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Microsoft Windows CE is an open, scalable, 32-bit operating system that is designed to meet the needs of a broad range of intelligent devices, from enterprise tools such as industrial controllers, communications hubs, and point-of-sale terminals to consumer products such as cameras, telephones, and home entertainment devices. A typical Windows CE-based embedded system is targeted for a specific use, often runs disconnected from other computers, and requires an operating system that has a small footprint and a built-in deterministic response to interrupts.
Windows CE offers the application developer the familiar environment of the Microsoft Win32 application programming interface (API), ActiveX controls, message queuing (MSMQ) and Component Object Model (COM) interfaces, Active Template Library (ATL), and the Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) Library. ActiveSync provides easy connectivity between the desktop and the embedded device, whether by serial connection, infrared port, or network cable. Windows CE provides built-in support for multimedia (including DirectX), communications (TCP/IP, SNMP, TAPI, and more), and security. A variety of integrated applications, including Pocket Internet Explorer, Pocket Outlook, and Pocket Word expose objects that allow you to extend and customize the existing system, as well as extend the functionality of your own application.
For more information on Windows CE, eMbedded Visual Studio, and on building a customized operating system by using Microsoft Windows CE Platform Builder, visit this Microsoft Web Site.