Every Windows Vista and the upcoming Windows 7 comes with .NET Framework preinstalled. I just got to know that even Windows Mobile has its own version of .NET called .NET Compact Framework which is designed to run on Windows CE based mobile such as PDA. It uses some of the same class libraries as the full .NET Framework and also a few libraries designed specifically for mobile devices. However, the libraries are not exact copies of the .NET Framework. The ones in the .NET Compact Framework are scaled down to take up less space.
Whether to have .NET Compact Framework or later versions installed on your Windows Mobile very much depends on whether you have run any third party software that requires it. I have a Garmin Nuvi GPS that can help me to locate places when I will be in Europe next month but one thing I don’t like about Garmin Nuvi is I had to type the exact spelling to search for the place. Unlike Google Maps, there are suggestions if I spelled it wrongly. There is an official Google Maps software for mobile but it requires GPRS to download the maps real time and it cannot work with wi-fi. After searching, I found a software called Google Navigator which can download street data and use it offline.
There are a few packages to download and it says “if your device is Windows Mobile 5.0, you need .NET CF 2.0 installed on your device”. My PDA is running Windows Mobile 6.1 and I had no idea if it had any .NET Compact Framework installed. I didn’t want to simply install anything and do the trial and error method. My PDA is slow enough and installing more junks is probably going to cause it to hang everyday.
Fortunately it’s easy to check what version of .NET Compact Framework on my mobile. I go to Start > Programs > File Explorer. Navigate to the Windows folder and run cgacutil.exe. I now see a popup with the .NET CF version info.
That’s not the end yet because even though it shows version 2 which is probably .NET Compact Framework version 2, but I don’t know if it is RTM, SP1 or SP2 versions. Below is a list version numbers that correspond with the version name.
- 1.0 RTM = 1.0.2268.0
- 1.0 SP1 = 1.0.3111.0
- 1.0 SP2 = 1.0.3316.0
- 1.0 SP3 = 1.0.4292.0
- 2.0 RTM = 2.0.5238.0
- 2.0 SP1 = 2.0.6129.0
- 2.0 SP2 = 2.0.7045.0
- 3.5 Beta 1 = 3.5.7066.0
- 3.5 Beta 2 = 3.5.7121.0
- 3.5 RTM = 3.5.7283.0
- 3.5 = 3.5.7283.0
- 3.7 = 3.7.8345.0
So I have 2.0.7045.0 which is actually the latest version of .NET CF 2. I installed Google Navigator and it runs fine.