I downloaded the Compact Framework 2.0 Redistributable yesterday as well, planning to do a little testing with one of our CF 1.0 apps. (I need to discover how to force using 2.0 if both are installed). In doing so I discovered that CF 2.0 only supports Pocket PC 2003 and Smartphone 2003, Windows CE 5.0 custom platforms, and Windows Mobile 5.0 (for Pocket PC and Smartphone).
That means that new devices, introduced this year, like Symbol’s MC3000 which runs a custom CE 4.2 platform, are not supported. Why aren’t Symbol using CE 5.0? Who knows. Maybe they didn’t want to revalidate all their components on the new OS yet.
Customers often want upgrades and/or new applications to run on existing hardware. We’d like to be able to use the newer tools to implement those upgrades or new applications. But we can’t, because those tools won’t run on the old hardware.
The full framework is compatible back to Windows 98. We can’t get three years’ worth of backwards compatibility in the mobile world.