We just announced the release of Windows Embedded Compact 7 the new release of the Windows Embedded CE, our small footprint, real time embedded operating system. To develop both the OS and the application for Compact 7, you will need Visual Studio 2008 Professional or above. Visual Studio 2008 is available in the Windows Embedded Compact 7 tool kit, so if you purchase Compact 7, you have VS 2008 in the box. Now, if you are an ISV or if as an OEM you just need VS 2008 to develop applications for Compact 7,you will need to purchase VS 2008.
I have been asked a couple times about the availability of Visual Studio 2008, given that the latest version of Visual Studio is 2010 and that it is not trivial to find a link to purchase Visual Studio 2008 on the Visual Studio Web site.
Be reassured, Visual Studio 2008 is still available for purchase and will be for some time. Actually VS 2008 will be supported for a total of 10 years (until 2018) and sold for 15 (until 2023). You can find information about its support lifecycle on this page.