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  • Brovane - Thursday, April 28, 2011 - link

    Looking on my tech-net subscription and they are not even making it available to tech-net users. I don't see this being real popular. We are already in full planning and testing to roll out Windows 7 where I work so I don't see many small businesses adopting this. Reply
  • merid14 - Thursday, April 28, 2011 - link

    I agree, where I work we are getting ready to roll out windows 7... on very old hardware lol. This would be a great product if it were already out. However it isn't even finished yet... Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, April 30, 2011 - link

    Yeah, I thought almost immediately after Win7 came out, someone was able to get it working on a Pentium II with 64MB of RAM ( or 96MB of RAM (

    Or here's one on the Pentium M 1.6GHz w/ 1GB (


    Granted the performance wasn't evaluated, but if you can get it working on a Pentium M or Pentium 2, going up to a C2D will probably operate fine.
  • user777 - Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - link

    That is not really a standalone PC client - it is designed as a part of Microsoft Enterprise VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure):
    The Windows Embedded 7 Thin Client is actually a product from the line of Windows Embedded Compact 7:
    Windows Embedded Compact 7 is the latest version of Windows CE (available from 1997) and was released in February. It was available for download like RC and evalution version long time before from October 2010:

    BTW there is also even Zero-PC-client (embedded in the Monitor) for solutions based on PCoIP display protocol:
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    That's because it's still in beta. Reply
  • liveonc - Thursday, April 28, 2011 - link

    A private cloud or just pushing Atoms? It's nice if you can be a N00B & use thin clients. But will anyone want to host this for them if you can trust them? Reply
  • clarkn0va - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    19% less RAM usage? Disabled page file? How is this a thin OS, or a corporate OS when it's already using more resources than the OS that most corporations are using currently, Windows xp?

    I work at a small college. If I want to disable the pagefile and hibernation on our desktops I'll do that in SCCM and be done with it. We have 50+ thin clients and not one of them has hard storage in it--they're PXE-booting from Linux (LTSP) then automatically launching a full-screen RDP session, thanks.

    From what I've read here this one should be rebranded "Windows Null PC". Or maybe "Windows Pork Tallow PC: All the fat, none of the flavour".
  • Bob-o - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Agreed. I know it wasn't really the focus of the article, but. . . what a pathetic thin client platform. Microsoft, go get some tips from Oracle's Sun Ray. Reply
  • Spivonious - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Agreed. This seems more like "Windows Lite" than a true thin client OS. We have Wyse thin clients at work and all they do is boot and then connect to a hosted virtual machine. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - link

    I don't mean to dig up an old thread, but I wanted to comment on this product AFTER RTM, which was July 2011, 3 months after this article was posted.

    I've installed OSX 10.5.8, 10.6.3, and a variety of Linux distro's on my HP Mini. I decided to give Win7ThinPC a shot. Since the Mini has a pathetic Sandisk uSSD with a 40MB/sec ATA4 (PATA) interface, it is just slightly faster than a Class 10 SDHC card.

    I've run Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit, which took up ~10GB of the SSD, and it was slow, but usable. Thin PC is faster. Boot times, logon times, suspend/resume, and overall snappyness are improved.

    We're talking an Atom N270 1.6GHz dualcore CPU, which is patheticly slow, around the speed of a Pentium III 800MHz, so web browsing performance is not great, especially with flash content, so Thin PC doesn't help this, but it does reduce SSD access, which is good, because the SSD is slow.

    What I'm getting at, is if you want to run Windows 7 from a MEMORY CARD, this is your best option.

    I successfully embeeded and registered .NET 2.0 and 3.5 into Win7 Thin PC as well in order to run SyncToy and Paint.NET

    Current volume licensing from Provantage and CDW puts this OS at $15/year/PC. Pretty good value if you plan on upgrading in a few years, anyway.
  • iwod - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    I am running Windows 7 on my Laptop

    Pentium M, Dothan 1.8Ghz ( That is Single Core )
    1GB DDR Ram
    ATI X600 Gfx

    For 70% of my work load this machine does fine. And i haven't tweaked anything yet. I suspect if it had a super fast SSD plus 4GB memory it would be just as fast as best in class PC in 90% of office situation.
  • formulav8 - Saturday, April 30, 2011 - link

    I actually installed Windows 7 - RC1 on a Pentium 3 - 1.13ghz laptop and 512 MB of sdram. Was VERY impressed with how well the response and performance was. Did basic things perfectly fine.

