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Windows CE is optimized for devices that have minimal storage—a Windows CE kernel may run in under a megabyte of memory. Devices are often configured without disk storage, and may be configured as a 'closed' system that does not allow for end-user extension (for instance, it can be burned into ROM). Windows CE conforms to the definition of a real-time operating system, with a deterministic interrupt latency. It supports 256 priority levels and uses priority inheritance for dealing with priority inversion. The fundamental unit of execution is the thread. This helps to simplify the interface and improve execution time.
The OS of Windows Mobile for Smartphone and Windows Mobile for PocketPC are both on the basis of Windows CE architecture.
In the image above, we can see that 'Windows CE' is not a seperate OS but a series of OSes.
Some interesting Code Names can be found in the image, for example, 'Crossbow' for 'Windows Mobile 5.0 Second Edition'(This may be a mistake as we know Crossbow usually stands for Windows Mobile 6.0). Below is a bilingual list in English and Chinese for part of the grotesque Code Names:
Items in the legend for the image (perphaps we can consider the image as an chart) stand for different device names, except the black one 'Core' which is 'Windows CE' itself. These device names may be involved in following posts.