Hardware Manufacturers Talk, Microsoft Listens

REDMOND, Wash. — June 7, 2010 — As a program manager for Microsoft’s Windows Embedded business, Adam Ferman and his team spend a lot of time on Microsoft’s MSDN Forums, listening to feedback and answering questions from developers. One frequent comment they’ve heard is that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) typically want their embedded devices to show only their own branding and not the branding of the operating system.

Adam Ferman, program manager, Microsoft Windows Embedded

With that feedback in mind, Ferman and his team sought to make improvements with several new features in Windows Embedded Standard 7 to offer OEMs an unbranded experience from the time the devices boot up. For instance, an Unbranded Startup Screens package enables a developer to remove the Windows logo from the bottom of all Windows startup screens.

OEMs can utilize Windows Embedded Standard 7 to create differentiated experiences and enhanced connectivity on specialized devices, such as thin clients, digital signage and industrial controls for the enterprise, as well as set-top boxes, connected media devices and TVs for consumers.

For many OEMs, the Windows default background is a straight giveaway that the underlying operating system is Windows-based. Another new feature, a Custom Logon Desktop Background Images package, allows a developer to replace the default desktop images with a customized background and logo.

Dialog boxes are another area that can be a giveaway for which operating system a device is running, and can take away from an OEM’s customized, branded interface. In Windows Embedded Standard 7, a Dialog Box Filter enables a developer to hide any pre-defined dialogs such as a device’s My Documents folder, so that they don’t appear and interfere with a custom interface. Actions are performed off-screen to eliminate flicker from an end-consumer’s view, which is especially useful in public displays. Developers can even create custom filters if they have requirements not supported by the default settings.

These new features are a large step toward achieving the goal of having a complete custom experience using Windows Embedded Standard 7. As always, Ferman and his team continue to gather feedback, evaluate customer needs and explore how they can expand the customization and branding experience in Windows Embedded Standard 7.

For more information, please view the Custom Shell in Windows Embedded Standard 7 white paper. A number of other Windows Embedded Standard 7 white papers are also available.

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