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Microsoft Starts Windows Embedded Update Service

Microsoft initiated a free Windows Embedded update service for device developers, which started on Monday.

The new Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU) service is currently available and can be accessed by downloading the software here. The software can be installed and run on Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The WEDU service, which reduces the time developers have to spend searching for updates, currently provides updates only for Windows Embedded Standard 7 developers. Microsoft plans to add support for Windows Embedded Compact 7 "within the calendar year," according to the company's announcement. Windows Embedded is Microsoft's family of componentized operating systems used to support thin clients and various devices.

Project managers can use WEDU (pronounced "we do") to ensure that their teams have the most current development environments. Users of WEDU need to have administrative access privileges to manage the service.

To use WEDU, administrators specify the products that should receive updates by registering them through the service. The next step is to specify the locations of the distribution shares where the updates should be activated, according to an MSDN library article. WEDU will search for daily updates in the background. Administrators can also perform manual scans for new updates.

The service comes with a few caveats. While updates can be automated, the WEDU tool doesn't let the user remove the updates. Windows Control Panel has to be used in those instances to remove "certain updates for developer tools," according to the MSDN article. The article adds that "updates to distribution shares and repository databases cannot be removed."

Microsoft provides advice on maintaining distribution shares and creating distribution shares in its blogs. The former blog recommends importing all Microsoft-released packages and updates and not removing packages from distribution shares. Distribution shares should be backed up before importing any updates.

About the Author

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

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