What Is Microsoft Windows CE 2.1/PC (The PC-based Reference Platform)?

Windows CE 2.1

Microsoft Corporation

June 2000

Summary: This article examines what a PC-based platform consists of, and various previous-generation platforms. (2 printed pages)


What Is "Odo"?


For many people, it makes sense to develop Microsoft® Windows® CE applications on an Intel-compatible x86 platform. For example, an old PC can sometimes be recycled into a PC-based reference platform. Currently, 486, Pentium, and Pentium-Pro are supported.

The PC-based reference platform is for developing Windows CE applications and device drivers on an x86 PC. The PC-based reference platform may be useful for writing new device drivers for ICs which are available on ISA or PCI cards, since they can easily be loaded into a PC-based reference platform for development while custom hardware is still being developed. Later, these PCI cards may be loaded into a Harpcase enclosure for testing with CPU architectures other than x86.

Windows CE is not a desktop O/S and not all hardware configurations are supported. Plug and Play is not supported. DOS 6.22 or better is required for operation as PC-based reference platform unless you are using a custom bootloader, such as Annasoft CE Launcher™.

PC-based reference platform should not be confused with PC emulation of Windows CE hand-held PC devices, which is currently available in the Windows CE DDK.

Because older PCs often contain unsupported hardware configurations, Microsoft will be recommending the use of particular PC mainboards. The list of supported mainboards is subject to change based on availability.

What Is "Odo"?

Odo is the previous-generation hardware reference platform for Windows CE. The reference platform is the hardware used internally by Microsoft to test and develop the Windows CE operating system. Use of the Microsoft reference platform is the best and most reliable way to guarantee both hardware and software compatibility with Windows CE.

The previous-generation reference is sold by Hitachi as the D9000 Development System for SH Processors. It is also sold by ETMA (Redmond, WA) as "M1000". By swapping cards, this development system is capable of providing all of the processors and peripherals that are supported by Windows CE 2.x. Used in this configuration, the development system was known by the code-name "ODO".

Microsoft (through CE 3.0) will continue to support Odo. However, Odo is not recommended for new designs. New designs should use HARP.