Visual Studio and the .NET Compact Framework

The Microsoft .NET Compact Framework is fully integrated into Visual Studio, provided that the Smart Device Programmability installation option is selected for Visual Basic and Visual C# development. This option is selected by default. The .NET Compact Framework does not currently support C++ development. See Smart Device Development in the help topics for more information about how to develop smart device applications in Visual Studio. 

Visual Studio Development and Deployment

Visual Studio provides the Smart Device project type for developing applications for Pocket PC, Smartphone, and other Windows Embedded CE based platforms. If you do not have a smart device, you can create and test your smart device applications by using emulation technology, without leaving the Visual Studio integrated development environment.

You can develop applications in Visual Studio for Windows Mobile-based devices by installing their SDKs. Install the SDKs on a computer with Visual Studio. When you create a new project, you can choose the project type that corresponds to your version of the Windows Mobile SDK.


For some platforms, such as Windows Mobile 5.0 for Pocket PC, platform support in device projects is already present and you do not need to install the SDK separately.

See Also


Devices and Platforms Supported by the .NET Compact Framework

Other Resources

Overview of the .NET Compact Framework