 8 is formally known, is designed to allow businesses to seamlessly add commercial devices to their security and management networks rather than operate them as standalone devices.
Windows Embedded Standard 8 supports Active Directory and Group Policies, and can be managed through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager using the Windows Embedded Device Manager plug-in.
Applications for Windows Embedded Standard 8 can be developed through Visual Studio, and custom OS images can be configured with the Image Builder Wizard and Windows Embedded Modular Designer.
The OS offers support for existing business applications, as well as touch-based apps developed for Microsoft's new Metro interface. Windows Embedded Standard 8 also features most of the security tools built into the desktop version of the OS, including AppLocker, BitLocker, and Secure Boot. Windows Embedded Standard 8 also boasts tools that allow users to access data stored in Microsoft's Windows Azure and SQL Azure cloud services through their handheld devices.
The software provides near-Field Communication support to enable exchange of data while an intuitive interface allows users to interact with tap-to-pay vending machines or download manuals from a service kiosk.
The Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP can be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site. Users will need a Windows 7 SP 1 system with at least a 16-bit or 32-bit 1-GHz processor, 1GB of system memory for 32-bit platforms and 2GB of memory for 64-bit platforms, 7GB of free hard disk space, a DVD-ROM drive, and USB 2.0 port.
A formal ship date for Windows Embedded Standard 8 has not been announced but it could be available later this year.
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