I want to be able to sell this embedded system that I'm creating, a large part of which relies upon an executable piece of software running under the windows operating system on a small PC board in the unit.
Software updates for the customer should be easily enough distributed as a new copy of the executable with the same file name. However, despite various copy/execution prevention measures in place to keep customers from simply running the executable on any hardware (thus partially negating the need to purchase the unit) I wouldn't mind disguising the fact that the file is a "plain jane" .EXE executable file to discourage customers from trying to run it on, say, their laptop.
I've tried simply changing the file extension to something else (e.g. filename.foo) but I can't figure out how to get it to run as an executable with the new extension. I've tried opening it with various programs (including explorer, which I though would have worked), but to no avail.
Is this even possible? It sure seems like it should be.