Why Compact Framework?

Most readers who’ve been following some of my past posts will know that my head is currently buried deep in the Compact Framework, and allowed to poke my head up on occassions to get back to the web stuff.

Some days I wonder around the web looking at .NET CF related articles (it’s all part of the learning process) and I generally get the impression that it’s a great area to develop in, but how do you convince everyone else?

The mobile phone is almost everywhere. It’s quite rare to walk into many places and not see someone with one. I remember while I was still at University that some people said they used more than one phone on a regular basis (they different phones on different networks). And I think as more cheaper MS Windows Mobile based devices come onto the market, the more of those people will be jumping onto that bandwagon. My guess is that the Windows Mobile based devices is a growing market, and is growing at an interesting rate. I don’t have figures on it, but it just seems to be. And there are definately a lot of new devices being released much more often.

Anyway, I came across this blog post by Mike Zintel (.NET CF Group Manager) tonight. First reaction? “Holy s*. They have .NET CF on an XBox now?”

Ok, I think more specifically it is something called the XNA Framework, which allows you to write games in managed code and run it on an XBox 360 and on Windows. Like SQL Server 2005, they are going to put a version of the CLR (Common Language Runtime) onto the XBox 360. (They have a March CTP available of the XNA Build. Seems like it is an “add on” for VS 2005.)

And suddenly you have this beast where .NET developers around the world who would like to write games in their own free time (if any) can do so easily. And who knows, maybe Microsoft will open up XBox Live a bit and allow these developers to sell their game(s). Yeah, I doubt the games will be to the level of the professional studio stuff. But it could potentially be something quite interesting. There’s definately a lot of .NET developers out there developing for various different platforms (Windows Mobile [Compact Framework .NET], Windows [.NET Framework] and for the Web [ASP.NET]).

Oh, and did anyone hear about that news on WPF/E (WPF/E == Windows Presentation Framework Everywhere. WPF was formerly known as Avalon, and to put it in even simpler terms, it allows you to build UIs using XML and then developers can handle the expected behaviour/interaction experiences in Managed code)? Some more specifics, and demos of it were shown recently at Mix 06. Sounds really promising. At Mix 06 they also said that Atlas has a go live license now.