Now, I didn't even know this existed - I knew XP Embedded had been around for a while, but I wasn't sure that Microsoft were actually going to produce an Embedded version of Windows Vista, but they have, and you can get all the details from here.
The great thing is, even though you are using Vista technology on these small, and sometimes custom devices, you can still get many of the benefits of the full blown Vista, such as built-in protection against malicious software, intelligent warnings around hardware failure and sophisticated backup technologies, and with the Ultimate version (Business and Ultimate are the 2 options available), you even have BitLocker, and the Multi-Language User Interface.
This site is your perfect launch pad to more information - check it out!
This is not like XP Embedded, which it is great for smaller footprint devices and is customizable. This is the full version of Vista, but with licensing restrictions to work on dedicated systems.
It even says it right there in the 1st paragraph...
"Unlike the Windows Embedded operating systems Windows Vista for Embedded Systems is not a componentized offering and the image is not customizable by the developer. Windows Vista for Embedded System was designed for the desktop but is available for fixed-function or dedicated embedded systems."
Thanks for the message. What I was trying to get across in the post was the fact that an embedded version of Vista, regardless of customisation and componentisation, exists, rather than comparing it side by side with XP.
Vista, in general, is more of a componentised OS than XP, thus can scale accordingly. Combine this, with functionality such as Bitlocker and UAC and you've got a strong offering for an embedded device.
I recently attended a presentation on this so I'll try to regurgitate some of what I picked up.
Vista for Embedded Systems is more like Windows XP for Embedded systems than XP Embedded (XPE). The current Windows XP for Embedded Systems is actually the full desktop version of Windows XP with licensing restrictions. The big difference is that the system must boot directly into your application and tasks normally performed by exiting to the GUI on a desktop machine must be performed within a user provided shell. This makes the OS unsuitable for use on a general purpose PC.
As I understand it, Vista for Embedded Systems (code name Quebec) is still very much a work in progress. Among other things they are doing a lot of work on developers tools.
I'm under the impression that over time the existing XPE product will gain many Vista features as well. I don't see this embedded option going away.
Thanks for this information - very useful indeed.
You say that "Vista, in general, is more of a componentised OS than XP, thus can scale accordingly", but this is far from true. Windows XP Embedded can have a footprint as light as 40MB. Windows Vista for Embedded Systems's footprint is the same as the desktop version of Vista.
Windows Vista for Embedded Systems might be a suitable replacement for Windows XP for Embedded Systems for some devices, but it is definitely not a replacement for Windows XP Embedded.
Thankfully Microsoft is changing the product names; discussions like this one will soon become less confusing.