Pocket insider!
MS Device Emulator 8.0!
Microsoft delivered a new (and radically different) emulator… in a standalone version.

It is an ARM-based Device Emulator that normally ships as part of Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2.
The standalone emulator is intended for situations when you want to demonstrate or test your application on a computer that does not have Visual Studio 2005 installed. The standalone emulator currently includes support for Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition and… “will soon provide support for Windows Mobile 5.0.” says the announcement note.

I first installed the emulator just to “see” how it looks like and what it can do… and was not expecting it to offer more help than the Pocket PC SDK emulator I had before.

As expected, the emulator’s window looked nice… and changing from the ‘traditional’ emulator skin was one good thing.

Then, came the performance questions… surprising!
  • First: the emulator runs incredibly faster than the old one…
  • Also, as it emulates an ARM processor, I had no more need to compile special x86 versions to test on the emulator… (The old emulator was x86 base, desperately trying to emulate ARM!)
  • Another surprise was the variety of methods to get the emulator connected to the rest of the desktop components… In a few clicks, you can make the emulator communicate with Active Sync… With some more clicks, you seamlessly connect the emulator to the whole LAN...!

In brief: the new emulator version is simply a TRUE on-screen Pocket PC…
So, I can now let the children play with my ‘stand-alone’ Pocket PC… and keep playing with my ‘on-screen’ emulator (you see… it even seems to be a “family conflict-reduction solution”)
Where to get?
Go to http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=3373402 where you will find the download instructions.

Some tips
The emulator ships with the necessary help documentation. The command-line section was quite helpful for me.
When you launch the emulator using the installation shortcuts, it defaults to 64MB memory, 16bit screen resolution…. If you need extra features, you can just create your own command.
The sample command line below:
  • launches the emulator (DeviceEmulator.exe) using the operating system image PPC_2003_SE_WWE_ARMv4.bin with 128MB memory (You can add up to 256MB!);
  • using an adapted skin named “PocketPC_2003_Skin_video32.xml” (see below);
  • prompt you to save the emulator state to a file (emulator_state.dess)… which you can later use to wakeup the emulator;
  • assigns the virtual name “MY Pocket PC with 128RAM” to the emulator’s session.

"DeviceEmulator.exe" "PPC_2003_SE_WWE_ARMv4.bin"
/memsize 128
/skin "PocketPC_2003_Skin_video32.xml"
/s "emulator_state.dess"
/vmname "MY Pocket PC with 128RAM"

The skin file used here is an adapted version of the file installed during setup. I only changed the following values:

titleBar ="PPC2003-SE-128ram vido32bits"

With a little more modifications in this file, you can even have a very special Pocket PC!