Since the release of Windows Embedded Compact 7 CTP, I have seen a lot of confusion among WinCE beginners on the Visual Studio versions usage. I hope this blog will give some idea to them about the relation between Visual studio and Platform builder versions.
Until WinCE 5.0 the Platform builder was installed as a separate IDE using which we had to create OSDesign and also sub-projects. For application development embedded VC++ 4.0(eVC++) IDE was used.
At the time of WinCE 6.0 release, Microsoft integrated the Platform builder into Visual Studio 2005 IDE. So from WinCE 6.0 onwards developers can create both OSDesigns as well as smart device applications using VS2005 IDE.
In Windows Embedded Compact 7, Microsoft has integrated the Platform builder as part of the VS2008. So for creating OSDesign for this version, VS2008 is needed and VS2005 will not serve the purpose.
|Platform Builder||WinCE 6.0||WinCE 7.0||Not supported|
|Smart Device Application Development||Supported||Supported||Not Supported|
|.NET CF applicationdevelopment||v2.0||v2.0v3.5||Not Supported|
Since the release of VS2010 application developers are thinking to upgrade to VS2010 to explore new features. If you are developing Windows CE applications for embedded operating systems like WinCE/Windows Mobile then you cannot use VS2010 as VS2010 does not support smart device application development. Check out the following link for more detail.
If you want to develop applications for Windows Phone 7 OS, then you can download the “VS2010 Express for Windows Phone”, which is released with free license. Click here to download VS2010 Express for Windows Phone.