REVIEW - Windows CE 3.0 Application Programming


Windows CE 3.0 Application Programming


Nick Gratton&Marshall Brain




Prentice Hall ()


508pp + CD


Paul S Usowicz


April 2002



This book is aimed at the Windows CE 3.0 programmer with a slant towards the Pocket PC. Topics covered include memory management, serial communications, RAPI, TAPI and networking. Most of the code samples are in C with some C++/MFC scattered throughout.

This book is definitely for the accomplished Windows C/C++ programmer who wishes to migrate their skills to the Windows CE platform. This book will not teach you how to program or how to use the MFC. What it will show you are the major differences between the Windows desktop API and the Windows CE API and any Windows CE specific API calls. Specific CE chapters include power management and the object store.

Having said that, the book does have a few omissions. The author has decided to miss out any information on the Windows CE GUI as, he says, this is covered adequately in other books. I feel this is a big mistake as the inclusion of a chapter on the basic Windows CE GUI differences and a chapter on GAPI (Games API) would have made this the only book you would have needed until you required some very detailed and specific information on a particular area.

The book is accompanied by a CD, which includes a number of goodies including the Microsoft Embedded Visual C++ 3.0 compiler, the Pocket SDK and all source code. It is refreshing to get a book that actually includes everything you need to start programming. I know the compiler and SDK are available as free downloads but at over 200MB for the pair this is certainly an easier way to acquire them. Most of the examples in the book are integrated into one large application that compiled, loaded and ran first time.

If you are a good Windows desktop programmer (using C or C++) and wish to start serious Windows CE programming then buy this book and a good book on the GUI to complement it. They may not be the only two books you will ever need but they will come close.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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