PrabuKumar's WinCE Blog

June 18, 2013

Windows Embedded Compact 2013(WEC2013) Platform Builder Installation and Evaluation

As we all know Microsoft has officially launched the much awaited Windows Embedded Compact 2013,let us have a hands on with the installation and evaluation of the new platform builder tools which is a plugin to the latest Visual Studio 2012.



  • Download and Install the Visual Studio Professional 2012.

  • Download and install the VS2012 Update 2.This update is an online install update which will take sometime based on your internet speed. Check out this blog post to install Update 2 offline.

  • Download and install the Application Builder for Windows Embedded Compact 2013.This installer also comes as part of the WEC2013 PB ISO file.

  • Download and install the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 from the below link.

  • Download the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 platform builder from the below link.


Here are the screenshots of the WEC2013 platform builder installations steps.

  • Mount the ISO file which is downloaded above. Click on the Begin Install. Accept the License agreement.




  • Now enter the product key which you got from the MSDN subscription site or the Evaluation key.


  • By default the WEC2013 Platform builder tools installed in the C:\(OS default Directory).But we can change the directory of the source code install. For that we need to choose “Custom Install” and browse the directory where you want to install the development source code.


  • As we had choose “Custom Install” it will show the option of components which needs to be installed.


  • Accept the license agreement for shared source and WestTek File viewers.
  • As we are downloading the ISO file and installing this installer offline we don’t want to create a local layout copy.


  • Clicking Next will show the estimated disk size required for the installation of the WEC2013.


  • Once the installation is finished, the below screen will appear.




Now we have installed the WEC2013 successfully and we are good to go to play with it.




  • There are totally three Board Support Packages(BSPs) comes as part of the Platform Builder installation.
    • X86 Microprocessor BSPs
      • CEPC -> this BSP supports PC-based hardware, virtual machines hosted by Virtual-PC, and virtual machines hosted by Hyper-V Client or Hyper-V Server
      • Gseries ->This BSP is for the AMD G-Series processor based development kit.
    • ARM BSP
      • TI_SDP44XX-> This BSP is for TI OMAP4470(Dual Core Cortex A9 MP) Blaze Tablet 2 Development kit with the support of Symmetric Multiprocessing.


To get hands on with the tools and OS we can take CEPC BSP and deploy it on VirtualPC.


  • After installing the WEC2013 PB, open the Visual Studio 2012.Select File–>New Project–>Platform Builder–>OS Design. Avoid using spaces in the naming and path of the OSDesign.


  • We will evaluate the OS with the help of VirtualPC,so we have to select the “Generic CEPC:x86” from the BSP list.


  • Moving to the next wizard will show us the pre-defined templates which will help us to create OS design quicker. Here we can select the “Win32 and WinForms UI Device”.


  • From this WEC2013 release Microsoft had removed the “Standard shell” with the start button on the left corner of the Taskbar. Also in this WEC2013 they had given “Minimal Shell” with the source code using which we can develop our own shell.



  • Click finish and compile the OS using “Build –>Advanced Build Commands–> Sysgen” in either Checked or release mode.


During build time we can setup the VirtualPC in order to deploy the compiled nk.bin.There are few articles available online to setup the VirtualPC for WEC7.The same procedure is followed for deploying the WEC2013 OS.


After setting up VirtualPC on the Windows 7 machine,downloaded the compiled OS binary to the VirtualPC.


Here is the “Minimal Shell” screenshot of the new WEC2013 running on VirtualPC.

Compact 2013 Minimal Shell

Compact 2013 Minimal Shell




  1. Hi, can you please help me with the final step. I don’t know how and what exactly I have to ‘download’ to my virutal machine (Hyper-V).

    Comment by Johann Niederkofler — January 14, 2014 @ 7:20 pm

  2. Check out this link.It has the complete procedure setup the Virtual Machine(Hyper-V).

    Comment by Prabu Kumar — January 15, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

  3. is there a UI other than the minimal shell till I get things up, the old Windows 95 UI or any other sample shell would be helpful

    Comment by plast0000 — August 10, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

  4. WEC2013 has got two shell.One is the MinShell which i showed in the above blog post with a simple menu.The other is the XAML shell.If your BSP has got support for OpenGL acceleration then it will work good otherwise it will very slow for the user interaction.Check out this webcast from Doug Boling.

    Comment by Prabu Kumar — August 11, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

  5. Can you tell me why must install .NET Framework 3.5 SP1?
    I have installed all passed except .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.
    My OS is Win7.

    Comment by trotsnail — January 22, 2015 @ 8:14 am

  6. Please refer my other article to know the reason for installing the .NET Framework SP1.

    Comment by Prabu Kumar — January 29, 2015 @ 6:31 pm

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