A Look at the .NET Micro Framework

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Built from the ground up, the .NET Micro Framework is a platform for resource-constrained devices that extends Microsoft’s embedded offering to smaller, simpler “sub-CE”  devices  (i.e. devices using 32 bit processors without an MMU, and with as little as 64K of RAM).

The .NET Micro Framework provides (among other things) a managed execution environment with automatic memory management, a substantial subset of the .NET Base Class Library and a managed driver model – all within an amazingly compact footprint of around a few hundred kilobytes. And its TCP/IP and Web Services for devices functionality make the .NET Micro Framework a great platform for building smart, connected, service-oriented devices!

In this video, Jonathan Kagle (Group Program Manager) and Lorenzo Tessiore (Development Manager) tell us about the work they've been doing on the .NET Micro Framework. Our conversation covers: origins of the .NET Micro Framework, available development kits (00:10:24), devices that are running it (00:13:07), what it looks like to write code for it (00:17:30), and about the upcoming 3.0 release (00:24:50).


Update: The .NET Micro Framework 3.0 Release Candidate 0 is now available.



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The Discussion

  • User profile image
    The only piece of hardware that supports the micro framework AND wi-fi is $1,000. Yikes! Way out of my league.

    Why is it so expensive?
  • User profile image
    @minh - it's probably so expensive because its the only piece of hardware. If there were 100s of hardware devices that supported this then the price would be low. This is the cutting edge and early adoption costs!
  • User profile image
        There is some work in progress that will enable Wifi on some of the existing and less expensive development boards so stay tuned.  It is hard to get all this together at once for the launch but it is coming. 
  • User profile image
    Way to costly for me too.
  • User profile image
    I figure that the price has something to do w/ demand... I have found another board that does Wi-fi, but no .Net (BasicX I think) for $350. That's a huge difference.

    But I wonder how devices like the iPod Touch or Zune can have complete Wi-Fi functionality for $200, while a board on its own is almost double the cost.

    I guess, if you're building a device prototype, it doesn't really matter, but if you're in the enthusiasts market, it's cost prohibitive.
  • User profile image

    Micro framework is not for real world like you and me, just for MS research development inside MS world, the cost is not important to them. they need to show what they can do, not what is the cheaper ways.

    There are many good AVR HW and SW platform out there. like PIC, Ardunio ... etc, many many time better than Micro framework

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