Over on the Mikehall’s Embedded WEblog is a post about why the release of Windows CE and Windows Mobile don’t happen at the same time. The upcoming Windows Embedded CE 6.0 RTM (Release to Manufacturing) is for embedded developers and is not a Windows Mobile release. As mentioned in a previous post, Windows CE is a RTOS that you can use to build robots, industrial controllers, Internet appliances, etc. Windows Mobile has Windows CE as its core, plus a standard shell, applications and APIs.
Here’s a blurb from Mike’s post:
“While its true that Windows Mobile Pocket PC and Windows Mobile Smartphone are based on Windows CE as their core operating system the release of Windows CE and Windows Mobile don’t happen at the same time – the “embedded” group in effect has two sets of customers, external customers that build cow milking machines, robots, industrial control systems, GPS navigation systems, sewing machines (a great example of a “multi-threaded” device) and a whole range of other cool and interesting devices…”
After the core os has been released, internal customers (such as Windows Mobile, Windows Automotive, Microsoft TV) then start working on the UI, applications, and API’s. After this work is done, a Windows Mobile kit is then released to handset manufacturers, who then integrate the new Windows Mobile bits onto their hardware. As a result, Windows Mobile devices will appear much later after the release of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 RTM.