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.NET Compact Framework

The Microsoft .NET Compact Framework is an integral component on Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded CE devices that enables you to build and run managed applications and use Web services. The .NET Compact Framework includes an optimized common language runtime (CLR) and a subset of the .NET Framework class library, which supports features such as Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Forms. It also contains classes that are designed exclusively for the .NET Compact Framework.

The .NET Compact Framework inherits the full .NET Framework architecture of the CLR and managed code execution. For more information about the architecture of the .NET Compact Framework, see .NET Compact Framework Architectural Overview.

The .NET Compact Framework supports Visual Basic and Visual C# development. It does not currently support C++ development.


This documentation assumes a general understanding of the .NET Framework. It focuses on technologies and components that are of special importance or unique to the .NET Compact Framework. The .NET Compact Framework documentation does not repeat topics it has in common with the full .NET Framework. For example, the .NET Compact Framework uses the same class library documentation as the full .NET Framework.

For additional information about the .NET Compact Framework, see the following:

.NET Compact Framework How-to Topics

Provides links to code example topics and procedures in the .NET Compact Framework documentation.

What's New in the .NET Compact Framework

Summarizes features and capabilities introduced in the .NET Compact Framework.

Overview of the .NET Compact Framework

Describes the architecture of the .NET Compact Framework, differences between the .NET Compact Framework and the full .NET Framework, and .NET Compact Framework assemblies and files.

How to: Find Supported Members of the .NET Compact Framework in the Class Library

Provides procedures for filtering the class library to show the classes available in the .NET Compact Framework and explains how to determine support and versioning.

Application Development in the .NET Compact Framework

Provides information about how to use the .NET Compact Framework with various technologies and device platforms.

External Resources for the .NET Compact Framework

Provides information about external resources that will be helpful for application development.

.NET Compact Framework Application Samples

Contains downloadable games and applications for the Pocket PC.

.NET Compact Framework Technology Samples

Contains downloadable samples that demonstrate .NET Compact Framework features and capabilities.

Programming for Devices Using the .NET Compact Framework

Provides information about developing smart device applications by using the .NET Compact Framework in Visual Studio.

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