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Run Windows CE Applications... on Windows!

Handheld PC News

Posted 5 years ago | News | Chris Tilley 4 comments

Have you ever woken up in the morning and thought "you know what, I'd like to run Windows CE apps on my PC"?

Yaroslav Kibysh (aka feel-the-dz3n) has!

Yaroslav has created a modification process which creates an interpreter stub file that will sit between your Windows CE executable and the Windows NT API.

Although very similar, Windows CE "win32" and Windows NT (e.g. Windows 10) "win32" executables are structurally different in their binary layout. they also make use of entirely different versions of the Windows programming Application Programming Interface (API). The API, known as Win32, looks similar, and in some cases is identical. However in many cases the code, functions and syntax are different. These subtle difference are what normally make the programs incompatible.

Yaroslav's stub creation method builds a map between Windows CE and Windows NT, allowing your executable program to create a Window on the screen and access the Windows NT equivalents of code in the correct format.

This is similar to how the Microsoft .net Framework works - you can run .net code on both Windows 10 and Windows CE as long as it uses the common, core .net Framework.

Windows CE Compatibility Layer is a proof of concept tool, meaning that you will require access to a Hex editor and a compiler to use it - making it currently quite complicated to use. There currently not much information on how compatible or complete the tool is as it was only uploaded to GitHub in February.

Regardless, Windows CE Compatibility Layer is an interesting way explore nostalgia for Windows CE and could prove to be quite amusing if it lets you load your old Windows CE favourites on a modern PC.

you can view more information and check-out the source code for the Windows CE Compatibility Layer under an Open Source license via GitHub.

View: Windows CE Compatibility Layer on GitHub
Posted on 29 May 2019 at 13:31By Chris Tilley (C:Amie)

Comments on this article

CE Geek's Avatar CE Geek 29 May 2019 9:07:34 PM
Cool. Now if we can just figure out a way to do the reverse (run at least some simple Win32 apps on a CE device).
Dz3n's Avatar Dz3n 20 June 2019 1:01:06 PM
As far as I know, Windows CE doesn't check for executable subsystem and runs Win32 executables (obviously fails to run)
C:Amie's Avatar C:Amie 05 June 2019 5:11:27 PM
You can. It runs abysmally.
Dz3n's Avatar Dz3n 27 June 2019 12:04:04 PM
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