Windows CE

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Introduction By 1990 computers had become a mainstay in the life of most people especially in the workplace and increasingly in households. As far back as to the 1950's people dreamed of homes that were fully automated with computers controlling everything. Microsoft intended to bring this dream to a reality when they began work on Windows CE, and eventually released version 1.0 in November 1996. Windows CE has been built from scratch to be a completely modular embedded real time operating system [5]. Currently Windows CE 3.0 has over 200 separate components that a developer can choose to build a customized 32-bit operating system with a small footprint . "Components are available in the form of drivers, static or dynamic libraries, and executables. Windows CE can be built with selected components that are appropriate to the platform being developed [2]." The developing tool of choice today is a package called Platform Builder which allows the developer to easily integrate a customized CE operating system through an interface comparable to Visual Studio.

(See Figure 1) Today Windows CE can be found in a multitude of appliances ranging from the Sega Dreamcast to refrigerators.

Process Management & Scheduling Windows CE can support a maximum of 32 simultaneous processes. Each process consists of a primary thread, and may have more, only constrained by available RAM. Processes are completely protected from each other by allotting each process a maximum of 32MB of memory. The total amount of memory that is addressable is 4GB. A process in Windows CE exists mostly to keep track of its threads. Since there can be many threads, having a single process that they all belong to makes it easier to manipulate them [4].

Threads execute individual sections of code in a process. This can be done by the single...