Handheld software compatibilty question.

Posted on 1998-06-10
Last Modified: 2010-04-29
    I was wondering if it is possible to use any software made for windows 95 on a handheld computer.  I.E.  Freecell or calculator.
Question by:cide

Expert Comment

ID: 1019170
What type of handheld PC do you intend to use it on? What operating system is is running?

If your handheld is running Win95, then there's no problem. If it's running Windows CE then there is a version of IE available for that. Goto the Microsoft Website.

If you've got a Psion, or another type of handheld that doesn't run Win95 or WinCE, then you're out of luck.


Author Comment

ID: 1019171
I've never seen a handheld that just uses Win95.  I intend to use it on one that has Windows CE.  What do you mean by a special version of IE?  What I want is to be able to use any Win95 software I choose on a handheld is this possible?  (as long as it fits in the handhelds memory of course)  I was looking into getting a NEC.

Expert Comment

ID: 1019172
Well, Windows CE comes with Internet Explorer (a version that was written specially for it).

Ok, about the general software compatibility idea: Windows CE is a totally new OS from the ground up. It is not derived from DOS like Win95 is. If the software you want to use comes from Microsoft then it will almost certainly work as well on CE as it does on Win95 (and if it doesn't you can probably get a CE version from the MS Website.). If it's written by someone else then it's best to check with the manufacturers.

In short, there's no yes or no answer to your question, you'll just have to check with the manufacturers of each piece of software you want to use.

By the way, there is one handheld that I can think of that uses Windows95 and that's the Toshiba Libretto.


Expert Comment

ID: 1019173
Generally, Win 95 and Win CE are not compatibel. You can't run Win 95 software on CE. Mayby it will possible later, but in the moment not.

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Expert Comment

ID: 1019174
mkdjo, Yeah you're right that CE and 95 are generally not compatible, but MS tend to stick to a set of interface techniques that can allow apps to be compatible between the different MS platforms. In the same way that some applications are compatible with both NT and 95, some applications will be compatible with both CE and 95. Check with MS and the software manufacturers. I guess that the number of apps that are compatible with both platforms will be quite small, since CE is so new.


Accepted Solution

mjoyce earned 10 total points
ID: 1019175
The others are right: software for one operating system generally won't work on another operating system, so software written for Windows 95 won't work on any handhelds except the Toshiba Libretto and its ilk, which are real laptop PCs with very small form factors.
If you're after specific software, there's a good chance that it's already been written for the most common handheld operating systems: Windows CE (ie HP, Casio, Everex, Philips, Sharp, Compaq, NEC, etc) PalmOS (PalmPilot / Palm III) and EPOC32 (Psion and Geofox).
Since you asked about Freecell and Calculators, there are plenty of games available for each of these: MS produces a Games Pack including Freecell for Windows CE, and there are versions available for Palm and EPOC32 as well.
As far as calculators go, all handhelds will have a basic calculator built into them, and there are plenty of freeware calculators for all platforms. Try having a look at a software archive such as for a quick survey of applications available.

Expert Comment

ID: 1019176
If it's really important to maintain compatiblilty with your existing Win95 software, then I can strongly recommend the Toshiba Libretto. It's small enough to fit in a pocket, but runs full versions of all Win95 software. The only critisism is that it has a short battery life, but I use one at work and I've run it for over three hours continuously without problems.


Author Comment

ID: 1019177
I was actually looking for PERL, the programming language.

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