S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
The world is becoming a smaller place everyday. People are becoming more and more mobile. Device proliferation has been and will continue to be huge. If you look at all these trends, it is no wonder that smart devices will play more and more an important part in our lives.
If you know how to use Visual Studio, you already know how to write Smart Device applications. If you want to develop an application for the Microsoft Mobile platform and haven’t tried out VS 2005 yet, I encourage you to give it a whirl. Or check out the Mobile Developer Center up on MSDN. .NET is not just for desktops and servers – it’s for devices too!
There are over 200,000 developers using VSD and .NET CF, and more than 15 million Windows Mobile and Windows CE devices running the .NET Compact Framework. The .NET CF is already running on Pocket PCs, Smartphones, TV Settop Boxes, Automobiles, and all sorts of embedded devices – and it will be on even more platforms in the future. There is a growing list of enterprise customers – you can look up on MSDN for customer studies, testimonials and references that give you some idea of the breadth of adoption that the .NET Compact Framework is garnering.
Although .NET CF is less than 10% the size of the full .NET Framework, it provides the essential breadth of API surface area to developers, so they can readily leverage their knowledge of .NET development. V2 of the .NET CF provides even more for customers. The runtime is approximately 50% faster than V1 across the board, yet maintains binary compatibility with V1 applications. Mirroring a key advance in the full Framework, .NET CF includes support for generics in V2. Also added were a host of new controls, support for 3D graphics, broad updates to its class libraries (especially System.Xml and the VB “My” classes), and much improved interop with native code, including COM interop.
The design time experience also improved dramatically with the introduction of the latest version of Visual Studio for Devices tools. A powerful new device emulator and improved deployment capabilities enable developers to readily test, debug, and deploy their applications using either emulated or real hardware. In addition, there are many improvements in native development capabilities for those developers who have not yet moved to managed code.
Moving forward, both the Visual Studio for Devices team and the .NET CF team are thinking about exciting new things that they want to do.
The .NET CF team is already planning and doing some incubation work on taking some of our new API Frameworks down to device-size. Another thing that is high on the list of things to get done is the addition of improved 3D graphics, sound, and cooperative gameplay APIs – all geared towards the best gaming experience on devices. As the framework continues to evolv, the tools story will get richer to expose them to developers. The Visual Studio for Devices team will continue to invest not only in rapid application development, but also in addressing end to end development life cycle management. The device emulator is another area where we will continue to invest and enhance. Also, the team is also working on delivering an integrated development experience with SQL Mobile, Windows Mobile and Window CE SDKs.
As you know, Orcas planning is currently underway and as we make more progress on our planning we can be crisper about specific features that we will deliver in Orcas for the mobile developer community.