Windows Embedded Compact v.Next uncovered

Posted By David Campbell
Program Manager

Woo hoo, it’s finally time to share more information about the upcoming release! First, the release now officially has a name: Windows Embedded Compact 2013. (I know that folks probably have questions around why we chose this name. We thoroughly considered a long list of potential names, including Windows CE again, and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 really did receive the best response.)

I’ll be doing a number of posts about the various key features and changes in Windows Embedded Compact 2013 over the next few posts, but I want to start with arguably the most interesting of the new features: the investments made for Visual Studio 2012 support, both ISV/app development via Visual Studio directly; and the OEM/device development experience with Platform Builder, now hosted in Visual Studio 2012!

With all development now in Visual Studio 2012, there is no longer a need for multiple versions of Visual Studio to support Compact development alongside other Windows platforms. Plus, you’ll get many of the new features and productivity improvements available in Visual Studio 2012 when developing for Compact! We now have the same C++ toolset and standards supported everywhere. (And of course Visual Studio 2012 includes the new features from Visual Studio 2010, which were not previously to Compact developers.)

We also have a new CRT, which has key new functionality aligned as well. (The existing CRT on Compact hasn’t been updated in some time.) And the new optimizer supports functionality like auto-parallelization of your code and auto-vectorization--so if your processor has FP registers, the optimizer will automatically generate code to use vector FP. The 2012 C++ compiler also includes many of the language features from the new C++11 standards.

C++11 has new language features that allow you to write better performing, safer code and code it faster than ever before. For example, RValue references let you operate on data without having to copy it. And C++11 brings in functional semantics to make writing code more efficient, like having anonymous functions. We also support range based loops, letting you iterate over members of a list directly. More information is available on the Visual Studio team blog.

.Net CF has also been upgraded to 3.9, which inherits the support Windows Phone updates while still being app compatible with 3.5. This upgrade improves performance significantly in a number of ways. .Net CF 3.9 has greatly improved performance overall, as well as memory allocation and garbage collection using the generational garbage collector. This not only improves performance, but also provides more predictability in the execution of applications. The memory footprint of the runtime is also smaller for both the framework and applications, using what is known as “the sharing server,” allowing loaded code to be reused across applications. The runtime itself is also multi-core enabled, which can improve the performance of all your applications. More information on the updated .Net CF is available on the .NET Framework blog.

The embedded developer experience improvements of bringing the new features of Visual Studio 2012 to Windows Embedded Compact are amazing, and I’m sure you’ll be as excited as I am to get started using the new features of Visual Studio 2012, Platform Builder and the new Compact OS.

For information on the upcoming Windows Embedded Compact release, visit

Thanks for your time! I look forward to providing more updates soon!

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