Windows CE 5.0
|Windows CE 5.0|
|Part of the Windows CE family|
|CE 5.2.19202|
|Source model||Shared source|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
|Kernel type||Hybrid kernel|
|Preceded by||Windows CE 4.0|
|Succeeded by||Windows Embedded CE 6.0|
||This article has an unclear citation style. (July 2011)|
It was first released on July 09, 2004. Like its predecessors, Windows CE 5.0 is marketed towards the embedded device market and independent device vendors. Windows CE 5.0 is billed as a low-cost, compact, fast-to-market, real-time operating system available for x86, ARM, MIPS, and SuperH microprocessor-based systems. Windows CE 5.0 builds on previous Windows CE releases in its adoption of shared source. Since 2001, Microsoft has been steadily expanding the available Windows CE source tree with embedded system developers. Windows CE 5.0 is the most open Microsoft Operating System to date, though not all of the system is available under shared source agreements. Developers have the freedom to modify down to the kernel level, without the need to share their changes with Microsoft or competitors.
Windows CE 5.x is the base OS for Windows Mobile 6.0, 6.1 and 6.5. On the x86 platform, Windows CE 5.0 competes against Microsoft's other embedded Operating Systems, Windows XP Embedded and its predecessor Windows NT Embedded.
Platform Builder IDE for Windows CE 5.0 is the last builder tool available as standalone product.
Windows CE vs. Windows XP Embedded 
According to Microsoft, Windows CE is a preferable choice to Windows XP Embedded in situations where demanding wireless and multimedia requirements need to be met. The following are the primary considerations for “choosing the right version”:
- CPU architecture: Windows CE supports an extensive array of architectures, including x86, whereas Windows XP Embedded only supports the x86 architecture.
- Real-time applications: Windows CE is a real-time operating system, while Windows XP Embedded is not by default.
- Existing Win32 applications: Windows CE cannot use Win32 binaries, libraries, and drivers without modification.
- Memory footprint: The minimum footprint of Windows CE is 350 kilobytes. The minimum footprint of Windows XP Embedded is 8 megabytes, making it over 23 times larger.
Also consider that Windows CE licensing starts at $3 or €1.25 per device for the Core SKU, while XP Embedded is $90 or €59 per unit shipped.
See also 
- "Which to Choose: Evaluating Microsoft Windows CE .NET and Windows XP Embedded". Microsoft Corporation. September 2003.
- "Portable CE 5.0".