Announcement: License Assessment Tool for Windows Embedded Standard 7 is Available Now!

The License Assessment Tool for Windows Embedded Standard 7 is a new tool that is developed to help you determine whether your image built with Windows Embedded Standard 7 can be licensed under a selected license SKU: WS7P, WS7E, or WS7C (more info here). The tool is now available to OEMs on the ECE/MOO websites. We are also working on to make it available at the recently launched Windows Embedded Developer Update (WEDU) channel for broader availability. Please watch for that if you are interested.

Here is how it works -

The tool does the SKU assessment by comparing your image, as either an answer file (.xml) or a DISM package output file (.dpo), against the known requirement for that SKU. Most of you are already familiar with the answer file concept. You can get the answer file either on your developer machine (e.g. with the Image Configuration Editor tool), or the target machine where an image is already deployed on. A DPO file is a slightly different concept but very easy to understand. It is basically an XML file where the info of all packages on a deployed image is dumped to. You can either use the DISM command directly or use the batch file DismPackageOutput.bat that locates in the same directory of the tool after it’s installed on your machine. The DISM command will look like this:

%WINDIR%\System32\dism.exe /Format:List /English /Online /Get-Packages > MyImage.dpo

As we know, the smallest addressable unit in a Windows Embedded Standard 7 image is a package. However, the definition of different SKUs is at the feature level. Therefore, there is this challenge to map features to packages precisely. Plus, there are also times where a package is brought into your image as a dependency even though you didn’t intend to bring it in. The challenge is very fundamental and need great effort to solve. Our team is continuing looking at other approaches in future releases. At the meantime, the way the tool works is, if the tool detects (based on the package info) that there is a package that might relate to a feature that differentiate those 3 SKUs available today, you may be asked questions about its usage to ensure a more accurate assessment. In future blogs, I’ll provide more information in this area.

To install the tool, after you download it, you will launch setup.exe to install it on your developer machine. By default, it’ll be installed to this path:

%WINDIR%\Program Files\Windows Embedded Standard 7\Tools

There are 2 prerequisites:

  1. Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 or higher. You can download and install the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 from this Microsoft website.
  2. Microsoft Report Viewer 2008 or higher [Edited by Weijuan on 8/17/2010. See why in the comments.]. You can download and install the Microsoft Report Viewer 2008 from this Microsoft website.

To launch the tool, once it’s installed, you can go to the shortcut Start->All Programs->Windows Embedded Standard 7 and choose “License Assessment Tool”. The tool can work without any previously released tools of Windows Embedded Standard 7, e.g. Image Configuration Editor (ICE).

An important note that I need to add here is: This tool is provided to you for informational purposes only. For official license information, you want to consult your commercial license agreement with Microsoft or the Microsoft affiliate serving your country.

I’d like to encourage you to use the tool and provide us feedback on how we can make it work better for your needs. Thank you.

- Weijuan

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