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Tablet PC vs. XP Embedded

 
 
Steve @ PE
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      11-24-2008, 12:04 PM

Sorry for the newbie question. We are looking at buying a couple of Tablet
PCs, these will come with either Tablet PC or XP Embedded installed as the
OS. While the company we are dealing with are being very helpful, there is a
bit of confusion over which version of the OS we should be using.

Basically, the Tablets will be used to record test results (the engineer
will be stood in front of a unit while testing, hence the need for tablets).
We will be writing a VB program for them to record these results, when they
have finished, these will be uploaded to a SQL database stored on our server.

So my questions are:

1) Can I run a VB program on the Tablet PC edition of Windows and/or XP
Embedded?
2) Can these OS's be used to connect the tablets to a domain for uploading
the results?
3) Which is the better OS for accepting a hand written signature from a user
(a bit like signing for a parcel from a courier)?
4) Is there a version of either of these OS's that can be installed on a
Virtual PC for testing purposes?

I think that that is all - though the answers may provoke more questions.


 
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Beverly Howard [Ms-MVP/MobileDev]
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      11-24-2008, 04:26 PM
>> either Tablet PC or XP Embedded <<

That _is_ confusing and I think you should demand clarification...

There is an "XP Tablet PC" os and "Vista Tablet PC" but, the "Embedded"
sounds like Windows CE.

From your description of the job, if the screen size of a pocketpc is
sufficient for the engineers to record results (i.e. a scrolling 2.25"
screen) think pocketpc will be the lower cost, more robust and easier
handled solution... i.e. it's a hell of a lot easier to input on a
pocketpc while standing than most tablets.

>> 1) Can I run a VB program on the Tablet PC edition of Windows and/or

XP Embedded?, <<

Yes on XP Tablet and PocketPC, but not sure if vista supports VB

>> 2) Can these OS's be used to connect the tablets to a domain for

uploading the results? <<

Yes, assuming the above conclusions

>> 3) Which is the better OS for accepting a hand written signature

from a user (a bit like signing for a parcel from a courier)? <<

The question should be "how much is it going to cost for a custom
application with the capability of obtaining and storing an image of the
signature" While both Tablet and PocketPC (windows CE) can obtain
images, handling the image after it is generated is the task.

>> 4) Is there a version of either of these OS's that can be installed

on a Virtual PC for testing purposes? <<

The PocketPC os has an emulator... may need visual studio to run it.

afaik, there is no "tablet" emulator since any Windows computer
duplicates the tablet functionality except for the pen input.

Beverly Howard [Microsoft MVP-Mobile Devices]
 
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cwb3106
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      01-03-2009, 03:16 PM
Beverly Howard's response is a little off the mark -- that's
rare for him but it's pretty clear that he is unfamiliar with
XP Embedded.

I assume your reference to "Tablet PC" means Windows XP Tablet
Edition. Windows XP Tablet Edition is Windows XP Professional
with extensions to support inking. With very, very few
exceptions, any program that runs on XP Pro will run on
Windows XP Tablet Edition. In particular, it will run Visual
Basic (both programs and the compiler) and connect to a
domain.

All versions of Vista should run Visual Basic (both programs
and the compiler). To connect to a domain, you'll need one of
the business versions (Business or Ultimate). The home
versions (like XP "home") don't include all the network
components for connecting to a domain. All versions of Vista
(except Home Basic) include inking support.

XP Embedded is a "componentized" (Microsoft's term) version of
Windows XP. It is intended for single purpose applications
such as point of sale systems. The system builder can install
only the needed O/S components which improves security and
reduces the system footprint (XP Embedded can run in half the
RAM that full XP requires). The smaller footprint allows OEMs
to use cheaper computers. For large deployments (thousands of
identical systems), the hardware savings pays for the extra
labor required to configure the O/S. I don't know if ink
support is an available component.

While XP Embedded could (perhaps) be made to support your
application, I'd recommend a general purpose O/S, either
Windows XP Tablet Edition or Vista. For "a couple of Tablet
PCs" configuring XP Embedded would be more trouble than it
would be worth.

Any of these operating systems can be installed on a virtual
PC. However, remember that the O/S will then be running on
"virtual" hardware. I don't know if any of the virtual systems
provide pen support.

To summarize:
1) Run VB program? Either
2) Connect to a domain? Either
3) Accept a signature? Windows XP Tablet Edition (certainly),
XP Embedded (perhaps)
4) Installed on a Virtual PC? Either, with limitations.
 
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Beverly Howard [Ms-MVP/MobileDev]
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      01-03-2009, 07:43 PM
>> it's pretty clear that he is unfamiliar with XP Embedded <<

That's why I am here... to get "clarified" ;-)

Thanks for the clarifications and explanations.

Beverly Howard [Microsoft MVP-Mobile Devices]


 
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