Windows Embedded Compact

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Windows CE 5.0 desktop

Windows Embedded Compact (formerly Windows CE, where CE stands for Compact Edition or Consumer Electronics) is a real-time embedded operating system by Microsoft. Part of the Windows Embedded platform, Windows CE is designed for use with handheld computers or systems with limited memory and resources.

The system kernel and libraries are used in Windows Mobile and its successor Windows Phone, which are used in smartphones and Pocket PCs, as well as a runtime library for the Sega Dreamcast. Windows Phone 8 abandoned the Windows CE architecture, opting to use the NT kernel as part of the MinWin architecture.

History[edit | edit source]

Early versions of Windows CE were inspired by Microsoft WinPad (1994), a scrapped mobile platform for handheld PCs, based on Windows for DOS. Versions of WinPad can still be found in early betas of Windows 95, as well as part of SDKs for Windows 3.1.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Name Version Code name Release date Support end date Notes
Windows CE 1.0 1.0 Pegasus, Alder 1996-11-16 2001-12-31 First release of Windows CE; released for H/PC (Handheld PC) devices only
Windows CE 2.x 2.x Birch 1997-09-29 2005-09-30 Added support for many device architectures and standard APIs
Windows CE 3.0 3.0 Cedar, Galileo 2000-06-15 2007-10-09
Windows CE 4.x 4.x Talisker, Jameson, McKendric 2002-01-07 2013-07-09
Windows CE 5.0 5.0 Macallan 2004-07-09 2014-10-14
Windows CE 6.0 6.0 Yamazaki 2006-11-01 2018-06-10 Last version to be called "Windows CE"
Windows Embedded Compact 7 7.0 Chelan 2011-03-01 2021-04-13
Windows Embedded Compact 2013 8.0 N/A 2013-06-03 2023-10-10

See also[edit | edit source]