How to: Get the Device Platform

In the .NET Compact Framework version 3.5 and later versions, you can use the WinCEPlatform enumeration to determine which device platform, Pocket PC or Smartphone, is currently running your application.

In the .NET Compact Framework 2.0 or earlier, you can return the device platform by using a platform invoke call to native code. The following procedure defines a class and an enumeration of platforms that you can use to determine the device platform.

To get the device platform in the .NET Compact Framework 2.0 and earlier

  1. Add the following class and enumeration to your project.

    Public Class PlatformDetector
        Declare Function SystemParametersInfo Lib "Coredll.dll" _
            (ByVal uiAction As System.UInt32, _
            ByVal uiParam As System.UInt32, _
            ByVal pvParam As StringBuilder, _
            ByVal fWinIni As System.UInt32) As Boolean 
        Private Shared SPI_GETPLATFORMTYPE As System.UInt32 = 257 
        Public Shared Function GetPlatform() As Platform 
            Dim plat As Platform = Platform.Unknown
            Select Case System.Environment.OSVersion.Platform
                Case PlatformID.Win32NT
                    plat = Platform.Win32NT
                Case PlatformID.Win32S
                    plat = Platform.Win32S
                Case PlatformID.Win32Windows
                    plat = Platform.Win32Windows
                Case PlatformID.WinCE
                    plat = CheckWinCEPlatform()
            End Select 
            Return plat
        End Function  
        Shared Function CheckWinCEPlatform() As Platform 
            Dim plat As Platform = Platform.WindowsCE
            Dim strbuild As New StringBuilder(200)
            SystemParametersInfo(SPI_GETPLATFORMTYPE, 200, strbuild, 0)
            Dim str As String = strbuild.ToString()
            Select Case str
                Case "PocketPC"
                    plat = Platform.PocketPC
                Case "SmartPhone" 
                ' Note that the strbuild parameter from the 
                ' PInvoke returns "SmartPhone" with an 
                ' upper case P. The correct casing is 
                ' "Smartphone" with a lower case p.
                plat = Platform.Smartphone
            End Select 
            Return plat
        End Function  
    End Class  
    Public Enum Platform
    End Enum
    public class PlatformDetector
        private static extern bool SystemParametersInfo(uint uiAction, uint uiParam, StringBuilder pvParam, uint fWinIni);
        private static uint SPI_GETPLATFORMTYPE = 257;
        public static Platform GetPlatform()
            Platform plat = Platform.Unknown;
            switch (System.Environment.OSVersion.Platform)
                case PlatformID.Win32NT:
                    plat = Platform.Win32NT;
                case PlatformID.Win32S:
                    plat = Platform.Win32S;
                case PlatformID.Win32Windows:
                    plat = Platform.Win32Windows;
                case PlatformID.WinCE:
                    plat = CheckWinCEPlatform();
            return plat;
        static Platform CheckWinCEPlatform()
            Platform plat = Platform.WindowsCE;
            StringBuilder strbuild = new StringBuilder(200);
            SystemParametersInfo(SPI_GETPLATFORMTYPE, 200, strbuild, 0);
            string str = strbuild.ToString();
            switch (str)
                case "PocketPC":
                    plat = Platform.PocketPC;
                case "SmartPhone":
                    // Note that the strbuild parameter from the 
                    // PInvoke returns "SmartPhone" with an
                    // upper case P. The correct casing is 
                    // "Smartphone" with a lower case p.
                    plat = Platform.Smartphone;
            return plat;
    public enum Platform
        PocketPC, WindowsCE, Smartphone, Win32NT, Win32S, Win32Windows, Unknown
  2. Add the following declaration and code for the form's Load event.

    Declare Function KernelIoControl Lib "CoreDll.dll" _
        (ByVal dwIoControlCode As Int32, _
         ByVal lpInBuf As IntPtr, _
         ByVal nInBufSize As Int32, _
         ByVal lpOutBuf() As Byte, _
         ByVal nOutBufSize As Int32, _
         ByRef lpBytesReturned As Int32) As Boolean 
    Private Sub DeviceType_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs)  _
        Handles MyBase.Load
                MessageBox.Show("Platform is " + PlatformDetector.GetPlatform().ToString())
            Catch ex As Exception
            End Try 
    End Sub
    [DllImport("coredll.dll", SetLastError = true)]
    private static extern bool KernelIoControl(Int32 dwIoControlCode,
        IntPtr lpInBuf, Int32 nInBufSize, byte[] lpOutBuf,
        Int32 nOutBufSize, ref Int32 lpBytesReturned);
    private void DeviceType_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
            MessageBox.Show("Platform is " + PlatformDetector.GetPlatform());
        catch (Exception ex)

Compiling the Code

This example requires references to the following namespaces:

See Also


How to: Get the Device ID and Name


.NET Compact Framework How-to Topics

Other Resources

Interoperability in the .NET Compact Framework