Windows CE 2.1 Technical Articles  

Developing Applications for a Handheld PC

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Microsoft Corporation

June 1999

Summary:Discusses how to develop applications for business and personal use for Handheld PCs (H/PCs) running the Microsoft Windows CE operating system. (11 printed pages) Covers:

New Features
New Development Opportunities
Programming Considerations
Supported APIs
For More Information


Due to the strength of its Microsoft Windows CE operating system (OS) and an incredibly productive software package, the Handheld PC (H/PC) has become a viable alternative to traditional, less versatile tools used by the mobile professional. With knowledge of the H/PC's unique opportunities and challenges, plus help from the right development tools, independent software vendors can market profitable applications with minimum design time and effort.


Information appliances are rapidly gaining popularity. More than one million PC companion devices running Windows CE technology have been shipped so far. The H/PC gives an increasing number of mobile professionals the ability to stay connected wherever they are, and provides a growing number of hardware and software vendors the opportunity to create solutions and accessories for business and personal use.

Handheld PCs running Microsoft Windows CE, Handheld PC Edition and Microsoft Windows CE, Handheld PC Professional Edition, are known for their compact size, instant on/off function, long battery life, and synchronization abilities with desktop or laptop computer information. In addition, programming applications for the H/PC and other Windows CE-based devices is simplified by its Microsoft Win32 code base.

H/PCs have a full range of hardware and software components that extend the capabilities of the mobile device category. Creating great applications is a matter of acknowledging the H/PC's characteristics. To address this, the following topics will be discussed in this article: