Microsoft has released a free technology preview of the Windows XP Embedded operating system to tempt developers specialising in mobile and embedded devices.
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The company is giving the embeddable version improved default security and networking functions using the client version of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) as a guide.
However Microsoft is also keen to highlight the improved management features of the product which were high on the wish-lists of its corporate users.
It has included its Software Update Services (SUS) support, which helps administrators to integrate devices across networks and results in lower maintenance costs, and support for Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), which helps administrators to remotely update applications from a single location.
Heading the list of security enhancements is the Windows Firewall, which is activated by default. The newly redesigned firewall gives users and administrators better control over in-bound connections.
SP2 also enables devices to communicate through a range of different communications technologies including the Remote Desktop Protocol Version 5.2.
Through SP2, developers can now create applications and services for devices that use the multimedia functions of Direct X 9 and Bluetooth's networking capabilities. The operating system also has a quick-boot feature that significantly reduces device startup and shutdown times.
Microsoft expect to deliver Windows XP Embedded by the end of the year.
Ed Scannell writes for InfoWorld