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Broad Beta of .NET Micro Framework Debuts

Microsoft Tuesday announced the broad public release of a beta developer kit for the .NET Micro Framework at the Embedded Systems Conference being held in Boston.

The .NET Micro Framework provides a managed code development environment for small devices like smart watches that are typically constrained by cost, memory, processor and/or power consumption, according to company statements. Microsoft's intent is to extend the advantages of .NET and Visual Studio to the smallest classes of devices.

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.

The .NET Micro Framework grew out of the Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative, which Microsoft first publicly announced more than three years ago when it introduced the MSN Direct Smart Watch. Developing SPOT devices did not require all of the features that were available in Windows CE. As a result, Microsoft created the .NET Micro Framework.

According to Microsoft, the framework is fully integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio, thus enabling developers to create and debug software using familiar tools, including the ability to debug code running on the target device.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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