A custom shell is whatever application you want to appear when your Microsoft Windows® XP Embedded device starts up. Using the custom shell replaces using the standard Explorer Shell, Task Manager Shell, or Command Shell. By using your main application as your shell, you can take the user directly to the features you want them to use, and prevent them from switching to nonessential applications, or accessing the control panel or file system.
For example if you are creating a retail point of sale (RPOS) device, you can boot directly into the RPOS application that you or a third-party vendor have created. Or, if you are creating an Internet kiosk, you might boot directly into Internet Explorer by creating and configuring a custom component based on the existing Windows Embedded component for Internet Explorer.
You can step through this process in How to Create a Customized Shell.
Through this process, you componentize the application that you want to use as your shell, create a custom shell component that includes the custom component, add the custom shell component to your component database, and then add it to your configuration.
Before developing a configuration, you may want to review the Development Process.
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