Windows Mobile is a compact operating system combined with a suite of basic applications for mobile devices based on the Microsoft Win32 API. Devices that run Windows Mobile include Pocket PCs, Smartphones, Portable Media Centers, and on-board computers for certain automobiles. It is designed to be somewhat similar to desktop versions of Windows, feature-wise and aesthetically. Additionally, third-party software development is available for Windows Mobile. Originally appearing as the Pocket PC 2000 operating system, Windows Mobile has been updated several times, with the current version being Windows Mobile 6 and a new release scheduled for 2008.
A Pocket PC, abbreviated P/PC or PPC, is a hardware specification for a handheld-sized computer (Personal digital assistant) that runs the Windows Mobile operating system. It may have the capability to run an alternative operating system like NetBSD or Linux. It has many of the capabilities of modern desktop PCs.
Currently there are thousands of applications for handhelds adhering to the Microsoft Pocket PC specification, many of which are freeware. Some of these devices also include mobile phone features. Microsoft compliant Pocket PCs can also be used with many other add-ons like GPS receivers, barcode readers, RFID readers, and cameras.