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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Windows Mobile Core OS Directions
By Chris De Herrera , Copyright 2007

Revised 5/29/2007

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One of the things that I have noticed about Windows Mobile is how often the core operating system changes and what changes are included with it.  Each release of Windows Mobile (or Pocket PC and Smartphone) uses the Windows CE core operating system (OS) and builds applications and the user interface on top of it.  This is a look back at some of the changes to the core Windows Mobile OS and how they may affect OS changes in the future.

The Past

Since Pocket PC 2000 was released there have been 6 versions of the Windows Mobile operating system.  (For a list of the versions see Windows Mobile Versions)  I have noticed a pattern in the way that Microsoft updates the operating system.  The Pocket PC 2000 and Pocket PC 2002 shared the same core operating system release of Windows CE 3.0.  Then with Windows Mobile 2003 and Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, I noted that they use Windows CE 4.2 and Windows CE 4.21 respectively.  Finally with Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6 they both use Windows CE 5.1 and Windows CE 5.2 respectively.

Analyzing The Pattern

So it appears that for the last 6 releases of Windows Mobile Microsoft focuses on changing the major core Windows CE operating system with every other release for a total of 3 major operating system releases.  Meanwhile with every release their are updates to selected applications and the user interface.  So every other release has more features than the changes with every release due to the enhancements included with the Windows CE operating system which Windows Mobile is built on.

The Future

Based on the prior pattern of Windows Mobile releases and the release of Windows CE 6, I suspect that the next generation of Windows Mobile will include a major new operating system along with new features.   To get an idea of the possible features, I suggest looking at the core Windows CE 6.0 information for clues.  The features in Windows CE 6.0 are not guaranteed to be included with the next OS so this is just a general hint of the direction of Windows Mobile in the future.


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