With the first upgrade to Windows Embedded Standard 7, Microsoft is introducing a new feature designed to help customers ensure that their respective SKU (stock keeping unit) of the platform running on their devices is in compliance with the terms of the licensing agreement that accompanied the OS.
Each edition of Windows Embedded Standard 7 can only use a specific set of features in accordance with its license, while the non-licensed components are prevented from running on embedded devices.
With Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) SKU Compliance Packages are currently in Community Technology Preview (CTP) phase and are set up so that customers can run compliant devices in relation to the licensing terms of the operating system.
“In the Windows Embedded Standard 7 Service Pack 1 Distribution Share, which can be seen in Image Configuration Editor or Image Builder Wizard, you’ll see a new folder under FeaturePacks called SKU Compliance.
“The folder contains a package for each of the currently available SKUs – WS7C, WS7E, and WS7P
,” revealed Robert Baskin
, a Program Manager for Windows Embedded.
“Once you have chosen a SKU for the device you are configuring, perhaps by using the LAT, you can add its respective SKU Compliance Package to your Answer File.
“Using the licensing frameworks built into Windows, the package will ensure that functionality not permitted under the terms of your SKU is disabled in the image.”
Microsoft launched the License Assessment Tool (LAT) for Windows Embedded Standard 7 in July 2010, providing a solution which can evaluate an Answer File or DISM output file against a specific SKU.
LAT is capable of identifying whether a specific copy of Windows Embedded Standard 7 is in compliance with the terms of its SKU license, with customers being able to use the SKU Compliance Packages on top of the tool.
“The way each feature behaves depends on how the feature was implemented. For example, the Snipping Tool executable will be present on the device but will do nothing when launched,” Baskin added.
“Windows Media Center will show a dialog box indicating that it is not permitted on the SKU. In most cases, it works on a feature level – that means, for example, that SKU Compliance Packages can disable DirectAccess even if networking packages are installed.”