Microsoft Announces Visual C++ for Windows CE

REDMOND, Wash., April 1, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the
Visual C++® development system for Windows® CE, a complete C and C++ development system for the Microsoft® Windows CE operating system. Visual C++ for Windows CE is an add-on product to Visual C++ version 5.0 designed to allow developers to apply their existing knowledge of programming with Visual C++ and the Win32® API to the development of applications for Windows CE. Taking full advantage of the new Visual Studio® integrated development environment, Visual C++ for Windows CE introduces new remote development features that reduce the complexity of developing applications for the Handheld PC and other Windows CE-based non-PC devices. Visual C++ for Windows CE delivers a complete PC-hosted development environment for Windows CE, significantly lowering the barriers for programming to the emerging class of non-PC devices enabled by Windows CE.

“The release of Visual C++ for Windows CE gives developers a powerful tool for realizing new business opportunities created by the Windows CE platform,” said Harel Kodesh, general manager of the consumer appliance group at Microsoft. “With Visual C++ for
Windows CE, developers are able to create all types of products for the new platform. Windows CE offers new opportunities for hardware and software vendors alike, and Visual C++ for Windows CE is the key enabling tool for all of them. Before Visual C++ for Windows CE was available, developing for Handheld PCs and other non-PC devices had been significantly more challenging than developing for the Windows-based desktop. Visual C++ for Windows CE makes developing for these devices as easy as developing for Windows 95 and Windows NT® . We are committed to ensuring that developers are successful on the Windows CE platform, and Visual C++ for Windows CE takes us a step closer to that goal.”

Use of Existing Windows-Based Programming Expertise

Visual C++ for Windows CE was designed to ensure that the multitude of programmers using Visual C++ could take advantage of their experience in working with Visual C++ to create applications for Windows CE. As an add-on product to Visual C++ 5.0, Visual C++ for Windows CE is fully integrated into the Visual Studio environment, giving developers the productivity-enhancing features offered by Visual Studio and removing the need for them to learn a new environment. Visual C++ for Windows CE also provides new Windows CE-based versions of the Windows-based tools developers are familiar with, such as Spy, MemView, RegEdit and Zoomin. Visual C++ for Windows CE features seamless integration of remote debugging – including auto-download and execute capabilities – for development on a remote device, while maintaining the same command and feature set provided in Visual C++ 5.0.

Visual C++ for Windows CE makes it easy for developers to use their existing Win32-based code when creating Windows CE-based applications. Win32 for Windows CE is a subset of the Win32 API on the desktop and is combined with new, Windows CE-specific APIs designed to match the features of Windows CE-based devices. Developers using the Win32 API can immediately put their programming knowledge of Win32 to work and reuse much of their existing code. Visual C++ for Windows CE also includes Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) for Windows CE and AppWizard support, a subset of MFC on the desktop, making it easy for developers to create MFC-based applications for Windows CE.

New Technologies for Windows CE-Based Development

Visual C++ for Windows CE includes the complete Windows CE software development kit (SDK) and device driver kit (DDK), and integrates the desktop emulation environment as a Windows CE target platform. The desktop emulation environment emulates the Win32 API for Windows CE on Windows NT-based desktops. It includes the Handheld PC shell, file system services and device driver emulation so developers can build Windows CE-based applications on the desktop that look and behave as they do on actual devices. Desktop emulation allows developers to do most of their development on the PC, thereby increasing productivity and lowering the hardware requirements to start developing for Windows CE and the Handheld PC. Developers can begin development for Windows CE today in emulation by downloading the Windows CE Desktop Emulation SDK from the Web ( ).

Visual C++ for Windows CE also provides new cross-compilers targeting the CPUs currently supported by Windows CE (MIPS and SH3). In addition, Visual C++ for Windows CE was designed to allow developers to test and debug their applications using standard
Windows CE-based Handheld PCs and the serial cable normally used to synchronize the Handheld PC with the desktop PC. With the auto-download and execute feature in Visual C++ for Windows CE, developers simply build their applications for the specific Windows CE-based device, and Visual C++ for Windows CE automatically takes care of downloading the application to the device for testing.

Complete, State-of-the-Art Development Environment

Visual C++ for Windows CE uses the same state-of-the-art C11 compiler technology used in Visual C++ 5.0 for the desktop. Visual C++ for Windows CE is a complete Windows CE-based development package, including cross-compilers for all supported CPUs, the full
Windows CE SDK and DDK, and extensive Win32 and MFC sample applications, enabling developers to build applications for all Windows CE-based devices.

Lowering the Barriers to Non-PC Development

Visual C++ for Windows CE is an important tool for developers in lowering the technical barriers for developing to remote targets and cross-platform CPUs common to non-PC devices. With Visual C++ for Windows CE developers can do the following:

  • Take full advantage of the same programming model and interfaces they use today for development of Windows-based applications

  • Develop in the same Visual Studio integrated development environment

  • Do the majority of their development work on the desktop PC with the desktop emulation environment

  • Use standard Windows CE-based devices for development, testing and debugging – no additional development-specific hardware, such as debug boards, is required

  • Target all Windows CE-based products from the same environment, regardless of CPU or type of device

Windows CE: Creating New Opportunities for Developers

Windows CE is Microsoft’s compact and portable operating system built from the ground up to be appropriate for a broad range of business and consumer devices that can communicate with each other, share information with Windows-based PCs, and connect to the Internet.

Categories of devices for which Windows CE is suitable include small form-factor mobile computing devices such as the new Handheld PCs, “wallet” PCs, wireless communications devices such as digital information pagers and cellular “smart” phones, next-generation entertainment and multimedia consoles, and purpose-built Internet access devices such as Internet TVs, digital set-top boxes and Internet “Web phones.”

Pricing and Availability

Visual C++ for Windows CE will initially be available only through Microsoft beginning April 1, 1997. Customers should call (800) 424-9688 in the United States and Canada and 00-353-1-708-8690 in Europe. The add-on product will cost $199 in the United States and $279 in Canada, plus shipping and handling. Visual C++ 5.0, Professional or Enterprise edition, is required. For more information on Visual C++ for Windows CE, please visit the Microsoft Web site at .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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