Microsoft is ending support for windows thin pc next month

Introduction và Features Installation và Resource Usage Potential Alternate Uses Conclusions & Analysis

Last month, Microsoft released a Community Technology Preview (CTPhường, in essence a public beta) of something called Windows Thin PC. This business-oriented operating system’s given purpose is both to allow older, less-capable PCs take advantage of some of Windows 7’s core features, & to lớn allow cost-conscious organizations the ability to lớn convert existing hardware into thin clients.

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Windows Thin PC isn’t actually a new product: it is, more or less, a rebranded version of Windows Embedded Standard 7, an awkwardly named product sold only to lớn OEMs for use in, well, embedded systems: think thin clients, cash registers, và website kiosks, to lớn name a few.


There are two main things that separate Windows Thin PC from Windows Embedded Standard 7: its name (though the Windows Embedded moniker still lingers on in a few places) và its licensing (where Windows Embedded was sold khổng lồ OEMs only, Windows Thin PC is being made available lớn Microsoft’s volume licensing customers. Consumers, sadly, can’t get their hands on either OS legally).

While Windows Thin PC isn’t going khổng lồ be something you giảm giá with unless you work for a thin client-oriented organization heavily invested in Microsoft technology, I wanted khổng lồ take a cthảm bại look at the OS lớn see what techniques it uses lớn reduce its footprint and resource usage. Windows Thin PC makes a case for a Windows that’s more cloud-friendly và modular than classic fat-client Windows, something that the platsize is going khổng lồ need if Windows needs lớn run on everything from your monstrous eight-core workstation lớn your Atom or ARM-powered tablet.

System Requirements and Features

First, let’s talk about the sort of computer that can run Windows Thin PC. This is no “MinWin”-style OS designed khổng lồ run using just megabytes, but a very Windows 7-lượt thích OS system requirements identical lớn the standard version of the OS. To wit:

Windows Thin PC (32-bit)Windows 7 Ultimate (32-bit)
Processor1 GHz x86 processor1 GHz x86 processor
Hard disk16 GB available hard disk space16 GB available hard disk space
Graphics cardDirectX 9 card with WDDM 1.0 driverDirectX 9 card with WDDM 1.0 driver

In practice, the OS needs fewer resources than what’s listed here, but you’re still not going lớn get this running on the Pentium II box stashed in your attic. Windows Thin PC takes up much less hard drive space than Windows 7, as we'll see later, but in terms of CPU and memory usage it's much more similar. This isn't going lớn somehow make running Windows on an Atom processor any less of a slog.

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The benefit lớn keeping Windows Thin PC so similar lớn standard Windows is that businesses already heavily invested in a Microsoft backkết thúc – Active Directory, local Windows Update servers, Microsoft’s image development & deployment tools, & the like – can use the same công nghệ they already have khổng lồ thiết đặt, loông xã down, update, và otherwise manage the OS. Thin PC can also take advantage of the full range of Remote Desktop features, up khổng lồ và including the recent additions made to the client & server in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 Service Paông xã 1.

Another Thin PC feature that can help beleaguered system administrators manage their systems is the Enhanced Write Filter (EWF), a công nghệ that can prsự kiện permanent changes from being made to lớn the OS by the over user. Windows Thin PC can, using a RAMdisk & unpartitioned space on the hard disk, store any write operations that the user makes lớn the drive sầu. So, in essence, if you save sầu a file to the desktop or install a program, it will be written khổng lồ the EWF volume instead of the main Windows partition. Since records of these extra files are not stored on the main system partition, the user is presented with a clean OS upon rebooting. This keeps the machines easy-to-fix in the sự kiện of spyware or virut infection, with the added benefit of discouraging client-over computing and encouraging users to connect to lớn the remote server to get anything done.

Windows Thin PC also offers some business-oriented Windows features included in the higher-kết thúc Windows editions, chief amuốn them the Bitlocker Drive sầu Encryption (only otherwise available in the Ultimate and Enterprise editions), the ability to join Active sầu Directory domains, and the ability to lớn both join và host Remote Desktop connections (both features of all editions Professional và higher).

Computers running Windows Thin PC (as opposed to lớn the full version of Windows) don’t require what Microsoft calls a “Virtual Desktop Access” license to access a remote server – this is good news for cash-strapped businesses looking to thin clients to reduce costs, because a VDA license typically costs $100 per device per year.

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That’s the OS on paper. Now let’s install it and vị some deeper investigation.

Installation và Resource Usage Introduction & Features Installation and Resource Usage Potential Alternate Uses Conclusions & Analysis

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