Windows CE 6 is a marked improvement for Microsoft's smallest operating system, which has big aspirations. It can now manage up to 32k processes, each with an address space of 2 Gbytes. That's probably a bit much for a cell phone, but this embedded real-time operating system (RTOS) is finding a home in a wide range of very demanding applications. This incarnation supports the latest Windows .NET Compact Framework 2.0. It also will support the recently announced Network Media Device Feature Pack (see "Feature Pack Enhances Embedded Operating System" at www. electronicdesign.com, ED Online 12450).
Microsoft has made a developer's job easier with improvements such as making
the system configuration program, Platform Builder, a Visual Studio 2005 plug-in.
Visual Studio is Microsoft's integrated development environment (IDE) for creating
applications and device drivers. It handles all Microsoft operating systems
and languages. The plug-in lets developers remain in a single IDE for embedded
application development and system targeting. Windows CE 6 also uses a new device
driver model with a 4-Gbyte address space. (2 Gbytes are for an application.)
Developers now have the choice of user-mode or kernel-mode device drivers.