Because you can load and run some GUI programs inside or on top of WinPE, you could conceivably add your favorite apps to the WinPE environment for an ultra-small runtime for use on a netbook, a PDA, or another limited-resource environment. Compact browsers such as Opera and QtWeb or file managers such as Salamander have been reported as working with WinPE, as has Windows Explorer itself (I find lots of evidence that people have made it work by importing it into program files on the image source, but I haven’t been able to make it work). Be that as it may, the WinPE image I built is about 240 MB, but can be trimmed to as little as half that (“Trim Your wim in Only Three Simple Steps,” blog on MSDN explains how).
You can also dual-boot between XP or Vista and WinPE, as this article explains. In short, there are lots of interesting things you can do with this toolset, once you become familiar with its workings.
Add WinPE/WinRE to Your Toolchest
While you may not be tempted to venture into some of the further-out reaches that these tools can tap, they’re still great to keep around for emergency boot and repair purposes. I have my own WinPE/WinRE UFD prepared now, and keep it in a special place. When one of my Vista machines needs an alternate boot, I can be up and running reasonably quickly. So can you!