Windows CE 5.0 Coming in July

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It was announced today at the Microsoft Windows Embedded Developers’ Conference that Windows CE 5.0 will be released to licensees on July 9.

Windows CE is the operating system that is the basis for Windows Mobile. It is also directly used in some handheld models, consumer electronics, gateways, industrial controllers, Internet Protocol (IP) set-top boxes, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones, and thin clients.

Until now, companies that modified this operating system for their own devices were required to share these changes. Microsoft said today that hereafter licensees will maintain ownership of their derivative code and will not be required to share modifications with Microsoft, partners or competitors.

What’s New in Windows CE 5.0?

One of the most significant changes in Windows CE 5.0 is support for Direct3D Mobile (D3DMobile), a graphics solution built on DirectX, Microsoft’s desktop technology. This will allow Windows CE devices to support even higher-performance graphics and multimedia, similar to a desktop experience, on small-footprint devices. Microsoft has also announced that D3DM will be added to Windows Mobile at some point.

It will also include networking performance improvements that Microsoft says will “dramatically” increase data processing speeds. In addition, Windows CE 5.0 will include Fast Start, which will noticeably decrease playback start time for multimedia content such as movies.

At its core, Windows Mobile 2003 is much closer to Windows CE than Pocket PC 2002 and Smartphone 2002 were. This means improvements made to Windows CE 5.0 can be much more easily included in future versions of Windows Mobile than had been possible before.

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