Yet another Windows preview is available for folks to download. This time, it’s the Windows Embedded Standard 8 operating system, which according to Microsoft, will make it “easier for devices to extend enterprise business intelligence with improved device management, servicing and data connectivity.” It can be accessed and downloaded here.

This could be welcome news for businesses as the new operating system will allow enterprise software and cloud services to extend out to everyday devices like point-of-sale terminals, medical equipment, ATMs and bar-top game machines, according to a November 2011 Microsoft press release.

No one really knows for sure, but some speculate that Microsoft will officially release Windows Embedded Standard 8 in fall 2012 right along with its Windows 8 operating system for PCs.

Some of the features of this new operating system are the security management and reliability of Windows 8, protected device configuration, application compatibility with existing Windows line-of-business applications and the ability to connect to SQL Azure database for scalable, fault-tolerant RDMS.

As always, there are special hardware and software requirements that have to be met for successful downloading:

  • 1 GHZ 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB of system memory (32 bit) or 2 GB of system (64 bit)
  • 7 GB of free hard disk space for complete installation of the toolkit
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • USB 2.0 port

Users must have Windows 7 SP1 operating system and Internet access if they plan to use a distribution share stored on their networks or save their answer files to their networks. Also, anyone who wants to access and download Windows Embedded Standard 8 CTP must have a Windows Live ID.

The preview of this particular new operating system may have come at just the right time for Microsoft because although Microsoft currently dominates the retail point-of-sale market, according to Paul McDougall in his article for, businesses are supplying their employees with iPads that can process sales, which could turn the tide in Apple’s favor.