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Tablet PC vs. XP Embedded

Discussion in 'Tablet PC' started by Steve @ PE, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Steve @ PE

    Steve @ PE Guest

    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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  2. >> 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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  3. cwb3106

    cwb3106 Guest

    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.
     
  4. >> 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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