Windows Embedded Compact is not binary-compatible with any version of the desktop Windows operating system (OS) and is not a scaled-down version of a desktop Windows OS. Windows Embedded Compact was created initially to service the handheld portable computing device market and was developed from the ground up to support multiple processor architectures.

It is a small-footprint, highly customizable, 32-bit OS with hard real-time capabilities, developed to support multiple processor architectures, including ARM, MIPS, and x86. Windows Embedded Compact is a multithreaded, multitasking, and preemptive OS. It can handle up to 32,000 concurrent processes. Each process can access up to 2GB of virtual memory.

Compact 7 is designed to support a new generation of small-footprint, smart, connected, and service-oriented embedded devices, built with limited system memory, storage, and processing resources.

Since its inception in 1996, each new version of this product has been improved with added features while maintaining the following design criteria:

  • Small footprint — Depends on selected components.
  • Modular architecture — Componentized OS enables the OEM to make decisions about components to include in the final runtime image.
  • Real-time support — Provides bounded, deterministic response times.
  • Support of broad range of hardware — ARM, MIPS, and x86.
  • Efficient power management — Provides uniform power management libraries.
  • Efficient development tools — Applications ...

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