<operating system> /C E/ A version of the Microsoft Windows operating system that is being used in a variety of embedded products, from handheld PCs to specialised industrial controllers and consumer electronic devices. Programming for Windows CE is similar to programming for other Win32 platforms.
Windows CE was developed to be a customisable operating system for embedded applications. Its kernel borrows much from other Microsoft 32-bit operating systems, while eliminating (or replacing) those operating system features that are not needed for typical Windows CE-based applications. For example, as on Windows NT, all applications running on Windows CE run in a fully preemptive multitasking environment, in fully protected memory spaces.
The Win32 (API) for Windows CE is smaller than the Win32 API for the other 32-bit Windows operating systems. It includes approximately half the interface methods of the Windows NT version of the API. But the Win32 API for Windows CE also includes features found in no other Microsoft operating system. The notification API, for example, makes it possible to handle user or application notification events (such as timer events) at the operating-system level, rather than in a running application. The touch screen API and the built-in support for the Windows CE database are not found in other Windows operating systems. The touch screen API makes it easy to manage screen calibration and user interactions for touch-sensitive displays, while the database API provides access to a data storage facility.