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Windows CE has legs, survey says

A new research report forecasts that devices using Microsoft's Windows CE operating system, a version of Windows for small electronics devices, could begin to outsell Windows PCs by the end of the decade. The report from eTForecasts of Buffalo Grove, Ill., suggests that devices running Windows CE, such as cell phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants), have the potential to outsell Windows PCs by 2010. But Windows CE will have a long way to go between now and then.

While manufacturers will sell between 14 million and 17 million Windows CE devices worldwide this year, worldwide Windows PC shipments will equal 135 million to 138 million units, the company predicts. It will take until about 2008 before Windows CE devices catch up. At that time, shipments of Windows PC and Windows CE devices will each near 200 million units, the report said. By 2010, eTForecasts estimates that Windows CE device shipments will accelerate to about 300 million to 340 million, while Windows PCs will edge up to between 215 million and 225 million units worldwide.