One of the stumbling blocks to getting into .NETCF development today is that the only supported tool for development is Visual Studio 2003 Professional or higher.
Microsoft announced today at VSLive a new addition to the Visual Studio family in the 2005 version – Visual Studio Standard Edition. This will be a significantly cheaper version of Visual Studio but will include the full device development experience with both VB.NET and C# for managed code and C++ for native code.
A more detailed comparison of the editions is available here:-
The full press release can be viewed here:-