Tiny devices aim of .Net release


Microsoft Corp. has released a version of its .Net programming framework for coding on embedded devices such as microwave ovens or remote controls.

The .Net Micro Framework provides a platform for running programs using the C# language on small devices, the company announced last month at Embedded World 2007 in Nuremberg, Germany. It also released a software development kit (SDK).

Microsoft has made a strong push into the embedded device development area. The company is trying to attract developers that may have avoided using its Windows CE embedded OS because the associated hardware was too expensive and the OS had too many features, said Colin Miller, product unit manager.

Those developers could be working on code for devices such as a retail kiosk, Miller said.

Often, those developers may have turned to embedded Linux programs, Miller said. But some developers don’t want to run both Linux and Microsoft programming environments because of the complexity, Miller said.

The SDK can be used to develop programs using the company’s Visual Studio development software. Its features include hardware emulation and graphical debugging of emulated and real hardware.

The framework and SDK supports hardware platforms based on Arm 7 and Arm 9 microprocessor cores, which are used in many consumer devices such as microwave ovens.

Microsoft said the SDK and the .Net Micro framework can be used to develop a range of applications, such as home automation systems, industrial sensors, retail displays and health care monitors.

Miller said Microsoft will work on adding Web services features to the platform that will enable plug-and-play functionality. For example, a consumer who buys a new dishwasher would be able to directly integrate the appliance into their home automation system. Microsoft will use volume licensing for the .Net Micro Framework and SDK, charging about US$1 to US$2 per device, Miller said.

The company has sought to make the work of embedded systems developers easier with the .Net Micro Framework, Rob Miles, a lecturer in the computer science department at the University of Hull in Hull, England, wrote on his blog.

Writing code for small devices has been difficult since programmers had to learn low-level interfacing and to write code that runs directly on the hardware, Miles wrote. The programs are hard to debug, and the programmers had to use lots of new tools, he wrote.

With the .Net Micro Framework, the code can be written and debugged in Visual Studio 2005.

Quicklink 073213


Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now