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Microsoft Releases Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011

Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 was announced today at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas.

The solution allows IT pros to manage devices built using various Microsoft Windows Embedded componentized operating systems. The types of devices that can be managed include kiosks, point-of-service handhelds, digital signs and thin clients.

Microsoft announced various System Center 2012 products this week, with many of them expected to appear in the second half of this year. Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 licensing can be purchased today, but the product is designed to work as an extension to the currently available System Center Configuration Manager 2007 flagship solution.

Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 requires the use of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 Service Pack 2 or System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 SP2 products. It also requires Windows Server 2008 Standard edition.

Those organizations purchasing Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 have the option to use SQL Server technology with it. Microsoft sells this option as a combo offering, with SQL Server 2008 Standard edition as part of the package along with Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011. However, the SQL Server in this package only works with Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011, and it can't be used as a standalone database management system, according to a Microsoft FAQ.

The types of devices that organizations can manage using Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 vary by device category. For thin clients, the product can be used to manage devices running Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows Embedded Standard 2009 and Windows XP Embedded. For point-of-service devices, it supports Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, Windows Embedded for Point of Service and Windows XP Embedded. Microsoft provides a full list here, which also indicates support for digital signs and enterprise embedded device OSes.

Microsoft is currently offering Windows Embedded Device Manager 2011 through its volume licensing resellers. A table published by Microsoft shows estimated U.S. pricing to license the product. Licensing Windows Embedded Device Manager Server 2011 will cost about $325. Licensing the combo with SQL Server will cost about $735. In addition, there are management license costs of $25 per user or per operating system environment.

Additional details about Windows Embedded Device Manager can be found at Microsoft's product page here.

Those wanting to use System Center Configuration Manager 2012 to manage Windows Embedded-based devices will have to wait until sometime in the latter part of this year to see the final product, although beta 2 of the product was released this week. SCCM 2012 beta 2 can manage Windows Embedded Standard 7 (both x86 and x64), Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (x86 only) and Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (x86 only). Access the full list of supported embedded OSes here (PDF download).

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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