Microsoft took the wraps off Windows Thin PC last month with the release of the first public CTP. AnandTech takes a look at the installation and resource usage of the OS compared to a regular Windows 7 install.
Windows Thin PC, which is built from Windows Embedded Standard 7, is designed to provide a generalized version of the lightweight Embedded OS that is typically used in kiosks and various other embedded systems. Windows Thin PC continues the trend of Windows Fundamentals (WinFLP) which was also built from the Embedded edition of Windows XP. Like WinFLP, Thin PC is available to only Microsoft’s volume licensing customers.
AnandTech focused primarily on comparing resource usage on a Dell Inspiron 640m test system comprised of a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of RAM. Installation time is cut in half due to significantly less files to extract and copy. Sitting idle, Thin PC used 505 MB of RAM compared to 621 MB for Windows 7 Ultimate. What is more impressive is the amount of space saved with the Thin PC installation using 2.7 GB of space compared to 8.64 GB for Windows 7 Ultimate. Application compatibility also seems to be well preserved with AnandTech reporting that only Microsoft Security Essentials would not install.
Ultimately, the licensing restrictions prevents Thin PC from ever gaining any traction outside of corporate customers in need of a lightweight OS for legacy systems or thin clients. Consumers will not be able to purchase the OS however, in the meantime, one can always play around with the publicly available CTP bits.Further reading: Microsoft, Windows