.NET Compact Framework

The Microsoft .NET Compact Framework is an integral component on Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded CE devices that enables you to build and run managed applications and use Web services. The .NET Compact Framework includes an optimized common language runtime (CLR) and a subset of the .NET Framework class library, which supports features such as Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Forms. It also contains classes that are designed exclusively for the .NET Compact Framework.

The .NET Compact Framework inherits the full .NET Framework architecture of the CLR and managed code execution. For more information about the architecture of the .NET Compact Framework, see .NET Compact Framework Architectural Overview.

The .NET Compact Framework supports Visual Basic and Visual C# development. It does not currently support C++ development.


This documentation assumes a general understanding of the .NET Framework. It focuses on technologies and components that are of special importance or unique to the .NET Compact Framework. The .NET Compact Framework documentation does not repeat topics it has in common with the full .NET Framework. For example, the .NET Compact Framework uses the same class library documentation as the full .NET Framework.

For additional information about the .NET Compact Framework, see the following:

In This Section

External Resources

External Resources for the .NET Compact Framework