.NET CF 3.0

Fri, February 4, 2005, 03:26 PM under MobileAndEmbedded
We haven't even got CF 2.0 yet and Mike Zintel is talking about CF 3.0... fantastic! Go let the team know what you want.

The focus for CF 3.0 will be
"making it easier to deal with transiently connected networks."
Only a fool would argue that it is not an important area and I will not be that fool; however, I would like to offer my wish list leading with a statement (warning, rant ahead):

.NET Compact Framework is not only about mobile devices!

I understand that the focus is on Windows Mobile devices but *PLEASE* give some thought to custom-WinCE-based devices. Vanilla CE devices. Non-PPC devices. I don't care what you call it, but you know what I am talking about.

There are devices fixed on a wall with a permanent network connection. Do you want such a device to run Windows CE? What development language do you expect me to use, C++? If that is the answer, I don't have a problem, but just come out and say it! I can tell you that NETCF 1.0 is perfectly capable of satisfying the initial need, but when trying to take an application to the next step... brick walls. Example:

- Web server & Web Services (*not* client).

Give me ASP.NET on the device! Componentize it so if you don't want PPCs to suffer the footprint, they can opt out.

You should be striving for CF 3.0 to be the sensible choice for WinCE development. Is there any *new* project for the PC starting its life based on C++? Madness, in my view; dotnet or Java are the only sensible choices. Do the same for Windows CE. Today most WinCE old hats still cringe at the sound of CF. Tomorrow with CF 2.0 it will get better. With CF 3.0, unless I am writing drivers, choosing C++ should be a laughable choice. Magneto comes with managed platform interfaces; Longhorn will come with managed platform interfaces; are we ever going to see that in the core WinCE OS?

If I hear or read one more time that "NETCF = mobile battery-powered occasionally-connected device", I'll unscrew my unit off the wall, pull the ethernet & power cables out and hit somebody on the head with it!

Not to finish on a violent tone, let me summarise:
1. ASP.NET on the device (implies the ability to host the runtime)
2. Parity with the desktop. Give me the .NET Framework on the device and componentise it so OEMs can opt out.
3. Throw a bone to non-PPC developers

"...pretty please, with sugar on top..."