Let's look at a few products that don't exactly get much attention in the consumer lime light. Let's start with Windows Embedded Standard 2009, formerly XP Embedded.
Windows Embedded Standard 2009 is a componentized and updated version of Windows XP Pro. It has all the latest and greatest features of XP and its software available on a componentized level. Depending on how you want it set up it can include .NET 3.5, Sliverlight, RDP 6.1, IE7, Windows Media player 11, DirectX 9, and many other features (it can also be run as a real time OS via 3rd party products, but I don't recommend it). It also comes with a snazzy new theme that I think is just great.
So here's the best question, "Why would I go through the extra work of building my OS via componentizing it?" That's simple; you only install what is needed (who needs 8 million print drivers in their default install anyway?), and you can have a fully functional desktop OS with an install footprint of 200MB or less (that's with most of the bells and whistles you would need to game, or use the machine as a desktop).
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