Windows CE Operating System

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Windows CE

Windows CE Screenshot Windows CE is based on Windows 95 with the usual interface, adapted for small devices. The development for this operating system under the code name Pegasus began in 1995. Specially designed for micro-computers, the abbreviation CE stands informal for "Compact Edtion". These microcomputers are known as handheld computer or personal digital assistant (PDA). The first version of Windows CE requires as a minimum 4 MB of ROM, 2 MB of RAM and a processor of the SuperH3, MIPS 3000 or MIPS 4000 architecture. One of the first devices for Windows CE 1.0 which was the HP 300 LX, came on the market on 16th November 1996. The operating system is not sold separately and always tied to the device unit shipped by original equipment manufactures. The resolution of the touch screen is 640x240 pixels and corresponds to the half-VGA resolution. For synchronizing data between mobile device and desktop computer, the software "Handheld PC Explorer" is used.

Field of application
- Handhelds and similar mobile devices
- data exchange between stationary and mobile computers
- dates mobil available, management of tasks and contacts

Structure information
- monolithic kernel

- 32-bit oeprating system
- SH3, MIPS 39xx and 4xxx, 486, Pentium, Motorola, PowerPC, ARM/Strong ARM

- energy saving design for mobile handheld- and palmtop computers
- complex design
- complex applications

Windows CE 2.0 came in October 1997 with the first devices on the market. The operating system can now be designed modular by the device manufacturers itself. TrueType fonts improving now the appearance of characters on the screen with a display of 640x480 pixel full VGA resolution and 24-bit color depth. The manageable memory can now be up to 4 MB. The software "Handheld PC Explorer" is renamed to ActiveSync.

The update Windows CE 2.10 in July 1998 allows the use of TCP/IP and the file system FAT32. With the modular file wrapper can be incorporated up to 256 different file systems. The RAM can now be up to 16 MB. The new command line processor allows in this release for the first time the use of commands without a graphical user interface. An infrared port and USB controller increases the scope.

Windows CE 3.0 is only available for ARM CPUs. As new feature the Bluetooth support was introduced.

Pocket PC 2003 or Windows Mobile 2003 has a real-time kernel and is based on the Windows CE. NET 4.2 kernel. The features of the XScale CPU are now fully available and use the advanced commands of the ARM v5 architecture. The Pocket Media Player can now play videos in Windows Media 9 format. A WLAN stack was added and the setup of the connections was made easier.

Windows Mobile 2003 SE from March, 25. 2004 for Pocket PCs can switch over the display contents between the portrait and landscape format and displays up to 480 640 pixels. The start menu was changed light and the handwriting recognizer software Transcriber is controllable with Shortcuts now. The Internet Explorer converts web pages to a adapted format for better view on small displays.

Windows Mobile 5.0 was finished on May 5th, 2005. It is used in Pocket PCs, Smartphones and compact Media Players. Important innovations in this release are the support of Persistant Storage to prevent a data loss at a low battery usage and the revised mobile Office with Word, Excel and Powerpoint. The Windows Media player was updated to version 10 and the sync software ActiveSync to version 4.0. With Direct3Dmobile a new standard API was created for a simplified programming of 3D applications and games for PDAs.

Windows CE 6 was introduced in 2006. It offers a revised kernel architecture of the operating system, up to 32,000 parallel processes can be executed. A virtual addressable range of 2 gbyte is possible for every process. The multimedia capabilities have been expanded and now support HD-DVD, DVD (MPEG-2), UDF 2.5, multi-channel audio and much more. The compatibility to existing Windows CE applications and drivers are kept.

Microsoft announced at the "CTIA Wireless" Windows Mobile 6.1 in April 2008. This new release is to be easier for the access to messages and to configure. The integrated web browser supports Adobes Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and the video codec H.264. Functions for Smartphones have been improved.


Windows CE Operating System screenshot 1Windows CE Operating System screenshot 2Windows CE Operating System screenshot 3Windows CE Operating System screenshot 4
Windows CE StrukturWindows Mobile 2003, desktop and start menu of PocketPCWindows Mobile 2003, selection of the settings #1Windows Mobile 2003, selection of the settings #2
Windows CE Operating System screenshot 5Windows CE Operating System screenshot 6Windows CE Operating System screenshot 7Windows CE Operating System screenshot 8
Windows Mobile 2003, running programsWindows Mobile 2003, File ExplorerWindows Mobile 2003, Medion Navigator with GPSWindows Mobile 2003, view of the Route planner
Windows CE Operating System screenshot 9Windows CE Operating System screenshot 10Windows CE Operating System screenshot 11
Windows Mobile 2003, view of the versionWindows Mobile 2003, settings for network connectionsWindows Mobile 2003, selection of the battery mode


Date - Version
1996 Sept. - Windows CE 1.0, Codename Pegasus
1996 April - Windows CE 1.1
1997 Oct. - Windows CE 2.0
1998 July - Windows CE 2.10
2000 April - Windows CE 3.0, Pocket PC 2000, Codename Rapier
2001 Oct. - Windows CE 3.0, Pocket PC 2002, Codename Merlin
2002 Jan. - Windows CE 4.0 Net
2002 June - Windows CE 4.1 Net
2003 April - Windows CE 4.2, Windows Mobile 2003, Codename Ozone
2004 March - Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition
2005 May - Windows Mobile 5.0, RTM
2006 - Windows Mobile 5.0 Second Edition
2007 Feb. - Windows Mobile 6.0
2008 April - Windows Mobile 6.1
2009 May - Windows Mobile 6.5
2010 - Windows Mobile 7