    I've started putting Win 7 Premium on some of the laptops I sell to customers (Mainly Pentium M Banias/Dothan based) and they are working just fine. Some of them can even do Aero (Like the NC6000's which use a Radeon 9600) if I remember corrently. So I am quite impressed overall with Windows 7.

  • SteelCity1981 - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Seems like MS is copying RT by doing this. I mean you could make your own stripped down copy of Windows 7 with Se7en Lite. Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    No, they're not. Windows XP was also available in the samd format. Reply
  • Mugur - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    I can find something usable here. One of my clients is preparing to throw Windows 7 Enterprise/Office 2010 to their old office PCs (1 core Celerons, 1-2 GB RAM, 40-80 GB hdd). They also have POSes currently on XP Pro with the same hardware...

    Also I would like to see this on the netbook crowd, instead of that ugly Starter Edition... But I'm afraid that the price is much higher.

    Some of my coleagues encountered the current or previous Windows Embedded versions and there were quite a few quirks setting it up as a POS... This is probably just the next iteration of it, with a bit of a "cloud/thin PC" marketing flavor. But it has a logic for an App-V/MDV client...
  • lwatcdr - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Windows 7 is actually pretty good at running on old hardware. My wife uses it on her many year old AMD Turon64 powered notebook. I do not remember how old it is but it uses PATA for the hard drive it that tells you anything. If anything you may need more drive space or better yet setup a NAS With roaming profiles. I have even run Windows 7 basic under virtualbox on my macbook with the memory in Virualbox set down to 512m with no problems. It will probably run just fine depending on the clock speed. If they are at least 1Ghz I wouldn't sweat it.
    Of course the idea of a 1+ghz gigabyte of ram system being used for a POS system is really just getting into the level of the surreal.
  • haplo602 - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    So basicaly the system is not different from a lightly tuned Win7 ? Ok the missing fonts are maybe the largest problem, but one can still install them later right ?

    I thought it would be a bare windows with terminal services and minimal desktop features. So far for MS effort to generate new revenue from the same box with different label.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    No, you can remove pretty much most of WIndows 7 until it's a shell. The same thing was also available for Windows XP and was/is NOT intended for standard consumers Reply
  • cjb110 - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Seems like MS needed to spend more time browsing the vLight and nLight forums to see what a true Thin Win would look like. Esp as it sounds like they could have just provided an instruction page on how to recreate ThinWin yourself!

    Also I hope the other thing they gain from this is more granularity in Win 8. Ok by default install the lot, I understand that's probably easiest for most users. However expand the current 'program features' to include as much as possible so that people *can* save disk space and gain memory by removing stuff they don't want.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Agreed re: Windows 8. Even when they let you "remove" features in Windows 7 (IE, Windows games, etc.), re-adding them doesn't require the installation disk, so you know the files are still lurking on your hard drive somewhere.

    I understand that this is done in the name of simplicity, and with the understanding that high-capacity mechanical hard drives are cheaper than dirt nowadays. But still - back in the 9x days, you could save quite a bit of space by going with a compact/minimal install. Not so anymore.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    ? Windows 7 embedded standard (Which this is) does actually provide you with a full (ish) list of options and what to un-install along the way Reply
  • Visual - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Um.. maybe I am blind or maybe you really skipped the most important detail, the price. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    That's because it's only available to OEM/volume licensing customers; afaik those prices are never widely published. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    MS's volume licensing is a bit convoluted, unsurprisingly - essentially, the people who will get Windows Thin PC already pay a yearly fee for the ability to install any version of Windows on any computer they own. The drawback is that the computer had to have been purchased with some version of Windows on it in the first place - you could install Windows 7 on a computer that came with Windows 98, if you wanted/could, but you can't (legally) install Windows on a computer that came with Linux preinstalled.

    I'm not a huge fan of this practice, since it means that Microsoft is essentially double-dipping and making you buy two Windows licenses for every computer, but the benefit is that you have access to all new OSes and Office versions (and a few other things besides) as they come out, usually without any additional fees on top of what you've already paid (at least for the client software - server software is a bit more complicated). It also lets you keep putting older OSes like XP on computers even after OEMs stop shipping it (provided you can get drivers).
  • Crazymech - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    I think this was a very fun article, on a bit more unique subject, and it makes me wonder about more uses (like for example overclocking records and such), so huzzah for that.

