The Pros and Cons of Windows Embedded

Posted by Zul Smart

Aug 8, 2013 11:04:00 AM


savings piggy storm trooperNot everyone has made the switch from standard PC licensing to Windows Embedded licensing. For some OEMs working flat-out to deliver on products, the idea of putting time and resources into exploring the value of Windows Embedded for their organisation can seem a little daunting. For others, it might even be considered unnecessary given the use of Windows XP as an adequate solution for some devices.

It’s very possible however, that Windows Embedded could be an ideal match for your devices – even if you don’t yet realise it.

If you’re still plugging on with PC licensing, it’s worth pausing to determine whether embedded might actually be the more prudent option. Deciding whether to take the step requires some sound judgment based on the needs of your organisation. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of switching to Windows Embedded licensing.


Why stick with standard PC licensing?

  • Shorter development time

With Windows Embedded, your development time could be a little lengthier due to testing required for custom components. If you’re looking for speed, standard PC licensing may be sufficient for your needs. Although it’s worth considering the difference in quality; PC licensing may work in practice, but it probably won’t be quite as reliable, or be deployed and boot up as fast as Windows Embedded products. Windows Embedded also offers peace of mind with its long-term availability.

  • Wider functionality

A desktop operating system can offer wider functionality - it’s more appropriate if you’d like to run multiple applications. With Windows Embedded, the application of an embedded system is usually linked together into a single executable image, resulting in only being capable of running a fixed application. However if you’re using a desktop operating system, you need to be certain that it’s not supporting more applications than you genuinely need. If you recognise that your systems have too many unnecessary OS components, you might be better off with embedded as it can offer a much more streamlined and secure system. This will also help you to better customise your devices to specific work-flow related tasks and keep teams on track.

  • Perceived lower cost

You may be put off by the cost of Windows Embedded. For instance, Microsoft requires a device licence for each device that you aim to deploy. However you can make savings by paying only for your embedded fixed function needs, instead of paying for the multiple features available on a PC license. With long-term availability and support, Windows Embedded also offers an improved TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) - meaning a much more shrewd investment.


Why switch to Windows Embedded licensing?

  • Power a broad range of specialised devices

Windows Embedded doesn’t only support a sheer diversity of fixed function intelligent devices; it does so far more effectively than PC licensing – particularly across manufacturing, retail and healthcare verticals.  It can power an extensive array of devices from kiosks, POS systems and digital signs, to ATMs and ultrasound machines, all on a trusted platform.

  • Improve productivity

One of the most compelling reasons to switch to Windows Embedded is its capacity to boost productivity. Instead of wasting power on media players and social networking functions, your device can be programmed with defined workflows, allowing staff to do more in less time. Plus, the reliability and ease-of-use of Windows Embedded licensed devices will help to reduce time spent engaging help desks and support staff.

  • Beat the competition

Put simply - if you’re not investigating new opportunities for your organisation, you can be sure that your competitors are. Windows Embedded licensing offers a smart way of staying up-to-date and delivering recognised, reliable, advanced devices.

Of course whether you decide to stick or switch depends on the time and budget that your organisation can spare, but it’s wise to look at the big picture and consider the overall time and money that Windows Embedded licensing can save.

If you’re thinking of investing in Windows Embedded licensing, download this e-book to make a more informed decision:



Image Credit: kalexanderson 

Topics: Windows Embedded

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