Windows CE

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Windows CE

(operating system)
/C E/ A version of the Microsoft Windows operating system that is being used in a variety of embedded products, from handheld PCs to specialised industrial controllers and consumer electronic devices. Programming for Windows CE is similar to programming for other Win32 platforms.

Windows CE was developed to be a customisable operating system for embedded applications. Its kernel borrows much from other Microsoft 32-bit operating systems, while eliminating (or replacing) those operating system features that are not needed for typical Windows CE-based applications. For example, as on Windows NT, all applications running on Windows CE run in a fully preemptive multitasking environment, in fully protected memory spaces.

The Win32 (API) for Windows CE is smaller than the Win32 API for the other 32-bit Windows operating systems. It includes approximately half the interface methods of the Windows NT version of the API. But the Win32 API for Windows CE also includes features found in no other Microsoft operating system. The notification API, for example, makes it possible to handle user or application notification events (such as timer events) at the operating-system level, rather than in a running application. The touch screen API and the built-in support for the Windows CE database are not found in other Windows operating systems. The touch screen API makes it easy to manage screen calibration and user interactions for touch-sensitive displays, while the database API provides access to a data storage facility.

http://channels.microsoft.com/windowsce/developer/default.htm.

http://channels.microsoft.com/windowsce/developer/technical/default.htm.

Windows CE

(Windows Consumer Electronics) Microsoft's version of Windows for handheld devices and embedded systems that use x86, ARM, MIPS and SuperH CPUs. Introduced in 1996, Windows CE was renamed "Windows Embedded CE" as of Version 6.0 in 2006 and then renamed "Windows Embedded Compact" in 2008. Nevertheless, most people refer to "Windows CE" or "WinCE."

Windows CE uses the same Win32 programming interface (API) as regular Windows, but can run in less than 1MB of memory. It supports most of the Windows technologies such as .NET Compact Framework, MFC, COM, ActiveX and DirectX. In addition, numerous components are available to developers in source code so that they can be modified for specific platforms. See Windows XP Embedded.

MS Smartphones Were WinCE Until WinPhone 8
Microsoft's first Windows Mobile platform and its second Windows Phone platform, prior to Windows Phone 8, were also based on Windows CE. See Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.


Windows CE on the Clio
The Clio was an innovative Windows CE computer. Released in 1999, it was used as a tablet or a laptop with its built-in keyboard. Developed by Vadem, Ltd., it was later acquired by The Pinax Group. (Image courtesy of The Pinax Group.)







A Windows CE GPS
This Magellan navigation unit runs under Windows CE, offering many of the features of in-dash models, including text-to-speech playback of street names.