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5/6/2010
00:09 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
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What Powers Windows Phone 7?

It has been thought that Windows Phone 7 would be powered by Windows CE 6, which is the latest version of CE available. Windows Mobile 6 is powered by CE 5, so WP7 was going to run on the most current embedded OS Microsoft has to offer for phones. The truth is though, it may run on a hybrid of CE 6 and the next unreleased version.

It has been thought that Windows Phone 7 would be powered by Windows CE 6, which is the latest version of CE available. Windows Mobile 6 is powered by CE 5, so WP7 was going to run on the most current embedded OS Microsoft has to offer for phones. The truth is though, it may run on a hybrid of CE 6 and the next unreleased version.Microsoft developed CE over a decade ago to run on devices that couldn't handle a desktop OS. CE in fact stood for Consumer Electronics before CE 1.0 shipped, but they got rid of that name and just kept the CE label. The original Handheld PC's that shipped in the mid to late 90's were powered by CE. When the Pocket PC was released in 2000, it too had CE underneath, but it had a custom UI. Microsoft was in such dire need for something to compete with the then dominant Palm Pilots the CE team worked very closely with the Pocket PC team to get the OS ready for the first Pocket PC devices.

Engadget suggests the same thing may be happening again. Rather than just use the existing version of CE, which is currently at Windows CE 6 R3, they "incorporated innovative features and functionality on top of the platform." This suggests that some features from the forthcoming Compact 7 embedded OS will be included in WP7, or possibly some needs of WP7 were developed specifically for the OS and will be incorporated in Compact 7.

There is no indication as to what those features are. We know it isn't copy and paste of course. It is likely some low level tech that enhances the performance of network apps, battery life, or some bit of technobabble that we'll probably comment on later when it is revealed.

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