Multiboot on embedded Device (Windows CE and WES2009) - How to comply with Microsoft Terms? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hello All,

    (A somehow simpliyfied sample situation)

    We manufacture Embedded Systems which are targeted into the industrial production area.
    (Think of something like a programmable logic controller, PLC).

    Those PLCs (running under CE) have an optional HMI (Operator interface) which normally runs from
    Windows CE from an internal SD-Card(This is the standard configuration which leaves the factory of an OM, where also the COA label is fixed on the outside).

    For certain applications (for example if the customer needs to run 3rd party communications software which is not available under CE) we want to run those HMI terminals under WES2009.

    (Sorry for the leghthy intro, now the questions...)

    Is there a way to (legally) run a somehow multiboot configuration on an embedded device?
    In our configuration the WES2009 and all Custom apps will boot from a plugged in USB-Drive.
    If this USB-Drive is disconnected, the system would boot into it's original CE image.

    I think this is somehow comparable to a development PC which alternately boots Windows XP or alternately the target OS, XPe. Or to a dual boot Win7 /Win XP on different partitions or to a system hosting two virtual machines.
    Is this legal from the license aspect (If the second OS, WES2009 also is of course fully licensed and a 2nd COA is fixed
    for the "external boot mode"?

    If this is an absolute 'no-go', what has to be done to finally arrive on a configuration that is complient to license terms?
    Has the built-in Windows CE to be 'voided' first by clearing the disk or pulling the CE COA off?
    Must the device be sent back to the factory for this or can the modification be done by an approved TPI in our name or by
    our own employee in the field?

    Thank you in advance for any comments.

    I am a little in despair as the license terms only cover the 'plain vanilla' procedure and the otherwhere mentioned right
    to upgrade/downgrade (in my opinion) only cover for example a preliminary CE 5.X shipped and a COA 6.X fixed and a 
    later upgrade to CE 6.X _without_additional_cost.  In our case both operating systems would be fully licensed and both paid for.

    Best Regards,


    Sunday, November 30, 2014 8:52 AM

All replies

  • I think you can have both operating systems in the unit. There is one company (KUKA) that used CE as a real-time extension for WES2009. You have to pay for both. How you implement this is were the license terms get challenging. I don't think you can plug and unplug a USB device. Having both operating system on the same hard drive and booting to into either one is possible, but you should contact your Microsoft distributor to get the legal clarifications. / / Book Author - Pro Guide to WE8S, Pro Guide to WES 7, Pro Guide to POS for .NET

    Sunday, November 30, 2014 4:31 PM
  • Good Evening,

    Many thanks for the quick answer!  A comment by "the guru of embedded Windows" on a sunday evening was far more that I could expect. (I am a Windows Embedded Newbee but already spotted your name at various places in the net). Just ordering a few of your books as little thank you and as food for my grey cells..

    Kind Regards from Europe,


    Sunday, November 30, 2014 10:16 PM
  • Thanks. The only European distributor I am aware of is Avnet Silica. They should be able to answer your question. / / Book Author - Pro Guide to WE8S, Pro Guide to WES 7, Pro Guide to POS for .NET

    Monday, December 1, 2014 5:21 PM