MEDC 2006 Day Two – Windows CE 6, Surprise!!

Tuesday May 9th 2006, today is the first 'official' day of the Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference 2006 - The day started with a keynote given by Pieter Knook (Senior VP, Microsoft) and Todd Warren (VP, Microsoft), and the demo monkeys, Dave Karle (Windows Mobile), Colin Miller (.NET Micro Framework), and some Windows Embedded guy covering Windows CE 6, Windows XP Embedded, and Windows Embedded for Point of Service.

The keynote demos all worked perfectly, the keynote ran long by only a couple of minutes, perhaps a first for a Microsoft event!. What was the news in the keynote? - The big news is the release of the Windows CE 6 Beta to attendees at MEDC, a first look at the new tools, and some of the kernel changes within Windows CE.

Windows CE 5.0 and earlier versions of Windows CE were limited to running a maximum of 32 processes at one time, and each process can access 32MB of virtual memory. With Windows CE 6 the o/s now supports 32K processes!!!! and each process now runs in a 2GB virtual address space!!!! - Now that ROCKS!

But wait... there's more... Platform Builder now becomes a plug in to Visual Studio 2005 - this means that you now have one place to go to cofigure your operating system image, one place to build, test, and debug your operating system, and the same place to write your desktop, Windows Mobile, and Windows CE applictions! - now that's extremely cool, do I hear a "Woot!" ?

It's interesting to see that this news has made it over to /. (Slashdot) - what's even more interesting is reading the comments - how are people confused between Windows CE and Windows Mobile ? - I don't get it. This is NOT a new Windows Mobile release.

BTW - I've posted more photo's from todays keynote to the MEDC 2006 Flickr site -

Also, we've recorded a number of video interviews across MEDC, I expect these to be posted to the RSS feed later today - more to come from the Ask the Experts session later this evening.

- Mike


Comments (16)

  1. Shahar says:


    It’s interesting to see that this news has made it over to /. (Slashdot) – what’s even more interesting is reading the comments – how are people confused between Windows CE and Windows Mobile ? – I don’t get it. This is NOT a new Windows Mobile release.


    Errr.. Maybe because our messaging on our embedded technologies is incredibly confusing?

    Heck, util a year ago or so, I confused the two things all the time. And I read about it quite often.

  2. circle says:

    you don’t get a woot on pb in vs2005, because you have a huge anti-woot for allowing (forcing) bsquare to fork the tree in the first place.

    fixing dev tools that should never have been broken in the first place does not count as innovation

  3. LiQ says:

    You didn’t expect those answers, did you?

    Time to defend yourself.

  4. wcs says:

    Quoated from article referenced by /.,

    "Mukund Ghangurde, Microsoft’s Group Product Manager for Windows Embedded, told WindowsForDevices that the "redesigned kernel" expands the number of simultaneous processes from 32 to 32,000, while enlarging the virtual memory that is addressable by each process from 64MB to 2GB."

    64MB per process ???

    Best Regards,

  5. zzz says:

    So what’s the non-confusing answer to what CE means? Cellphone Edition?

  6. Bukovansky Richard says:

    Hm, interesting about that processes number and addressing space per process, I thought it’s already done in WCE 5.0 kernel…

    Mike, do you know why wasn’t it done in WCE 5.0 kernel?

    To zzz: CE is abbrevation of nothing. See

  7. Nino.Mobile says:

    Tuesday’s big event was the keynote given by Peter Knook, Senior VP, Mobile and Embedded Devices Division.&amp;nbsp;…

  8. KJK::Hyperion says:

    Richard: I guess it’s because Windows CE tries not to rely on a full-fledged MMU (such as e.g. ARM doesn’t have). Currently, it has a shared virtual address space of 4 GB, of fixed layout. This includes 32 "process slots", providing 32 MB combined of heap, stacks and mapped DLLs to each process

    Note, however, that the limitation only applies to the number of processes and the size of private memory, as the memory mapping space (used by VirtualAlloc and MapViewOfFile) is huge, and there is no fixed limit to the number of threads

    All of this is documented in the SDK. See

  9. So how do we get a copy of version 6? (I just received an eval copy of version 5 last week)…

  10. mikehall says:

    The only way (right now) to get the Beta of Windows CE 6 is to attend one of the MEDC events across the world.

    – Mike

  11. mikehall says:

    Mukunds comments about 64MB VM per process is because slot 0 is the current running process (32MB) and slot 1 is for DLL’s (also 32MB), the combination gives 64MB.

    – Mike

  12. Just checked Mike’s post about the announcement of Windows CE 6.0 at MEDC. He says:

    It’s interesting…

  13. PatriotB says:

    "So what’s the non-confusing answer to what CE means? Cellphone Edition?"

    Though I don’t think MS has ever officially said so, I’d say it stands for "Consumer Electronics."  Many times I’ve read articles and such where they use the terminology "consumer electronics" and also discuss Windows CE.

    Though today, it is useful for more than consumer electronics, for example robots, gas pumps, etc.  But the original versions of CE were primarily for the handheld PC, palm-sized PC, and auto PC.

  14. mikehall says:

    While it’s true that the first devices that shipped on Windows CE were the PC Companion (also known as the handheld PC) the operating system was designed from day one to be a small footprint, componentized operating system that ran on multiple processor cores.

    Over the years new processor architectures have been supported by the O/S (ARM/StrongARM/xScale for example), and new technologies have also been added – the operating system is still a small footprint, real-time, componentized operating system – in many respects you could consider the o/s to be suitable for a wide range of embedded solutions ranging from medical, retail, consumer electronics, robotics, and so on.

    – Mike

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