Quick Start Guide

This topic gives a brief introduction to the Microsoft® .NET Micro Framework. It also provides links to more detailed information.

The information in this section is divided into the following topics:

Introducing the .NET Micro Framework Platform SDK

The .NET Micro Framework, formerly known as Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT), is a powerful and flexible platform for rapidly creating embedded device firmware with Microsoft Visual Studio®. It gives you the means to develop firmware for devices that are too constrained to run Microsoft Windows® CE and the .NET Compact Framework. With the .NET Micro Framework, you can use Visual Studio to write, test, and debug software on your hardware just as you would when developing software for the .NET Framework or the .NET Compact Framework. For more details on the uses and benefits of the .NET Micro Framework, see What is the .NET Micro Framework?

The architecture of the .NET Micro Framework provides you with the tools necessary to develop your firmware as managed C# applications. It does this by making use of specialized versions of the .NET common language runtime (CLR) and the .NET Framework class library. For details, see .NET Micro Framework Architecture and .NET Micro Framework Programming Model.

Supported Platforms

You can install the .NET Micro Framework Platform SDK on the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows Server® 2003

System Requirements

To install and use the .NET Micro Framework Platform SDK, you need the following hardware components, some of which must meet certain requirements:


  • Minimum: 600-MHz or faster Pentium-class, Itanium-class, Athlon-class, or Opteron-class processor
  • Recommended: 1-GHz or faster Pentium-class, Itanium-class, Athlon-class, or Opteron-class processor

Computer Memory

The RAM must accommodate both Microsoft Visual Studio and the .NET Micro Framework Platform SDK because you most likely will have both of these running simultaneously.

  • Minimum: 320 MB of RAM
  • Recommended: 640 MB of RAM, or more
The SDK performance has not been tuned for the minimum system configuration. If you increase your RAM to an amount greater than the minimum amount, you will improve the SDK performance, especially when you are running multiple applications concurrently, working with large projects, or doing enterprise-level development.

Hard Disk

When you install the .NET Micro Framework Platform SDK, the default installation location is your system drive, but you can install the application on any available drive. Regardless of where you install the SDK, the installer will always put some files on your system drive. Before you install the SDK, make sure that you have enough available hard disk space on your system drive and your installation drive:

  • 5.0 MB on the system drive
  • 5.0 MB on the installation drive
  • 10.0 MB on the system drive if it is also your installation drive
If you install the SDK on your system drive, the amount of space required on that drive will be the total of the space required on the system drive plus the space required on the installation drive.
Be sure to allow enough disk space for the applications that you may create. Each application that uses the .NET Micro Framework will require a minimum of 1 MB of hard disk space.

Display Device (Monitor)

  • Minimum: Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor with 256 colors
  • Recommended: Super VGA (1024 x 768) or higher-resolution monitor with high (16-bit) or highest (32-bit) color quality


You will need a Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device.

Other Hardware

You will need a CD drive or a DVD-ROM drive.

Developer's Knowledge Prerequisites

All development for applications that use the .NET Micro Framework is done in C#, using Microsoft Visual Studio. Therefore, developers should be familiar with the following:

  • The C# programming language
  • Object-oriented programming concepts
  • Visual Studio
  • The Microsoft .NET Framework (recommended)

Starting a New Project

The .NET Micro Framework provides you with project templates that are automatically integrated into Visual Studio when you install the Platform SDK. When you start a new project, you can select from templates for creating a .NET Micro Framework application or a .NET Micro Framework class library. For details on how to create a project, see Writing and Building Managed C# Applications.