So, Windows Mobile used to mean well, windows mobile (meaning Windows CE Devices).

Microsoft has now created Windows Phone 7 and branded it Windows Mobile. Microsoft even went so far as to purchase the Windows Mobile tag and put Windows Phone 7 links on it.

Those familiar with Windows Phone 7 and Windows CE based devices know that programming for them is very different.

On the same vein, Compact Framework for Windows CE and Compact Framework for Windows Phone 7 are very different.

Now some may argue that CE is just the "old" stuff and Phone 7 is the "new" stuff. However, there are still a lot of people using the "old" stuff (and not really happy with the fact that they are now "old")

Tagging something as Windows-Mobile Compact-Framework is now ambiguous. It could mean Windows Phone 7 or Windows CE (or a derivative).

Basically, Microsoft has re-used a variable and I am not sure what it means and when.

Should I just not worry about it and hope that my questions will imply what I am working with? Or should tagging be changed a bit to make it clear that this is a Windows-Mobile-Old or Windows-Mobile-New question?

  • 2
    Microsoft frequently does this with terminology from competing technologies (eg: "domain") so I have to say I'm amused to see that they've started doing it to themselves. Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 23:13
  • isnt there a [windows-ce] tag?
    – mxmissile
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 3:15
  • @mxmissile - Windows CE is a superset of Windows Mobile. (It is used via platform builder to make custom operating systems for small computers and phone like devices. Tagging my questions with Windows-CE would be confusing for answerers. (Though I admit I referenced Windows CE in my question, so I can see how I made things confusing. I used windows CE to make it clear I was not referring to the Windows Phone 7 version of Windows Mobile.)
    – Vaccano
    Commented Dec 30, 2010 at 17:29

2 Answers 2


Don't let the marketing and advertising strategy of a big company get you confused. Windows Mobile and .NET CF are quite dead. It makes sense that they try to target the few Mobile / CF programmers that are left here to move to the Windows Phone platform.

Tag it for what it is. If you have a Windows Phone question then tag it . If you have a Windows Mobile question then tag it . Subject experts will know the difference and select questions accordingly.

  • But the Tag Windows-Mobile has been "bought" for Windows Phone 7 (if you click on the tag it has a bunch of links and stuff about Windows Phone 7). This contributes to people getting confused. Maybe I need to post a support question requesting that this be fixed?
    – Vaccano
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 0:34
  • 8
    All they rented was some banner ad space on the tag specific page with questions. This is a source of income for SO, they won't "fix it". Again, nobody that could answer one of your WM questions is going to be confused about this. Unlike web page space, their minds are not for sale. Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 8:44

Same kind of issues arise from iPhone OS becoming iOS, and many similar rebrandings. It's not only the tags either, but also question titles and contents, so it's hard to solve in the long term. It's not so much of a problem now, but when SO is many years old...

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