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Create an Application Launcher in Silverlight for Windows Embedded (Compact 7)

3/12/2014

Windows Embedded Compact 7 provides a sample Microsoft Silverlight for Windows Embedded home screen (application launcher) for consumer devices such as media players and set-top boxes. By using the sample, you can significantly speed up the development of a home screen for your device (by potentially hundreds of hours) by using the predesigned XAML projects and tested source code in Windows Embedded Compact. Then, you can customize the XAML so that the Silverlight for Windows Embedded application launcher UI meets the needs of your users and reflects the functionality that you include in your device.

The sample home screen provides a main menu that contains items that start any of the Silverlight for Windows Embedded applications that you include in your OS design, such as a browser, music player, photo viewer, and so on. The sample home screen also provides a set of status widgets, which resemble the status icons in the notification tray in the Windows operating systems for the desktop. The sample home screen includes widgets that display volume, Bluetooth wireless technology status, network status, and battery status. You can determine which of these widgets to include.

In addition, you can customize the Silverlight for Windows Embedded application launcher in the following ways:

  • Include the sample home screen in your OS design
  • Change the UI design by editing XAML projects
  • Change the background image
  • Create and customize menu items
  • Localize the home screen
  • Extend window message handling

In addition, you can create more than one UI design and implement theme switching so your users can change the UI design for the Silverlight for Windows Embedded application launcher. Note that theme switching affects only the Silverlight for Windows Embedded application launcher. For information about changing the UI for individual Silverlight for Windows Embedded applications, see Editing the XAML Projects for the Sample Applications.

The sample Silverlight for Windows Embedded home screen differs from the traditional Windows desktop shell and is customizable through XAML.

The sample home screen (SYSGEN_XRSHELL) is an application launcher for consumer devices such as set-top boxes and portable media players. The sample home screen is not intended to be a replacement for the Windows Embedded Compact Standard Shell (SYSGEN_STANDARDSHELL), which is optimized for developing devices that are connected to an enterprise network.

The sample home screen provides three different screen resolutions and four different visual themes for each screen resolution for you to choose from. For images that show the different themes, see Create and Prepare the OS Design and Application Launcher Project.

The sample home screen provides support for the following Windows Embedded Compact applications and features:

  • Music Player   A Silverlight for Windows Embedded-based application that plays music files on a Windows Embedded Compact powered device
  • Photo Viewer   A Silverlight for Windows Embedded-based application for users to view photographs on a Windows Embedded Compact powered device
  • Video Player   A Silverlight for Windows Embedded-based application for users to view video files on a Windows Embedded Compact powered device
  • Web Browser   A browser application that supports Internet Explorer 7 for users to browse the web from a Windows Embedded Compact powered device
  • Control Panel   A set of control panel applications for users to configure device settings
  • Bluetooth Settings   A settings application for users to pair with other Bluetooth wireless technology-enabled devices
  • Software Input Panel   an on-screen keyboard for users to enter text by interacting with the UI

Create and Prepare the OS Design and Application Launcher Project

Describes how to create the OS design where you will test your application launcher project, describes the theme and screen size options, and how to load the application launcher project in Expression Blend. You must follow these procedures before completing the procedures in any of the subsequent topics in this section.

Localize the Application Launcher

Describes how to localize the OS design and the text in your application launcher project.

Customize the Background Image

Describes how to change the background image of the application launcher.

Add a Battery Status Settings Application to the Application Launcher

Describes how to add an application that will open when a user clicks the battery icon.

Configure Items in the Menus for Launching Applications

Describes how to change the order of, add, or delete menu items.

Create Functionality for Users to Switch the Theme

Describes how to enable switching between the application launcher themes.

Add Functionality to the Hook Procedure to Handle Any Messages

Describes how to customize the hook procedure to monitor and process specific window messages before they reach the default WndProc for the sample home screen (XRShell.exe).

Build and Run the Application Launcher

Describes how to build the project, and replace the existing home screen in your OS design. Use this procedure after you have finished customizing your application launcher so that you can run and test it on a device or virtual CEPC.

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