Yesterday, the popular Facebook social networking Web site officially launched the Facebook Platform which allows 3rd parties to write applications which will be available to Facebook users. Among the 70 companies developing programs and/or tools for the platform is Microsoft as Joshua Allen explains:
People using Popfly can now drag-drop to create in-browser mashups that use Facebook friends, photos, and events. Since it’s using Popfly, the Facebook mashups can also include existing Popfly blocks, for example mashing up your Facebook friends list with XBox 360 gamer tags.
And for developers, we’ve created a Facebook developer’s toolkit to enable you to code against Facebook with any of our programming languages. The toolkit includes components, controls, and samples for both web development and client development. Especially check out the fully-functional sample using WPF and LINQ to make a 3D rolodex.
You can download the toolkit and Visual Studio Express both for free starting now.
Seems a reasonable way to bring in new prospects for Microsoft’s development tools.
Last December when Visual Studio Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released the only Vista support was via a beta version which was merely usable with known incompatibilities. Today, that lack was remedied when Microsoft released the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Update for Windows Vista. Microsoft Developer Division corporate VP S. Soma Somasegar explains what’s new in a Q&A:
With this update to Visual Studio, our goal was to ensure developers have the best possible experience on Windows Vista, and that the features developers are using in Visual Studio work as expected. We fixed a number of significant issues around debugging and profiling, and around creating ASP.NET applications for IIS on the developer machine. We also wanted to improve the feedback that Visual Studio gives to developers when an error occurs on Windows Vista.
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.
I am really excited to announce that the final release of ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 (aka “Atlas”) shipped this morning. You can download it here.
ASP.NET AJAX is available for free, and can be used with ASP.NET 2.0 and VS 2005. It is a fully supported Microsoft product, and is backed by a standard 10 year Microsoft support license (with Microsoft Product Support available via phone 24 hours a day x 7 days a week).
While the core ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 release is now officially shipped, we are definitely not slowing down. :-)
We are also already at work on the next ASP.NET AJAX release, and will continue to add new features and improvements to the supported ASP.NET AJAX core. You can already start using many of these new features with the ASP.NET AJAX Futures CTP (available for download now on the ASP.NET AJAX site – it also supports a “go live” license).
More details by following the link, but if this seems excessively geeky, think of it as Microsoft’s toolkit for building the spiffy modern Web site interfaces so beloved of the Web 2.0 crowd.