VS 2005 and Windows CE 5.0 – Where’s my emulator ?

After posting two Visual Studio 2005 tutorial videos I've received a couple of questions about the Windows CE Emulator - eMbedded Visual C++ 4.0 and Visual Studio 2003 both shipped with a Windows CE Emulator based on a configuration of Windows CE that was somewhat close to the Internet Appliance operating system configuration, this was a good starting point to test out simple applications, the problem with the emulator that ships with eVC and VS2003 is that it doesn't expose any of the functionality of "your" platform.

Visual Studio 2005 doesn't ship with a "Windows CE 5.0" Emulator but does ship with an ARM based emulator for Pocket PC/Smartphone (now collectively called "Windows Mobile") - The Windows Mobile devices run with a fixed operating system image, meaning that you know what components or technologies are on my Pocket PC, your Pocket PC and everyone elses Pocket PC (or Smartphone) - Windows CE 5.0 isn't quite as simple, you have the flexibility of building the operating system image containing the components and technologies that you want/need for your device. Based on this, I rarely used the "Standard SDK" Emualor from eMbedded Visual C++ or Visual Studio, instead I would target a running Platform Builder emulator image - for eMbedded Visual C++ I would typically used the CESH/KITL connection to piggy-back on the existing Platform Builder connection - for Visual Studio 2003 I would need the Smart Device Authentication Utilities.

For Visual Studio 2005 I can use the existing "Windows CE 5.0 Device" target (I don't need to build an SDK from Platform Builder), once I've booted my Windows CE 5.0/Platform Builder Emulator Image, I need to get the IP Address of the emulator (use Virtual Switch in Platform Builder to make sure you can ping the Emulator!) and then I can use the same ClientSide2 and CMAccept utilities as shown in the tutorial videos to target the running Windows CE/Platform Builder emulator.

- Mike

Comments (4)

  1. Dan McCarty says:

    I prefer the option of building a custom SDK to target with EVC (over running my connection through PB). Does VS2005 and its debugger still allow using the old x86 emulator?

  2. David Vescovi says:

    I too feel the CE emulator has great utility and is greatly missed. We developed all our UI using the emulator before the embedded CE hardware was even finished. The ability to run on the PC was great. I was able to make a demo of our UI which encluded the emulator and a custom skin. I could distribute to our Human Factors/Marketing group and they could install and demo on there PC (didn’t have to ship hardware!). The ability to (easily) convert a project from PPC to a CE project (new in VS2005) helps a little but is no substitute for an emulator. I would like to see the X86 emulator back or better yet the ability to target the ARM emulator added to platform builder.

  3. Matt says:

    I have to agree with David. All he said is so true for us, and even more so. Some members of my team don’t have, don’t know how to use, and don’t want to know how to use, PB. These guys are application developers – give them a problem and a screen size, they come up with the UI and business logic using .NET solution, with some native DLL’s where needed. An oversite by Microsoft is that Windows Mobile UI is so different to a WinCE UI that a Win Mobile Emulator is not that useful to test WinCE UI design. To further complicate our lives or software is often developed before the target hardware.

  4. Tom says:

    Pleeeez add it back in. I am waisting my time trying to figure this out with platform builder.

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