With so many Microsoft products it is very easy to purchase a license. But how do you by Windows CE? If you want to purchase Windows Vista, you would go to a store (either bricks or clicks) and buy the DVD installation and you are off and running. That just isn’t the way Windows CE works.
Windows CE is not a typical off the shelf operating system; it is an operating system for embedded computers. So what is an embedded computer? An embedded computer is a special purpose computer that has custom software running on it. How does Microsoft fit into that? Microsoft developed an operating system that can be customized by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) which is Windows CE.
To purchase Windows CE, you will first need to purchase the development tools so that you can create a custom Windows CE OS. The development tools are commonly known as Platform Builder. Microsoft has more formal names depending on the version. The demand for Platform Builder is probably fairly low compared to other Microsoft products, so you won’t find Platform Builder on the shelf at the local Big Box store, or even online stores.
You will need to start a relationship with a Microsoft Distributor. You can start this process by visiting Microsoft Authorized Embedded Distributor Search where you will first select the area of the world that best fits your location. Keep in mind that the typical user of Platform Builder is an OEM, so the expectation is that you will soon be shipping products that will require a Windows CE license sticker, so this relationship will come in handy.