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Windows CE 5.0 or Windows Mobile 5.0 for application development?

Posted on 2007-12-05
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We are going to develop software to be run on a mobile scanner which offers both Windows CE5.0 and Windows Mobile5.0 as the OS options.

The device will use a cell phone and Bluetooth connection to transmit the data back to a server.
The devices don't need to be used as PDAs, just to scan and run the application we develop.

We are leaning towards Windows CE5.0 as the OS, but would like to know if there are any reasons Windows Mobile5.0 would be a better or safer choice.

What are some of the development issues we should be aware of when developing an application for Windows CE5.0?
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Question by:lwork
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12 Comments
 
LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:alexey_gusev
ID: 20416182
I would vote for Windows Mobile 5.0 as it is more popular and it is evolved to WM60. In general WinCE50 and WM50 are pretty similar and from developer point of view are different mainly in UI. Besides, available SDK may offer slightly different support, e.g. for multimedia etc.

Main problem with CE50 is that there is no convenient emulator for it, and Wm50 comes with it in various modifications. You may also need special SDK from the vendor in you are going to develop in C++
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Author Comment

by:lwork
ID: 20416288
Development will be VB.
I understand Moblie 5.0 is more popular (because users can use more robust PDA aspects), but I've heard it also has more constraints as to what can run on it and be installed.



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Expert Comment

by:alexey_gusev
ID: 20416343
well, there is the security model from Microsoft which demands signing the executables and dlls - this is applicable mostly to smartphones, so that's not fully your case. anyway, all this security policy is controlled by registry settings which may be changed. usual result of all above is that the user is prompted with "Unknown Publisher" message when you try to run the application 1st time (and for every new version too)

I haven't heard about such behavior on WinCE50, but I assume it depends on the vendor as by far not all WM50 PDAs have security policy turned on.

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by:Mikal613
ID: 20416691
well mobile scanners are more popular running CE than Windows Mobile. With ce you will have alot more oprions vs Windows Mobile.
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by:alexey_gusev
ID: 20416704
I wonder which ones?
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by:Mikal613
ID: 20416712
try looking at the Symbol's

Also the CE devices support plug and play
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Author Comment

by:lwork
ID: 20416726
>With ce you will have alot more oprions vs Windows Mobile.

Such as?
This is exactly what I'm trying to figure out.
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by:Mikal613
ID: 20416729
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by:alexey_gusev
ID: 20416739
to Mikal613: I was curious about options unavailable in Windows Mobile in comparison to WinCE 50

Symbol devices are usually rugged and therefore expensive, Intermec ones too. There are many different devices with scanners, some of them have WinCE, some - Wm, and Symbol here is good example having models of both types

There are also Socket scanners which are pluggable to the PDA without scanner, e.g. iPaq
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Author Comment

by:lwork
ID: 20416810
I have already decided on the hardware, just not which OS to have installed which is what I'm trying to do now.
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Accepted Solution

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NickWalt earned 1500 total points
ID: 20463360
Hi,

I have just started a project with the same questions in mind, we have a rugged computer which hasn't yet arrived which runs Windows CE 6.0 but i'm busily getting on with development using a Window Mobile 5.0 device so I can get stuff done. I did run some code on both machines (using proto-type) which seemed to work fine.

I think the biggest challenge when developing for Windows Mobile is the different screen sizes and shapes that are available. This is not an issue with Windows CE device cos you are programming for one device.

I have just ordered a book "Microsoft® Mobile Development Handbook" from Microsoft Press through Amazon, it should be here today. I've been reading it on O'Reilly's Safari Online Books and it seems to cover some of the questions that you're asking. Maybe the best thing would be to order that, I think your question might be a bit broad for a short answer otherwise.

Sorry couldn't be more help.
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Expert Comment

by:NickWalt
ID: 20463369
one thing I didn't say is because the code is being build for the compact frame work, providing you have the drivers and libraries for the relevant devices, surly the code would work just as well on both devices, that's the point of the shared runtime.

The one other advantage of CE is the hidden UI which is a pain in the arse with an application that just needs to run and not be interupted or giving it to a non techy user.
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