Device platform not found

Sun, April 30, 2006, 09:35 AM under MobileAndEmbedded
Recently I opened a VS2005 Smart Device project that I was assured worked for others, only to face an error message box:
Microsoft Visual Studio
Error retrieving information from user datastore. Platform not found.

When I hit my only choice, which was the OK button, a warning message box appeared:
Microsoft Visual Studio
The project could not be opened because it refers to a device platform that does not exist in your datastore.
OK Cancel

Clicking OK or Cancel had the same effect: the project does not load (i.e. it is "unavailable" in solution explorer).

However, in the top right corner of the warning message box there was the question mark icon. At first I didn't think of clicking on it, since it traditionally is used to get help on UI widgets on the dialog box it appears on. Instead, this one acted as a Help button (why not offer that next to the Cancel button is beyond me) and pointed to this msdn page:

The project you are trying to load targets a device platform that your Visual Studio installation is not configured to support.

To correct this error
Install the platform that supports the project you want to load.

For example if you are trying to load a Windows Mobile 5.0 project and do not have the Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK installed, install the Windows Mobile 5.0 SDK.

So clearly whoever saved that project had saved it while the "Target Device" was set to "Windows Mobile 5.0" (and probably created the project in the first place by choosing the WM 5.0 template). Since the WM 5.0 SDK doesn't ship with VS2005, any machine (like my tablet) that hasn't had the WM 5.0 SDK installed fails to open the project.

As I didn't have time at this instance to download the SDK (or switch to my main machine that has the SDK installed), I opened the csproj file in notepad, located the following line:
... and changed it to this one:

Save and close, now reopen in Visual Studio and all is fine (with Target Device set to "Pocket PC 2003").

While it makes no difference, I also changed the OSVersion tag, since it points to 5.01, which is not the WinCE version that PPC2003 is based on: 4.20

Finally note that if you *can* open your project and *then* need to change the platform, you don't have to mess with the text files, simply choose Project->Change Target Platform.


Sun, April 23, 2006, 04:40 PM under Random
Anyone that has anything to do with mobility development has heard the OpenNETCF name. If you are one of the few that haven't, go ahead and visit the site of

In addition to shared source initiatives, OpenNETCF has a commercial arm and if you are looking for the best in the world to work on your embedded or mobility projects, go ahead and contact OpenNETCF for all your needs.

OpenNETCF focuses entirely on the embedded and mobile space and offers free libraries, products and consulting services. Every OpenNETCF partner and member of the advisory board is recognised by Microsoft as an MVP. There isn't a single other company that can claim that, as far as I know!

Expect to see many more products coming out of OpenNETCF but for the moment many associate the brand with the Smart Device Framework (SDF).

NETCF v2.0 SP1

Fri, April 21, 2006, 01:04 PM under MobileAndEmbedded
Get the SP1 Beta for the .NET Compact Framework v2.0

Those that have been waiting for WinCE 4.2 or for headless support need not wait any longer.

However, neither that nor the bug fixes nor the other *new* features excite me more than the TuneIn Remote Performance Monitor. Finally, when people ask me about .NET Compact Framework performance tools I won't have to apologise on behalf of the NETCF team :-D

Follow up to Athens talk

Wed, April 12, 2006, 03:55 PM under Events
As you know I was speaking in Greece a few days ago. I was well impressed with the thriving .NET community in Athens (140 registered, although very few didn't show up) and the interactive nature of the talks (I always probe the audience for questions as I go along but it's never been this easy to get participation).

Anyway, reason for this entry is to point members of dotnetzone to the slides. Use that forum for any questions and when I am back from holiday in a week or so I'll try to follow up...

Presenting in Greece

Mon, April 3, 2006, 05:34 AM under Events
This is the first time I will be speaking on a technical subject in another language (i.e. rather than English, the talks will be in Greek!).

If you are near Athens on Monday 10th April, come make fun of my accent at DevDays (at Microsoft Hellas premises).

The theme is Smart Clients and I am giving two talks:
1. .NET Compact Framework with Visual Studio 2005
2. Windows Forms v2.0 Enhancements

For the first one I'll just use my L0 cache information but for the second one I better go prepare some demos!

You must register so go do it now!

Ελάτε παιδιά θα έχει και γεύμα :-D