Convergence of .NET & Embedded Development
Modern, Uniform Development Facilities
Most Embedded development continues to be done in native code; however, .NET managed-code development is becoming more common in the Embedded space, using Microsoft platforms that span various scales. The programming model and tools are consistent across .NET Framework, .NET Compact Framework, and .NET Micro Framework: all of these .NET platforms use Visual Studio, .NET, and C# managed code.
The .NET platform with efficient managed-code development began on the desktop, rather than on embedded devices, which have fewer resources. However, with the .NET Micro Framework, you can now do efficient .NET managed-code development even when you have very resource-constrained hardware, rather than having to use older, time-consuming, C-based tools and techniques that have been associated with Embedded development.
.NET Micro Framework provides broad, standard functionality while enabling you to develop small, connected devices in the shortest time. The .NET Micro Framework supports development in C# managed code using a small footprint, as little as 64KB RAM. As a subset of the full .NET, the .NET Micro Framework enables using powerful, widely known, up-to-date development tools and libraries. For example, eventing is used instead of the inefficient polling approach, for faster performance, and memory leaks are automatically prevented by C# managed code in .NET, resulting in faster development time.
C# and Embedded Developer Skills Converge
Developers who already know C# can immediately become embedded developers, with minimal ramp-up time; conversely, experienced Embedded developers can immediately take advantage of the efficiency that managed code provides.
A Spectrum of Platforms
Microsoft now offers a complete set of options for Embedded development, for devices ranging from very small to the most complex.
If you want to do managed code development, that is supported on various scales of the .NET Framework, ranging from the .NET Micro Framework, through .NET Compact Framework running on Windows Embedded CE, to .NET Framework running on Windows Embedded - Standard edition.
If you want to do native code development, that is supported on various scales of Windows Embedded platforms, including Windows Embedded CE, Windows Embedded - Standard edition, and specialized platforms for mobile, automotive, and other specialized applications.