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    Additional Benefits of Windows CE 5.0

    Windows CE 5.0 ships with many additional development tools and features to help you build an adaptable, reliable gateway device, for example:

    Additional Windows CE 5.0 Features



    Windows CE 5.0 supports ActiveSync®, a service manager that maintains a device partnership with a computer host and enables remote procedure calls and data synchronization. You can add the following ActiveSync features to a gateway device:

    • File Sync. Provides file synchronization.

    • Inbox Sync. Synchronizes e-mail messages in conjunction with the Pocket Outlook Object Model (POOM) API.

    • Pocket Outlook Database Sync. Synchronizes personal information manager (PIM) components, such as calendar, contacts, and tasks; also works in conjunction with the POOM API.

    Broad Hardware Support

    Windows CE-based devices run on a variety of commonly used hardware platforms, including four common families of microprocessors:

    • ARM

    • MIPS

    • SH

    • X86

    Many silicon vendor partners also provide hardware platforms and reference designs optimized for Windows CE-based gateway devices. For the current list of supported hardware platforms, visit the Windows CE Supported Processors page.

    Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) Client

    Windows CE supports the LDAP client, a protocol that is used to access a directory that stores names, addresses, phone numbers, and other types of information. The client consists of LDAP and a C API, which simplifies writing directory applications and can be used to query, add, update, and delete entries in any LDAP-compliant directory, such as Microsoft Active Directory®.

    Multilingual Support

    Windows CE comes with multilingual support based on the Multilingual User Interface (MUI). The MUI allows device designers, manufac­turers, and network operators to change a device UI language and deploy the UI in multiple languages.

    Trusted Environment Model

    To help secure your operating system from potentially unsafe operations, Windows CE 5.0 supports the trusted environment model, which allows users to specify a trusted environment where only certified applications can run. A trusted environment can prevent unknown modules from loading, restrict access to system APIs, and prevent write access to certain parts of the system registry.

    Windows Media® 9 Series Audio and Video Codecs

    Audio and video codecs enable encoding/decoding and compression/decompression of multimedia signals at the gateway device. For example, a gateway can decode data from a broadband connection and deliver it to a personal computer, or data may be decoded by the personal computer within the home or home network.

    Windows CE 5.0 supports WMA and MP3 local playback and streaming. It also supports WMV and MPEG 4 streaming. The extension .wma or .wmv is used to specify an Advanced Streaming Format (ASF) file that contains content encoded with the Windows Media Audio and/or Windows Media Video codecs. For more information about multimedia technologies in Windows CE, see the Latest Multimedia page.

    Windows CE 5.0-based gateways make it easy to integrate a broad variety of devices into a network, including digital entertainment systems, mobile and handheld devices, thin clients, personal computers, gaming devices, set-top boxes, and a variety of other consumer electronics. Windows CE 5.0 provides customizable solutions for these device platforms. A key feature in operating-system support for these platforms is the addition of the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework 1.0, which enables software developers to write an application once that will then run on any .NET Framework Windows device.

    Another key feature is support for native and managed code for writing applications for Windows CE 5.0. Microsoft offers a rich set of languages for creating managed .NET-enabled or unmanaged (native) applications. This means that device manufacturers and network operators can use their preferred application framework to implement a Windows CE gateway device solution. For managed code, Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET should be used, and for native code Microsoft eMbedded Visual C++® 4.0.

    For more information on managed and native application development for Windows CE, visit the Application Development Resources page.

    In addition, the Windows CE operating system software contains or supports some Visual C++ libraries and runtimes, Common Language Runtime (CLR), and three levels of Component Object Model (COM) support: Minimal COM, COM, and DCOM. Windows CE 5.0 also supports Web service development with Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), Microsoft XML (MSXML) Core Services, and XML Web Services.


    OEMs and network service providers face many challenges for delivering network gateways that are easy to set up and configure in home or small office environments. To meet these challenges, Windows CE 5.0 provides a customizable user interface that OEMs and network service providers can use to expose a comprehensive and robust set of network protocols and extensive security and remote management capabilities in a user-friendly way.  

    Offering an integrated development environment and a highly componentized operating system, Windows CE 5.0 provides flexibility and extensibility to partners who want to cost-effectively develop, deploy, and manage a broad range of network devices—from small-footprint data routers to powerful, feature-rich gateways with multimedia, storage, and voice capabilities. Windows CE is also Microsoft .NET-enabled so device manufacturers and service providers can support compelling services and applications and multimedia content in advanced gateway designs. 

    Windows CE comes with an easy-to-use, end-to-end tool set that includes Platform Builder (PB) and a new Platform Wizard which can enhance developer productivity. In addition to sophisticated tools for developers, Microsoft provides the following partner services as part of Windows CE:

    • Easy Licensing. Microsoft’s simple, straightforward licensing agreements have been developed to work well with the business models of OEMs.

    • Accountable World Class Support. Microsoft provides world-class support for all its products, even many years after the product is discontinued. In the long run, the gateway industry will be able to depend on Microsoft to provide support.

    • Adherence to Industry Standards. Windows provides an end-to-end solution for the needs of gateway device manufacturers and network operators. Microsoft adheres to industry standards.

    • Secured Platform. Microsoft continues to invest heavily in making Windows more secure for the gateway industry.

    • Standards and Tools. Windows comes with readily available development tools such as Platform Builder (PB).

    For More Information

    • For the latest information on Windows CE 5.0, visit the Windows CE Web site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/ce/

    • For technical information about embedded operating system development, visit the Windows Embedded Developer Center:


    • View the Windows CE online product documentation:


    • Check out the Windows Embedded newsgroups: http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/community/community/newsgrp/default.aspx

    • Participate in a Windows Embedded chat: http://msdn.microsoft.com/chats/

    • Get tips and advice in the Windows Embedded Community: http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/community/community/default.aspx

    1 Michael Wolf, “Digital Domicile 2004: Home Networking hits the Big Time”. In-Stat MDR, Report no. IN0401227RC, April 2004.

    2 Bumback, Jaclynn, “Home Networking Software: The Secret Sauce of the Residential Gateway,” In-Stat MDR, Report no. IN020242RC, June 2002.

    3 Olhava, Schelley, “U.S. Residential Gateway Market Forecast and Analysis, 2001–2005,” International Data Corporation, Report no. 25878, 2001.

    4 Kurt Scherf, Michael Greeson, and others, “Drivers for Home Networks and Residential Gateways: 2002,” Parks Associates (2002).

    5 International Data Corporation, Report no. 24888 (July 2001).

    6 Jonathan Gaw, “Home Networking Services Forecast, 2003-2007”, Report no. 30585, IDC, December 2003.

    7 Michael Wolf, “The Broadband CPE BIG Three: Residential Gateway, Modem & SOHO Router Market Analysis”, In-Stat/MDR, report no IN030659RC, October 2003.

    8 Michael Wolf, “Residential Gateways: The Coming Battle for the Digital Living Room”, Report no. IN0202233, March 2002.

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    Additional Benefits of Windows CE 5.0

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