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What's New in the .NET Compact Framework Version 3.5

[This documentation is for preview only, and is subject to change in later releases. Blank topics are included as placeholders.]

The .NET Compact Framework version 3.5 extends the .NET Compact Framework with many new features. This topic provides information about these key additions and modifications.

You can install the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 to RAM by using a CAB file. To obtain this software, see the Microsoft .NET Compact Framework Downloads page.


The version of the .NET Compact Framework that you install by using a CAB file must always be newer than any version stored in ROM.

To install the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 to ROM on Windows Embedded CE powered devices, you must obtain the correct Platform Builder monthly update from the Windows Embedded CE Updates Web site. For more information about supported platforms and pre-installed versions in ROM, see Devices and Platforms Supported by the .NET Compact Framework.

Windows Communication Foundation

The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 supports Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), which is Microsoft’s unified programming model for building service-oriented applications. Clients that are running the .NET Compact Framework can connect to existing WCF Web services on the desktop. In addition, support for a new WCF transport, the Microsoft Exchange Server mail transport, has been added for both .NET Compact Framework applications and desktop applications. For more information about WCF, see Messaging in the .NET Compact Framework and WCF Exchange Server Mail Transport.


Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) adds general-purpose query facilities to the .NET Compact Framework that apply to various sources of information such as relational databases, XML data, and in-memory objects. For more information, see LINQ in the .NET Compact Framework.

Windows Forms

The following table describes the improvements that have been made to Windows Forms controls in the .NET Compact Framework 3.5.







Users can now add graphics to these controls.


ClearType fonts are now supported, and you can modify the BackColor property on read-only controls.


The SelectionStart and SelectionLength properties are now supported.


The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 supports SoundPlayer, which enables you to play multiple sounds. A device can mix these sounds if the hardware supports this capability. For more information, see SoundPlayer in the .NET Compact Framework.


The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 adds support for the following classes in the System.IO.Compression namespace:

In addition, the AutomaticDecompression property is supported.


The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 supports the CreateDelegate method.

The .NET Compact Framework CLR Profiler

The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 supports the CLR Profiler, which was previously available only with the full .NET Framework. The CLR Profiler enables you to view the managed heap of a process and investigate the behavior of the garbage collector. The CLR Profiler and its associated documentation are included in the Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework. For more information, see Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework.


The CLR Profiler requires the .NET Framework version 3.5 on the desktop.

Configuration Tool

The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 supports the Configuration Tool, which provides runtime version information and administrative functions, such as specifying which version of the .NET Compact Framework an application will run against. The Configuration Tool and its associated documentation are included in the Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework. For more information, see Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework.


Debugging enhancements to the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 include the following:

  • Nested function evaluations are now supported.

  • Unhandled exceptions now break where the exception occurred instead of breaking where you call the Run method.


The following improvements have been made to logging features:

  • Interop logs now include information about marshaled objects that are contained in structures or in reference types. For more information, see Log File Information.

  • Finalizer logging now includes information about the order and timing of the finalizer.

  • Log files are no longer locked while the application is running. Therefore, you can read the logs at run time.

  • Stack traces now include the full method signature to distinguish method overloads.

Platform ID

The .NET Compact Framework 3.5 provides new information about the platform type, specifically whether a platform is a Pocket PC or a Smartphone. For more information about platform IDs, see the WinCEPlatform enumeration.

Runtime Tools

The runtime tools library now provides support for running .NET Compact Framework SDK diagnostic tools, such as Remote Performance Monitor, with the emulator. The runtime tools and their associated documentation are included in the Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework. For more information, see Power Toys for .NET Compact Framework.

Strong Names

Strong names that are greater than 1,024 bytes are now supported.

Global Assembly Cache

Modifications to the architecture of the global assembly provide improved error handling and integration with Windows Embedded CE version 6.0.


The class library documentation for the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 includes improved platform support information for overloads. For more information, see How to: Find Supported Members of the .NET Compact Framework in the Class Library.


New samples are available that demonstrate features of the .NET Compact Framework 3.5 such as WCF, compression, LINQ, and XLINQ. For more information, see .NET Framework Core Samples.

See Also

Other Resources

What's New in the .NET Compact Framework