Saturday, 28 May 2005

More Mobile Developer Shafting: Compact Framework 2.0 won't run on CE 4.x

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.

Yesterday I was at the London Eye. They appear to use PPT 2800s with the optional trigger handle to scan the barcoded tickets. This device runs Pocket PC 2002.

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.

1 comment:

Jeff Potts said...

The reason why rugged devices like the MC3000 don't run WM 5.0 is because of the amount of time it takes to develop the hardware for the next version of the O/S. There is about a 2 year lag-time to get the appropriate drop-to-concrete certification from the various testing labs. I've talked to a number of Intermec people on this issue, and this was the "excuse" they gave. No doubt Symbol follows the same path.

An upgrade in the O/S typically means a new hardware platform revision.