Functionality of Windows 7 Embedded on Dell Thin Client?

By Row1
Jan 8, 2013
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  1. Hi - on ebait, someone is selling dell thin clients with windows 7 embedded. The computer is "Dell Optiplex FX170," with an Atom N270. I cannot find info on the motherboard. When I have looked at Windows Embedded info, it seems that it is supposed to have great modularity so that the OS can be kept small and can be tailored to specific apps.

    I have loaded Win7 on an Asus netbook, so I know the Atom processsor will run Win7 decently.

    What degree of Windows functioning would I have if I tried to use one of these as a normal stand-alone desktop? Could I run most all Windows-compatible software? I am guessing software would have to be loaded onto flash drive or another drive - it seems like this comp only has memory for the embedded OS.
  2. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,384   +607

    You can set Windows Embedded to install itself essentially as a Win7 machine. Just check all the modules.

    I am unsure on program compatibility.. it should be OK, but I'm not 100%

    Also, you're actually gonna buy this thing? Do you know what a thin client is?
  3. Row1

    Row1 TechSpot Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 354   +8

    For severnty bucks, I was gonna see what it can do on its own. I found tech data noting a couple wifi adapters that will work for sure.

    from what I can tell, a thin client is a skeletal computer that is practically just a terminal to access remote data and run programs that are loaded from elsewhere on a network. beyond being a terminal, though, it has this version of windows I have never heard of before. from what I can tell, my asus netbooks were not much more, except they actually had hard drive space.

    how would this fall short of being an inexpensive computer that can run windows, play media, and access the interweb?
  4. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 3,384   +607

    The CPU is a 1.6GHz single-core launched Q2'2008. It won't have the RAM required to web browse and edit docs etc.

    Your understanding of thin client is pretty good, by the way.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,327   +49

    Yes, there will be no Disc drive, but probably that can be provided by USB attached drives of either SATA or solid-state varieties. You may not actually miss a HDD. I would not expect the memory to be severely cut down, as it must have the ability to run quite demanding software that is read into memory from a server. I would think there are other drawbacks that you won't discover until you try, and that, of course, is what you want to do.

    I would say if you had a family of 4-5 kids who all wanted a PC, it could be a good option to buy several, plus a linux server which provides the actual HDD storage and internet connectivity etc. for all of them. You would economise greatly on software costs as well as hardware that way.


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