back to article Just can't let go of those Windows CE apps? Microsoft has a container for that

Enterprises eyeing their crusty old Windows CE apps with alarm as Microsoft yanks the plug on its legacy operating systems will be relieved to see the company making good on its promised CE container technology. Lurking within Windows 10 IoT Core Services, the tech (announced during Microsoft's Build 2020 event) allows those …

  1. iron Silver badge

    I really hope the software I wrote for WinCE 15 years ago isn't still in use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Could be - some of those old PDAs have a long life & get scenario of, if software does the job, then people will keep using it, especially if it means avoiding expense of upgrade / new software purchase

      Plus you can still buy Win mobile 6.5 kit (e.g. Workabout Pro) that supports CE apps hassle free, so if PDA dies, replacements still available.

      I reckon some niche apps, especially will be used for a while yet


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Plus you can still buy Win mobile 6.5 kit (e.g. Workabout Pro) that supports CE apps hassle free

        Good luck with that, WinCE and Windows Mobile diverged a long time ago.

      2. Snake Silver badge


        It's more than just PDA's: one of our 3D printers uses WinCE as its embedded controller OS and UI interface. The machine is now 5 years old, and the company is still using WinCe Embedded to this very day.

      3. drewsup

        Oh Hell No

        My company was ties to WinCe phones 10 years ago, had to pay through the nose for the hardware even then as it was all refurbished, like £800 a phone, would have been cheaper to port the apps to Android and get cheap phones!

    2. Blackjack Silver badge

      The PDA might be broke but the software may be alive.

      I always hated Windows CE it was and is... frustrating.

      It doesn't help that Windows attempts at mobile OS and programs used to be infamously bad with only upgrading to poor to the time of Windows 8 and only going to acceptable by the time Microsoft started to pull the plug on Windows 10 Mobile.

      I wonder if I still have those old computer mags ranting about Windows CE?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Calling it Wince is absolutely spot-on. It was Windows with a chunk of bad bits removed, leaving you closer to even worse bits.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Supermarket DC

    It’ll be needed. Whilst furloughed I went to work for a top 4 UK supermarket.

    Their warehouse pick system still runs on Windows CE and prehistorically old (pre-Zebra) Symbol and Motorola scanning pocket PC’s devices connected to some host in the DC server room running the show. Interface was character terminal emulation on Window’s PC.

    1. Captain Scarlet

      Re: Supermarket DC

      Were the handhelds something similar to MC9090 or MC9200?

      As their support contract when supported was brilliant (Bronze plan, send off a run over handheld and basically get one back with almost everything replaced).

      1. NeilPost

        Re: Supermarket DC

        On looking the current LFL model is a Zebra WT41N0, with finger scanner. at about £1,600 a pop plus a further £600 for the ring scanner ROFLMAO... prices ex-VAT.

        All models were battered, scratched and very abused pre-Zebra era takeover. Crappy serial interfaced finger scanners, shite batteries.

        Why the Pick app has not been ported to IOS/Android is beyond me.

        1. Captain Scarlet

          Re: Supermarket DC

          We never got traction with the wearable version, I think we had WT4000.

          Several people refused the ring scanner all together and in the end we had 10 unused sitting in a box after a few uses, complete waste of money. The keyboard having to press a special key for different characters made it hard for operators to login. Absolute pain as obviously the screen was a different size which meant rewriting lots of screens.

          They prefered the gun style as they would put craddles for them on forklifts and desks

          1. NeilPost

            Re: Supermarket DC

            This was driving Jungheineich LLOP and filling grocery cages for stores. Sometime 4 full cages for larger stores or could be up to 5different half cages for Express stores..

            Impractical/impossible with a hand held. This supermarket Pick app was voice driven... “ go to aisle DY, location 311, pick 3 or multi cage” .. could be cases of beer/gin/wine, a fan, BBQ Beickettes, shampoo, Mary Berry sauces, baby food, pasta/rice etc...

            Scan, stack the cage, move on... with a punishing pick rate. Could be up to 700 cases (of varyng sizes - 12x1L brandy or 5xpacket of paracetamol) on a full 4-5 cage pick. Grateful to be off furlough.. it made up my wage shortfall and a bit more to boot.

            - yes the KB a pain for Empty location shorts and admin activities.

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