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Microsoft gets in on running Windows CE apps on Windows 10

Handheld PC News

Posted 5 years ago | News | Chris Tilley 2 comments

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We reported yesterday on news that independent developer Yaroslav Kibysh's had created a Windows CE Compatibility Layer which allows Windows CE applications to be executed natively on Windows 10.

Thanks to a tip in a post on BetaArchive from forum member AlphaBeta, it seems that Microsoft themselves are getting in on the act.

As part of their efforts to encourage the legitimate deprecation of Windows CE from commercial use. Microsoft are orchestrating a beta program for their own abstraction layer to sit between Windows 10 IoT and natively compiled Windows CE applications. Known as Windows CE Platform Abstraction Layer (CEPAL), the interpreter is intended to perform similar functions to Windows CE Compatibility Layer while also being supported.

Microsoft's desire to deprecate the use of Windows CE in enterprise is legitimate. With the ubiquitous nature of the Internet of Things in the consumer psyche, much discussion has been made in the media about the resilience and security of such platforms. Older versions of Windows Embedded CE share code similarities with Windows XP and Vista. Consequently, although unintended, it is inevitable that they will share many of the same, similar and indeed unique operating system and core service vulnerabilities. The ability for enterprise to run existing Windows CE applications on Windows 10 IoT could offer a cheap way for companies to migrate their existing applications onto a modern core operating system, bypassing the vulnerabilities in the now unsupported version of Windows.

Crucially, CEPAL will not require any re-compilation of the original application, potentially making it a cheap option; provided that replacement commodity hardware can be found to substitute often highly bespoke, specialist CE appliances.

Microsoft Channel 9 have published an overview video of the beta. In the video, you can see CEPAL demonstrated under Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. The demonstration looks more like a full emulation environment rather than the direct execution of a Windows CE executive. Whether this changes as the beta progresses will be interesting to watch.

Further information on CEPAL can be found at the Microsoft blog link below as well as on the dedicated CEPAL beta registration page.

View: Join the CEPAL beta: Moving Windows CE Applications to Windows 10 IoT
View: Modernizing Windows CE systems with Windows 10 IoT (Microsoft Blogs)
Posted on 30 May 2019 at 09:18By Chris Tilley (C:Amie)

Comments on this article

intertech's Avatar intertech 12 October 2019 2:45:38 PM
The CE devices were purchased by companies for a high cost and some are still around. So they should be maintained within reasonable costs as they are different than consumer Android devices which are replaced within less than one year.
HPC:Fan's Avatar HPC:Fan 22 March 2020 2:02:32 AM
This is pretty interesting. Will definitely be keeping an eye on this.
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