I have a windows mobile 5 device, and I would like to make some programs for it. I need a free development environment (compiler and librarys) that runs on winxp. It would be a very big help if I could use my NetBeans which I have experience with. It would be the best if I could cross-compile to support more types of smartphone, but things like this probably don't exist at all.
This will be my very first GCC install, so please help as much with the details as you can! Links preferred, I like to read a lot.


Well, I think that Microsoft Embedded Visual C++ works on XP. If you are ok on writing in plain C you could check out Pelles C IDE.
I don't think that NetBeans offers any WM5 support, you'd have to learn Java then.

NetBeans is just an ide, I need a compiler to make executable code, and libraryes to access stuffs like contacts, sms, diary.... And of course Visual C++ works, but it's not free. This is the very thing I'm trying to avoid.

Both Pelles C and MS Embedded VC++ includes working compilers. I have tried them myself.

I mean free.. well, let's just stick with GCC++ (or something like that) then. :| Does anybody know how to set it up for this? Thanks!

They are both free. Check them out.

Any chance that I can set up an environment from where I can compile to more than 1 platforms?

I'm not complaining here. I just want to know in which software development tool should I invest my time to. Open stuff like GCC have the advantage of extensibility. So I can plug in another cross-compiler and another sms package (maybe written by myself), and recompile everything. Separated interface and implementation, bridge pattern, cool stuff. Without this I would have to multiply the number of programs I write with the number of platforms I want them to run on, and this wouldn't be cool.
On the other hand MS stuff is easier to setup, has everything out of the box for winCE support, and probably easier to learn, but binds me and my invested time onto those supported winCE versions. (Ok, currently it supports every version, but it may not be the case in the future...) On top of this, in the future I may buy another phone with a different operating system.

I understand that you advice me MS C++, because it's the easiest way to go, but I'm looking for a long term scalable way starting with my windows mobile I can test on to develop onto as much smartphone and pda as I can.

Although I wasn't looking for it, MS Embedded VC++ is a good answer, so I'll mark the topic solved soon. I hope I'm not looking for an uthopistic non existent stuff.

Thanks for your help again!