Among the fallout from the latest round of Microsoft layoffs is the demise of the .NET Micro Framework, Microsoft’s embedded tooling for very low powered devices. Mary Jo Foley reports:
Microsoft is turning the source code for its embedded .Net Micro Framework over to the community and slowly withdrawing from that business, company officials are confirming.
On the rumored list of teams most heavily impacted by second wave of Microsoft layoffs announced on May 5 was the .Net Micro Framework team — as well as the related MSN Direct unit. Indeed, both groups were affected, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed on May 6.
MSN Direct was originally a oddball FM broadcast service for devices like the infamous SPOT watches, but it had moved into other areas in recent years.
Today Microsoft announced Service Pack 1 for .NET Micro Framework 2.0, their tooling entry for the low end embedded device market:
As the number of programmable device form factors proliferates, so does programming tooling and Microsoft today released the software development kit (SDK) for its entry in the small device market, the .NET Micro Framework:
Today at Embedded World 2007, Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of the software development kit (SDK) for the Microsoft® .NET Micro Framework. With its ability to work seamlessly with Visual Studio®, the .NET Micro Framework extends the power of Microsoft’s embedded offerings into the realm of smaller, less expensive and more resource-constrained devices.
“The .NET Micro Framework was built from the ground up as a .NET solution for small embedded devices,” said Colin Miller, director of the .NET Micro Framework at Microsoft. “It brings the reliability and efficiency of the .NET environment to a new set of applications such as home automation systems, industrial sensors, retail displays and healthcare monitors. Development on this platform works seamlessly with the same tools that are used throughout the Microsoft family of platforms. This decreases the distinction between embedded application development and other application development tasks and helps reduce the cost and risks of these projects.”
The .NET Micro Framework SDK enables developers to take full advantage of the C# development language and the rich development and debugging experience that Visual Studio provides. In addition, the SDK offers user-extensible hardware emulation and seamless, graphical debugging of emulated and real hardware to deliver robust solutions in less time than ever before.
The .NET Micro Framework SDK not only works seamlessly with Visual Studio and offers an extensible emulator, but is also supported by a number of hardware platforms based on the ARM7 and ARM9 processor cores. The framework also enables device developers to connect these hardware platforms to virtually any peripheral hardware through industry-standard communication connections and custom-managed drivers.
Those interested in receiving a copy of the SDK for the .NET Micro Framework can visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/embedded/netmf.
Partner support was also announced. Conceptually, the .NET Micro Framework is for devices insufficiently powerful or expensive to warrant Windows CE and which apparently have been attracting Linux development. The licensing fee for the .NET Micro Framework is reportedly $1 to $2 per device in volume.
Some new Microsoft betas this week (so far):
Microsoft Launches Forefront Security for SharePoint Beta:
Microsoft Corp. today (Sept. 28) is launching the public beta of Forefront Security for SharePoint® (http://www.microsoft.com/forefront). This latest release of Microsoft® Forefront security products for businesses is based on Antigen for SharePoint Server, the multi-engine security solution acquired by Microsoft as part of the acquisition of Sybari Software Inc. in 2005.
Forefront Security for SharePoint is optimized to provide advanced protection for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows® SharePoint Services 3.0. Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies facilitate easy collaboration across an organization, connecting people, processes and systems within and beyond organizational boundaries. Forefront Security for SharePoint uses the combined power of multiple antivirus engines from leading security providers to protect against viruses, unwanted files and inappropriate content.
While we’re on the subject, Microsoft was also touting Gartner’s glowing assessment of their email security offerings including including Microsoft Exchange Hosted Services and Forefront Security for Exchange Server.
Windows Mobile Device Center Beta Coming Soon. It’s the replacement in Vista of ActiveSynch for synching up mobile devices with a Vista machine. It was AWOL in Vista RC1.
Windows PowerShell Release Candidate 2 was released. The scripting tool (codenamed “Monad”) for system administration tasks is expected to ship in the 4th quarter and/or embedded in Exchange 2007 when it ships.
The Windows Live Writer blogging tool beta got an update which fixed a number of problems in the original beta released in August.
Microsoft Corp. today (Sept. 26) released a beta developer kit for the Microsoft® .NET Micro Framework, a new development platform for use with devices that are typically constrained by cost, memory, processor and/or power consumption. Announced at the Embedded Systems Conference in Boston, the .NET Micro Framework broad beta extends the advantages of .NET and the Visual Studio® toolset into a class of the smallest of devices.
The .NET Micro Framework grew out of the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative at Microsoft.
The framework currently provides the software platform for all Smart Watches for MSN Direct. Additionally, the company plans to include it in Windows Vista SideShow displays and in an upcoming version of Microsoft TV Foundation Edition, the statements say.