An anonymous reader writes "Unexpectedly, Microsoft has released a beta of Windows CE 6, at its mobile developer's conference (MEDC) this week. CE is the real-time OS that underpins Windows Mobile and Microsoft's other device software stacks for phones, PDAs, set-top boxes, and the like. CE 6 looks to be a major rewrite, featuring the capability to support several orders of magnitude more concurrent processes and virtual memory. Also new is support for MS's .NET IDE. Together, these new capabilities seem calculated to morph CE from a closed-box, off-the-shelf OS into a more customizable OS."