The word 'embedded', when applied to computers, means that the reset button CANNOT be pressed, EVER, usually because no human is within proximity. The computer may in fact have no keyboard and no display. It should be prepared to live its entire life autonomously, making its own decisions and dealing with the consequences.
PCs were evolved in a different environment, and are not generally robust enough for embedded service.
They have the advantage of being cheap because they are produced in enormous quantities.
An artifact of the market for PCs is that they are in general badly designed. Let me explain how that happens:
Most start with a template design by the CPU chip maker.
Anybody can buy the design package, and many do.
In order to differentiate, motherboard vendors add features by modifying the template design. Some of them do it well; most screw up the implementation in some way because they are in a hurry to get to market and don't want to pay for EEs who know what they are doing.
There is no way to tell the good ones from the bad ones.
Okay, there is a way. You hire an EE who knows what he is doing, and he goes over the design documents, checks all the chips for application errors, like loading, timing of each and every signal, stuff like that. Then he checks the timing of the motherboard buses against the standards for the bus, and for potential problems interfacing with common but noncompliant parts that must be used for one reason or another.
I knew a guy who did this for us full time. It took him about six months full time to qualify one new motherboard.
That's a problem, because the PC market is so intense that a motherboard becomes commercially obsolete in three months. ... meaning that the bottom drops out of the market so that nobody can make money building the motherboard you've just qualified, because new features have come into fashion and/or someone else is selling a nominally equivalent motherboard for half the price, which they can do because they didn't bother to check _any_ of the 'improvements' they made in order to get the price down.
So our embedded PC went from a 8088 to 8086 to 80286 to 80386 to 80486 to Pentium in just a couple of years. It didn't need all the horsepower of any of the newer chips, but we couldn't get old design motherboards at competitive prices once the new ones became available.
You can find oldish design PCs intended for embedding, sold as 'industrial' computers. Be aware that no one can afford to make them price competitive with what you can get at Wal-Mart, but as I tried to illustrate, using generic PCs has hidden costs of its own.
As for software, what's best is what you can figure out how to use. I have no idea if Labview can generate code that's suitable for embedded computers. I have no idea what FlowStone is.
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA