Windows XP Embedded

Windows XP embedded, also recognized as XPe, is a component of the professional edition of Windows XP. The users are subjected to as many as 12,000 components of the edition, which they can choose depending on their application needs. Officially released on November 28 2001, it reduces the operating system footprint as well as attack areas because of its free-to-choose components feature.  It provides the full Windows API along with support for a whole range of applications and device drivers that are written for Microsoft Windows. The minimum system requirements include a minimum of 32MB Compact Flash, 32MB RAM and a P-200 microprocessor.

A basic XPe image can be as small as 8 MB accompanied by a bootable Kernel. It possesses the capability of expanding to admit several features that are native to the full version of Windows XP. The users can reduce the development time by using only those components that they require. The component identifies and supports several National instruments products like LabVIEW 2009.

It supports LabVIEW Datalogging and Supervisory Control Module, which allows the user to develop as well as deploy HMI/SCADA applications to the touch panels that are grounded on the principles of Windows XP Embedded. The user can easily develop basic HMI applications with the help of the LabVIEW Touch Panel Module, which is yet another feature that XPe supports.

The devices targeted by Microsoft for XPe include arcade games, automatic teller machines, slot machines, industrial robotics, cash registers, set-top boxes, thin clients, network attached storage, navigation devices, time clocks, railroad locomotives et cetera. The custom version of the operating system can be positioned to make up a full-fledged PC. This is irrespective of the fact that XPe supports the same hardware as Windows XP Professional. Windows XP Embedded Service pack 3 is the most recently released version of Windows XP embedded systems. It was released in October 2008.


  • It helps to reduce Operating system sixe by enabling the users to choose the drivers, services as well as applications. Footprint reduction helps to achieve a more desirable embedded image.
  • It helps to easily integrate strong security features into the device.
  • The application development tools are familiar to as many as 6 million developers.
  • The IP indemnification feature helps to reduce risks related to litigation for the device makers.
  • The support for .NET Framework V2.0 and SQL express increases the productivity and reduces time-to-market.

A continued effort of bringing improvements of integration with Microsoft desktop as well as server technologies enhances the ability to create and innovate different devices for a range of device categories with reduced development costs and rapid time-to-market.

Windows XP Embedded Features

Windows XP Embedded has pre-existing design templates for the user to choose from. It supports Windows XP Professional Win32 APIs. XPe uses standard hardware as well as runs standard off-the-shelf Win32 drivers, applications, services even without the requirement of porting. If porting were required, the user would be intimidated beforehand.

XPe boasts of a robust manageability and serviceability. It proffers the users with enterprise level manageability along with a customer level device protection.

It includes a number of features that are specific to filters. They are as follows:

Write filters
These filters can be used to filter out the disk writes. The user can easily mark the filters “read only”. Those applications that are in user-mode are not aware of write filtering.
Enhanced write filter EWF protects the system at volume level. It takes the charge of redirecting all the disk writes to a protected drive, a separate disk or RAM. It comes to the maximum benefit of the user when used in thin clients, contain flash memory as their primary source.
File based Write Filter It allows configuring individual files as read/write on a protected volume.

Other features

USB boot Windows XP embedded features an option for a USB boot, which means that an XPe embedded device can be easily configured to boot with the help of a USB drive.
CD boot Bootable from CD option lets the user to allow the device to boot without the need for a physical hard disk drive.
Network boot This option lets the user to boot from a properly configured network. It does not require any physical hard disk drive to boot. It has the ability to service the already setup image.