    Tho I'm gonna be a biit whiny and say at some points in the article it could really use a bit more proof reading. Like on the 2nd page about installed/missing programs where Notepad and Wordpad is special enough to be mentioned twice.

    And there are more places in the article with two paragraphs following each other and more or less saying the exact same thing - that's what I expect my local newspaper to do to just fill the column space, it's not needed online.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the suggestions - this thing was written and rewritten and things got moved around a lot as I organized my observations into a coherent piece, so I'm not surprised that there were a few redundancies that crept in. I cleaned some things up a bit. Reply
  • Spivonious - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    This is not meant to be used as a client OS. Can you do some testing with it and maybe compare it to other thin client systems? Reply
  • Guspaz - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    So, essentially this is just a minimal install of Win7 with Deep Freeze/SteadyState built in? Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    There may not be any way to legally obtain a license for "consumers", but make no mistake, the xLite people are gonna be all over this. WinsxsLite isnt quite there yet but give it another 6 months and we'll be able to cut most of that folder out. And system32 can easily be cut to below 1GB. By the end of this year we should be able to easily fit this on a 2GB CF card.

    And yes EWF rules. If you have people staying with you for the weekend or whatnot and they are known to be "unsafer surfers", just enable EWF on your OS drive, and you are protected from just about anything. It also makes running windows off a CF card feel somewhat fast.
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link not meant for the man on the street. It affords the 'company' installing the software the entire tree of Windows 7 options, which you can remove to reduce the footprint of this 'edition'.

    Once again, it is not intended for standard consumers, instead, for businesses to install onto set top boxes, cash machines, cash registers etc.
  • lorribot - Friday, April 29, 2011 - link

    There is only two reasons to have a Thin PC, run a terminal session or run an RDP session. Neither of these require Media player, IE or any of the the other detritus that MS have left behind. There is an out side chance you may need to either print form a terminal session to a local or networked printer or hook up a USB barcode scanner beyond that not a lot else is needed, you certainly don't want to be joining a domain or you will need to buy a CAL.

    HP have some good and cheap stuff that works and even some WinCE devices, all will be a lot cheaper than licensing a copy of this.

    MS really don't seem to understand this market, they need to go back to the drawing board as even WinPE is too fat and that is supposed to be downloadable over the network to boot to a pre-execution environment, it takes longer to download and start up then it does to drop an Windows XP image on to the computer.

    Perhaps if the offered a Windows Phone 7 version with or without all the touch screen stuff they maight be heading in the right direction and offering something new.
  • HMTK - Saturday, April 30, 2011 - link

    I don't see the relevance of this thing. It's not "thin" enough and has no real compelling features. I also don't see any advantage licensing-wise in a VDI scenario. Just running a minimal install of Windows 7 completely locked down with GPO's will do the same.

    now if you could buy this and NOT need SA for VDI I'd be a happy man. Microsoft licensing is what makes TCO of VDI so damned expensive.
  • bobbyto34 - Monday, May 02, 2011 - link

    For me, a thin pc should not be more powerfull than an atom platform.

    The goal : only launch citrix or TSE, and do some usb port redirection (scan and printer), but with less work than transforming a PC into thin client (no antivirus, few OS updates, easy swap if the hardware fails, small size).

    So for me, the test does not answers to my questions. We do not buy thin client for steam games :)
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    All kinds of shoes + tide bag

    Free transport
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  • zapper067 - Monday, November 07, 2011 - link

    Windows Thin PC HAS troubleshooter,it is just not available on the evaluation(error found in Installation and Resource Usage article.) Reply
  • zapper067 - Monday, November 07, 2011 - link

    And windows Thin PC can install Security essentials.It is just not available on the evaluation. Reply
  • zapper067 - Monday, November 07, 2011 - link

    this framework cannot install. Reply
  • dstruct2k - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - link

    Incorrect facts in this article:
    1 - WinThin DOES in fact include Defender; MSE can be installed fine. (Using the same method you'd use to force installation on Server SKUs)
    2 - Flash is NOT intact - Chrome uses an inbuilt Flash rendering plugin, ignoring what may or may not be present on the system otherwise. IE does not have Flash preinstalled (but you can install it)
    3 - Missing fonts can easily be copied from another Win7 machine to %systemroot%\Fonts\ to solve the font issue.

    Otherwise, thanks very much for the write-up. WinThin works GREAT from a USB stick (using the same boot-from-USB capabilities as Win7, which include a system-created RAMDrive for performance)

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