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Smart Device Development

Smart device development refers to the development of Windows CE and Windows Mobile-based rich-client applications that run on the device itself. Visual Studio offers rich, integrated support for developing software that runs on Windows CE-based smart devices such as Pocket PCs and Smartphones. You can use Visual C# or Visual Basic to write managed applications that run on the .NET Compact Framework, or you can write native applications by using Visual C++. Whichever language you select, you will use the same code editor, designers, and debugger interface as you would use when you develop desktop applications. Simply select from one of the Smart Device Project templates available for the language of your choice, and begin coding. 

Visual Studio provides emulators that enable you to run and debug your code on your development computer. In addition, Visual Studio provides tools that simplify packaging your application and its resources into CAB files for deployment to end-user devices.

For the most up-to-date information about smart device projects, visit the Mobile Developer Center.


Visual Studio also supports a different kind of device development known as Mobile Web development with ASP.NET. Mobile Web development refers to the development of mobile Web applications that run on a Web server and are rendered in different formats on a variety of browser-equipped mobile devices. For more information about mobile Web development, see Developing Web Sites for Mobile Devices.

In This Section

  • .NET Compact Framework
    Describes how to program device applications. The .NET Compact Framework brings the power of the .NET Framework to devices. Compares the .NET Compact Framework with the .NET Framework, describes key features, illustrates common programming tasks, and lists supported classes.

  • Introducing Visual Studio
    Describes what's new in Visual Studio.

  • Application Development in Visual Studio
    Provides information about designing, developing, debugging, testing, and managing applications created by using Visual Studio.