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Definition: Windows CE

(Windows Consumer Electronics) Microsoft's earlier version of Windows for handheld devices and embedded systems that ran on x86, ARM, MIPS and SuperH CPUs. Introduced in 1996, Windows CE was renamed "Windows Embedded CE" in 2006, then "Windows Embedded Compact" in 2008, and finally Windows IoT. See Windows IoT, x86, ARM and SuperH.

Windows CE used the same Win32 programming interface (API) as regular Windows, but could run in less than 1MB of RAM. It supported most Windows technologies such as .NET Compact Framework, MFC, COM, ActiveX and DirectX. In addition, numerous components were available in source code to be modified for specific platforms.

Windows Phones Were Windows CE Until WinPhone 8
Microsoft's first Windows Mobile platform and its second Windows Phone platform, prior to Windows Phone 8, were also based on Windows CE. See Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

Windows CE on the Clio
The Clio was an innovative Windows CE computer. Released in 1999, it was used as a tablet or laptop with its built-in keyboard. Developed by Vadem, Ltd., it was later acquired by The Pinax Group. (Image courtesy of The Pinax Group.)

A Windows CE GPS
In the early 2010s, this Magellan navigation unit ran under Windows CE, offering features of in-dash models, including text-to-speech playback of street names.