Microsoft Launches, Open-Sources .NET Micro Framework 4.0

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-11-16 Print this article Print

At its Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft announces the release of Version 4.0 of the .NET Micro Framework and says it is open-sourcing the technology and making it available under the Apache 2.0 license.

LOS ANGELES-At its Professional Developers Conference here, Microsoft announced the release of Version 4.0 of the .NET Micro Framework and also that it is open-sourcing the technology and making it available under the Apache 2.0 license.

In a blog post, Peter Galli, Microsoft's senior open-source community manager, broke the news of the release and open-sourcing of .NET Micro Framework 4.0. Galli said the Apache 2.0 license was selected because it is "already being used by the community within the embedded space."

The .NET Micro Framework is "a development and execution environment for resource-constrained devices [that] was initially developed inside the Microsoft Startup Business Accelerator," Galli wrote. It later "moved to the Developer Division so as to be more closely aligned with the overall direction of Microsoft development efforts."

Galli noted, "Microsoft is also in the process of forming a community of interested and involved members to help shape the future direction of the product" as an open-source technology. "There will be a core technology team that is composed of Microsoft and external partners, and people will be encouraged to propose projects, which will be vetted before they are accepted," he wrote.

Galli also wrote:

"The result of this [move to the Developer Division] is that the .NET Micro Framework has become a seamless development experience, bringing a single programming model and tool chain for the breadth of developer solutions, all the way from small intelligent devices to servers and the cloud. There are also no more time-limited versions.

"Including the source code for almost all of the product also ensures that developers now also get access to the Base Class Libraries that were implemented for .NET Micro Framework and the CLR [Common Language Runtime] code itself."

However, "the TCP/IP stack and cryptography libraries are not included in the source code," Galli said.

According to Galli:

"Program Manager Colin Miller told me this was because the TCP/IP stack is third party software that Microsoft licenses from EBSNet, so we do not have the rights to distribute that source code. If someone needs to access the source code for the TCP/IP stack, they can contact EBSNet directly.

"As for the Cryptography libraries, they are not included in source code because they are used outside of the scope of the .NET Micro Framework. Customers who need to have access to the code in the cryptography functions will find that these libraries can be replaced, Miller said." 

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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