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Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs

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Title: Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs  
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Subject: Windows XP, Microsoft Windows, Comparison of Microsoft Windows versions, Windows XP editions, Criticism of Windows XP
Collection: 2006 Software, Ia-32 Operating Systems, Microsoft Windows
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Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs
A version of the Windows NT operating system
Developer Microsoft
Source model Shared source
Released to
July 8, 2006 (2006-07-08)
Latest release 5.1.2600.5512 Service Pack 3 (SP3) / October 7, 2008 (2008-10-07)[1]
Platforms IA-32
Kernel type Hybrid kernel
License Proprietary commercial software
Succeeded by Windows Thin PC[2]
Official website .mspx/fundamentals/benefits/sa/
Support status
Mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009.[3]
Extended support ended on April 8, 2014.[3]

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs ("WinFLP") is a thin client operating system from Microsoft, based on Windows XP Embedded,[4] but optimized for older, less powerful hardware. It was released on July 8, 2006. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is not marketed as a full-fledged general purpose operating system, although it is functionally able to perform most of the tasks generally associated with one. It includes only certain functionality for local workloads such as security, management, document viewing related tasks and the .NET Framework. It is designed to work as a client–server solution with RDP clients or other third party clients such as Citrix ICA.


  • History 1
  • Technical specifications 2
  • Advantages 3
  • Hardware requirements 4
  • Limitations 5
  • Availability 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


WinFLP was originally announced with the code name "Eiger" on 12 May 2005.[5][6][7] ("Mönch" was announced as a potential follow-up project at about the same time.[8]) The name "Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs" appeared in a press release in September 2005, when it was introduced as "formerly code-named “Eiger”" and described as "an exclusive benefit to SA [Microsoft Software Assurance] customers".[9]

A Gartner evaluation from April 2006 stated that “The main purpose of Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (WinFLP) is to allow users running old PCs to be able to replace unsupported Windows NT Workstation v.4, Windows 95 and Windows 98 with a supported release of Windows XP (or, eventually, a version based on Windows Vista). [...] Because WinFLP will have the ability to run some applications locally — including Internet Explorer, media players, Instant-Messaging clients, Java Virtual Machines, terminal emulators and ICA or Remote Desktop Protocol clients, but not any random application (including MS Office) — we believe WinFLP is better described as a "lean client" than a "thin client."”[10]

The RTM version of Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs was released on July 8, 2006. The release was announced to the press on July 12, 2006.[11]

In May 2011 Microsoft announced Windows Thin PC as the successor product.[12]

Technical specifications

Microsoft positions WinFLP as an operating system that provides basic computing services on older hardware, while still providing core management features of more recent Windows releases, such as Windows Firewall, Group Policy, Automatic Updates, and other management services. However, it is not considered to be a general-purpose OS by Microsoft.[13]

Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is a Windows XP Embedded derivative and, as such, is optimized for legacy PCs. It requires significantly fewer system resources than the fully featured Windows XP.[4] It also features basic networking, extended peripheral support, DirectX, and the ability to launch the remote desktop clients from compact discs. In addition to local applications, it offers support for those hosted on a remote server using Remote Desktop.[4] It can be installed on a local hard drive, or configured to run on a diskless workstation.

The installer for Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs uses a modern GUI based install process, similar to the one in Windows Vista.


In addition to giving better performance on older machines, the reduced number of files increases boot speed, and the reduced number of services also improves security and responsiveness. People with old hardware unable to run an updated version of Windows XP usefully have the opportunity to use a more secure version of Windows than the older, unpatched OSes.

Hardware requirements

System requirements
CPU Pentium 233 MHz (300 MHz recommended)
Memory 64 MB (128 MB recommended)
Graphics hardware 800×600 computer monitor
Hard disk space 610 MB (1 GB recommended)
Network hardware Optional

Despite being optimized for older PCs, the hardware requirements are similar to Windows XP, although it is faster running on slower clock speeds than Windows XP.


Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs has a smaller feature set than Windows XP. For example, WinFLP does not include Paint, Outlook Express and Windows games such as Solitaire. Another limitation is the absence of the Compatibility tab in the Properties... dialog box for executable files.

Internet Explorer 8 (and 7) can be installed, but a hotfix is required for auto-complete to work in these newer versions of the browser.[14]


Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is exclusively available to Microsoft Software Assurance customers, as it is designed to be an inexpensive upgrade option for corporations that have a number of Windows 9x computers, but lack the hardware necessary to support the latest Windows. It is not available through retail or OEM channels.

On October 7, 2008, Service Pack 3 for Windows Embedded for Point of Service and Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs was made available.[15]

On April 18, 2013, Service Pack 3 for Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (version 3) was made available.[16]

The Microsoft marketing pages for Windows Fundamentals now redirect to those of Windows Thin PC, suggesting that Windows Fundamentals is no longer available for any customers.

WinFLP has the same lifecycle policy as Windows XP; as such, its support lifespan ended on 8 April 2014.[17]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Windows Thin PC
  3. ^ a b "Microsoft Product Lifecycle: Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs". Microsoft Support.  
  4. ^ a b c "Microsoft Software Assurance Benefits - Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs". Microsoft Volume Licensing. Retrieved July 25, 2009. Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is based on the Windows XP Embedded Service Pack 2 (SP2) operating system 
  5. ^ "Microsoft's Eiger Could Prolong the Useful Life of Older PCs". Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  6. ^ Evers, Joris (2005-05-13). "Microsoft to slim down Windows XP for older PCs | Platforms". InfoWorld. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  7. ^ Kotadia, Munir (2005-05-17). "Microsoft Eiger to fight desktop Linux threat?". ZDNet. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  8. ^ "Microsoft Puts 'Eiger' Thin Client Into Early Testing". InformationWeek. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  9. ^ Microsoft Adds Eight Benefits and Enhancements to the Software Assurance Maintenance Offering, Sept. 15, 2005
  10. ^ Alvin R. Park, "Determining the Value of Microsoft Software Assurance", 25 April 2006, Gartner ID Number: G00130974, p. 9
  11. ^ "Microsoft extends lifeline for older PCs - CNET News". 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  12. ^ "Microsoft to deliver Windows Thin PC to customers by June 30". ZDNet. 2011-05-02. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  13. ^ "Microsoft Software Assurance - Frequently Asked Questions". Microsoft Volume Licensing. Retrieved January 31, 2010. →Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs →Q:Can Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs function as a general-purpose operating system? →A: No. Microsoft Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs is a small-footprint Windows-based operating system solution designed to work with the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection client or third-party clients, such as Citrix IC It allows for a limited number of workloads to be executed locally, including security software, management software, terminal emulation software, document viewers, and the .NET Framework. 
  14. ^ "Download Update for Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs (KB945367) from Official Microsoft Download Center". Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  15. ^ "Download Details: Service Pack 3 for Windows Embedded for Point of Service and Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs". Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft Corporation. October 7, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Service Pack 3 for Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs". Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft Corporation. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2013. 
  17. ^

External links

  • Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs home page on Microsoft's official site (Archived)
  • A review
  • Choosing the right Virtual OS: Windows XP vs. Windows FLP
  • Fixing null.sys on WinFLP
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