And yet another use for WinFE.
This year, at the University of Washington's Digital Forensics Certificate Program, I am having each student create their own Windows Forensic Environment with as many forensic applications as we can fit on a USB drive. This fulfills several objectives that any school or training program can incorporate at virtually no cost.
Students in forensic programs can learn to create a forensically sound bootable media and validate it through testing (how's that for a takehome assignment?). Since WinFE can be used as a forensic platform on almost any computer (for those students without a 'forensic machine' at home), this bootable media may be more than enough to practice and do homework assignments on their home computer (...they can image...they can run forensic tools against an image or hard drive...they can do quite a bit). Forensic software developers...consider making your applications run in a portable mode and VOILA, you just reached a second use (and market) for your application/s. Anything that runs on WinFE is a tool I want and so far, only X-Ways Forensics fits that bill as a full fledged, portable forensic suite.
And yes, a Linux forensic environment can do many of these things as well, so why not do both? The cost of a Linux CD...same as WinFE :)