Which version of Visual Studio 2005 is needed for "Managed" device application development ?

Visual Studio 2005 is now out the door (Woot!) – For Windows CE developers this means that you now have one tool to develop native (Win32, MFC, ATL, STL, WTL) and managed (C#/VB, CF 2.0) applications – of course you can continue to use eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0 and Visual Studio 2003 (to develop .NET Compact Framework 1.0 applications).

Which version of Visual Studio do you need to develop Windows CE applications ? – The answer is the “Standard Edition”, the express (free) versions don’t ship with device development features – you can check out the Visual Studio 2005 Product Matrix for more information.

What about Windows XP Embedded ? – It’s the same as the desktop version of Windows XP SP2, you can use any desktop development tool/language to develop applications for Windows XP Embedded.

– Mike 

Comments (9)

  1. Andy says:

    I think free develop tool for CE will die, isn’t true?

    So Microsoft tell us "no free lunch".

  2. buboi navaja says:

    have a Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition but still can’t deploy to my Win CE 5.0 device emulator. I had in mind that after Beta 2 and RC1 the release version will have CE 5.0 deployment support already. when is it gonna happen mike?

  3. mikehall says:

    Andy – eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0 SP4 is available as a free download for developers that want to develop native code against a Windows CE device – Managed code development has always required Visual Studio .NET 2003 which is not free. The only change with Visual Studio 2005 is the newly added support for Win32, MFC, ATL etc… that allow for Native code development (note that the native runtimes are now at the same version level as the desktop components).

    – Mike

  4. Hiroyuki NAKAYAMA says:

    I checked the ".NET Framwork v2.0 SDK" and it includes all the command line compilers, GUI debugger & build tools. And it also contains compact framework v2 (SDK) installer .msi file.

    This means, you can build Compact Framework v2 programs by command line basis, although it is very tough to develop…

  5. Andy says:

    Well, Mike. SP4 is last update , isn’t it? If Microsoft release WinCE 6.0, then evc is "game over", sure?

  6. mikehall says:

    Yes, I believe SP4 will be the last update for eMbedded Visual C++.

    You therefore have the following options.

    Windows CE 5.0

    * Platform Builder, C/C++ Win32 Applications and DLL’s

    * eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0 SP4 to write Win32/C/C++, MFC, ATL applications

    * Visual Studio 2003 to write Managed C#/VB applications using the .NET Compact Framework 1.0

    * Visual Studio 2005 to write C/C++, MFC/ATL/STL/WTL applications (native code) and C#/VB Managed Applications using .NET Compact Framework 2.0

    – Mike

  7. Jay Daniel says:

    I’ve bought into the VS2005-for-everything model and have recommended that my development group upgrade our varied version of VS and eVC to VS2005, but we’ve hit a decided snag in the process. I downloaded VS2005 Pro from my MSDN pro subscription as soon as it came out and started working on getting native device development/debugging up and running.

    We’re using a custom WinCE 5.0 image that doesn’t include activesync and so I followed the directions at:


    to set up a connection to our device without activesync. Here’s the rub: They DON’T WORK. You first have to run SDAuthUtilDevice and SDAuthUtil before you perform the above-mentioned steps to get things to connect. Only SDAuthUtil isn’t included for VS2005 (and doesn’t exist as far as I can tell), only VS2003. So on MY machine (where I had a copy of 2003), I can get things to work, but on the new installations there’s NO option that I can find to get native debugging running on our target. Am I missing something?

  8. mikehall says:

    you need to run ConmanClient2.exe and then run cmaccept.exe – you then have 3 minutes to make the connection from VS 2005 to the PB generated image.

    – Mike