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Microsoft Windows NT Embedded 4.0 Frequently Asked Questions

 

Microsoft Corporation

August 2001

Applies to:
    Microsoft® Windows NT® Embedded 4.0

Summary: This document provides answers to frequently asked questions regarding Microsoft Windows NT Embedded 4.0. (5 printed pages)

Contents

What is Microsoft Windows NT Embedded 4.0?
What does Windows NT Embedded 4.0 include?
Is the Windows NT Embedded 4.0 code base the same as Windows NT 4.0?
Does Windows NT Embedded support both workstation and server functionality?
What do I do if I need functionality that is not available in Windows NT Embedded?
What are the selectable OS components available in Windows NT Embedded?
What application development environment can I use to develop applications or drivers for Windows NT Embedded 4.0?
What types of applications can run on Windows NT Embedded 4.0?
What footprint can I expect with Windows NT Embedded 4.0?
Is Windows NT Embedded 4.0 stable?
Does Windows NT Embedded 4.0 support read-only operation?
Is Windows NT Embedded 4.0 a real-time OS?
Does Windows NT Embedded 4.0 support auto-recovery in the event of a system malfunction?
How are upgrades accomplished?
How do I debug Windows NT Embedded 4.0?
How does the pricing work?
Where can I get more information?

What is Microsoft Windows NT Embedded 4.0?

Windows NT Embedded 4.0 is a version of Windows NT 4.0 that you use to build embedded applications. The following list shows some examples of embedded applications:

  • Home appliances
    Including home gateways and the next generation of set-top boxes.
  • Terminals and kiosks
    Such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Web kiosks, and Point of Sale (POS) systems.
  • Dedicated network devices
    Including routers and switches.
  • Office automation devices
    Such as smart copiers and printers.
  • Industrial automation
    Including industrial robots and machine tools.

For more complete case studies on how embedded systems companies are using Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Embedded, see this Microsoft Web site.

What does Windows NT Embedded 4.0 include?

Windows NT Embedded 4.0 includes the following items:

  • Windows NT binary files
    The Windows NT 4.0 binary files are the foundation of Windows NT Embedded 4.0, including the features of Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5 (SP5). This means that an embedded solution can include all the rich functionality of Windows NT, such as multi-adapter support, networking, and the full Microsoft® Win32® application programming interfaces (APIs).
  • Target Designer
    Target Designer is the primary authoring tool that you use to configure and generate a Windows NT Embedded run-time image. Use Target Designer to select only the Windows NT components that your embedded solution will need, integrate their custom components and applications, and generate a bootable embedded run-time image.

    Target Designer displays each Windows NT component and feature area as a graphical component so that you can easily generate an embedded run-time image.

  • Component Designer
    Use Component Designer to create custom components that you can add first to the Target Designer and then to your configuration. For example, you can use Component Designer to define your application as a component, which includes the files, registry entries, and dependencies that it requires.

    After the component definition is created, you import it into Target Designer to generate an embedded run-time image that includes the custom component.

  • Embedded enabling features
    This includes the following additional features:
    • Headless support
      Lets you run the embedded run-time image without video hardware, a monitor, a mouse, or a keyboard.
    • El Torito CD-ROM support
      Lets you boot the system from a CD-ROM. You will need a separate program to create an El Torito CD.
    • Booting and executing support
      Lets you run the embedded run-time image from a variety of read-only boot media, such as CD-ROM or Flash ROM, and provide solid state media support for diskless operation.

Is the Windows NT Embedded 4.0 code base the same as Windows NT 4.0?

Yes. Windows NT Embedded 4.0 binary files are identical to their counterparts in standard Windows NT Server 4.0. Additional binary files have been included in Windows NT Embedded to support specific embedded functionality.

Does Windows NT Embedded support both workstation and server functionality?

Yes. Workstation functionality may be appropriate for some devices that do not need the richer capabilities that exist in the server variation. For example, server functionality is required for four-way multiprocessing, network services such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server, Domain Name System (DNS) Server. In addition, only the server variation will allow a device to act as a Primary Domain Controller. You will need to determine the appropriate level of functionality your device, and then select the appropriate component when configuring the target OS.

What do I do if I need functionality that is not available in Windows NT Embedded?

You can use any third-party or custom-developed application, device driver, or software built for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 to add that specific functionality. Component Designer will help you integrate your custom solution into a Windows NT Embedded platform.

What are the selectable OS components available in Windows NT Embedded?

To view a complete component list, see the Microsoft Web site Embedded.

What application development environment can I use to develop applications or drivers for Windows NT Embedded 4.0?

You can use the same application environment that you use for developing applications for the desktop. You can develop your application on a Windows NT 4.0 retail system; you do not need to use your embedded system to develop the application. Microsoft® Visual Studio® offers a comprehensive environment for developing applications and drivers for Windows NT Embedded 4.0.

What types of applications can run on Windows NT Embedded 4.0?

Windows NT Embedded is appropriate for a wide variety of application areas including communication equipment, office automation devices, industrial and manufacturing systems, medical equipment, retail point-of-sale systems, and server appliances. Any application that runs on Windows NT 4.0 will also run on Windows NT Embedded 4.0, provided that the embedded system has the correct hardware environment.

What footprint can I expect with Windows NT Embedded 4.0?

It will vary considerably depending on the feature components selected and resource requirements of the application. A non-networked, standalone device that uses the core OS and the command shell requires 9 megabytes (MB) of memory and 8 MB of persistent storage. Adding networking, such as TCP/IP, DHCP, Winsock, remote procedure call (RPC), Telnet, and File Transfer Protocol (FTP), as well as selected device drivers, such as VGA, Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE), Small Computer System Interface (SCSI), keyboard, mouse, and network interface cards (NICs), increases the minimal requirement closer to 13 MB memory and 16 MB persistent storage.

Is Windows NT Embedded 4.0 stable?

A specifically configured Windows NT Embedded 4.0 OS generated by Target Designer is an extremely stable platform. The components in Windows NT Embedded are based on existing Windows NT 4.0 technology, so these components benefit from the strict and extensive test methodology utilized within the core Windows NT platform.

Does Windows NT Embedded 4.0 support read-only operation?

Yes. Windows NT Embedded 4.0 can run on a device without any writeable storage. It can run without a paging file.

Is Windows NT Embedded 4.0 a real-time OS?

No, but you can add extensions—available from third-party vendors—to your Windows NT Embedded 4.0 target OS to approach real-time functionality.

Does Windows NT Embedded 4.0 support auto-recovery in the event of a system malfunction?

Yes. It can be configured to restart automatically in the event of an unrecoverable application or system error.

How are upgrades accomplished?

To upgrade a Windows NT Embedded 4.0-based device, you need to install a new OS image on it.

How do I debug Windows NT Embedded 4.0?

Standard Windows NT tools and debugging techniques can be used.

How does the pricing work?

There will be a price for the development tool set, which is collectively called Windows NT Embedded 4.0, and there will be a run-time price that reflects the level of functionality used for the OS.

Where can I get more information?

For more information on Windows NT Embedded 4.0, see this Microsoft Web site.

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