Windows Embedded Compact, formerly Windows Embedded CE, Windows Powered and Windows CE, is an operating system subfamily developed by Microsoft as part of its Windows Embedded family of products.
Unlike Windows Embedded Standard, which is based on Windows NT, Windows Embedded Compact uses a different hybrid kernel. Microsoft licenses it to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), who can modify and create their own user interfaces and experiences, with Windows Embedded Compact providing the technical foundation to do so. The current version of Windows Embedded Compact supports x86 and ARM processors with board support package (BSP) directly. The MIPS and SHx architectures had support prior to version 7.0. 7.0 still works on MIPSII architecture.
Originally, Windows CE was designed for minimalistic and small computers. However CE had its entirely own kernel whereas those such as Windows XP Embedded are based on NT. Windows CE was a modular/componentized operating system that served as the foundation of several classes of devices such as Handheld PC, Pocket PC, Auto PC, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone 7 and more.