Thursday, 12 January 2006

What's the difference between Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows CE 5.0?

I got the following question in email today:

Can you please explain me the difference in windows CE 5.0 and windows mobile 5.0? Isn't windows 5.0 is based on windows CE 5.0? If yes then why is the development tools for these are different, i mean windows CE based applications can be developed using evc++ 4.0 but for WM 5.0 based application we need Visual Studio 5.0?

Well, I’ve kind of answered this question already. The only new thing to add is that Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PCs is based on Windows CE 5.1 bits according to the About screen (Microsoft using pre-release versions of Windows CE in Windows Mobile again? That caused a boatload of trouble for Pocket PC 2000 and 2002 and I thought they’d finally got over it.)

As for the development tools question, don’t ask me – ask Microsoft. The simple answer is that they didn’t generate an eVC-compatible SDK therefore it doesn’t register with eVC 4.0 therefore you can’t select Windows Mobile 5.0 as a target. As to why they didn’t do this, who knows? Perhaps something to do with the old Platform Manager, which was not the most reliable of software (understating the case severely). Also, it appears that MFC 6.0/CE and ATL 3.0/CE are not supported for new development; they don’t ship with the SDK any more, although the DLLs do ship on the device I think.

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