Crispin Corporation, an industry leader in broadcast automation technology, software and services has announced the release of their next generation hardware platform for use with Crispin solutions used in broadcasting facilities worldwide.
The keystone of this new hardware architecture is the utilization of Windows XP Embedded, an evolutionary step beyond the use of standard Windows XP Professional. Windows XP Embedded or “XPe” is the componentized version of the XP operating system from Microsoft that employs the same functionality provided by Windows XP Pro but offers the OEM the capability to tailor the OS and platform to suit the needs of the application with improved performance and reliability.
“The adoption of XP Embedded will provide Crispin the opportunity to continue to focus our engineering efforts toward improvements in our applications without having to use valuable resources toward porting to a new operating system,” explained Alan DeVaney, President and Founder of Crispin, “and it will benefit our customers immediately with improved reliability while still providing the same great XP experience people are used to.”
Using XPe allows Crispin to remove unneeded components of the standard package of Windows XP Pro that can interfere with the smooth functioning of the server. For example, removing unneeded drivers and services can eliminate the possibility of disruptions caused by bugs in those drivers. It can also reduce the occurrence of spikes and sporadic use of CPU, memory or disk utilization that can harm the performance of a critical application such as the Crispin DeviceServer or RapidPlayX.
“Our goal is to continue to provide robust software and hardware that stands up to the high demands of the broadcast environment where precision, speed and reliability are not optional,” explained DeVaney. XPe has been used for many years in a wide array of devices, such as ATMs, cash registers, robotics, and medical devices. Applications that run on XPe have access to the rich functionality and user-interfaces available through the Windows API but without the large footprint of a full XP Pro workstation.
“Broadcasters want reliability and to minimize unnecessary changes,” said Rodney Mood, Chief Operating Officer at Crispin. “Changing to a new OS platform such as Vista based upon the discontinuation of Windows XP would be an unwelcome change in the eyes of most of our customers. Using XP Embedded will reduce the hardware and IT support burden for both us and our customers.”
Microsoft ceased direct OEM and retail sales of Windows XP Pro in June 2008. However, XP Embedded has been available since shortly after the release of XP and Microsoft has pledged that XP Embedded will remain available in the market for licensed OEM resellers, such as Crispin, for at least 10 more years, until year 2018 or beyond.
By having the capability to keep the XP functionality for many years to come, combined with the ability to tailor the components needed, Mood concludes, “XP Embedded is a product that fits well with our goal of improving our purpose-build hardware platform for broadcast automation that will become more and more appliance-like in contrast to the workstation class hardware platforms that are typical today and are prone to security threats and require frequent maintenance and upgrades.”
Crispin is shipping the new generation server using XP Embedded as of November 1 after months of in-house development, integration and testing with the assistance from a consultancy that is recognized as a leading worldwide expert in developing tailored XP Embedded solutions. For more information about the Crispin hardware platform or other inquiries, please contact Crispin at 919-845-7744.