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Microsoft Open Sources .NET Micro Framework

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the what's-your-angle-college-boy dept.

Programming 320

An anonymous reader writes "Back in July, Microsoft announced it was making .NET available under its Community Promise, which in theory allowed free software developers to use the technology without fear of patent lawsuits. Not surprisingly, many free software geeks were unconvinced by the promise (after all, what's a promise compared to an actual open licence?), but now Microsoft has taken things to the next level by releasing the .NET Micro Framework under the Apache 2.0 licence. Yes, you read that correctly: a sizeable chunk of .NET is about to go open source."

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My first question would be... (4, Interesting)

Q-Hack! (37846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123010)

Just what is Microsoft's angle? Surely they are gaining some advantage here.

Re:My first question would be... (5, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123028)

More people using .NET would be a gain, wouldn't it?

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123078)

Isn't .NET a back-end thing? And if it's open, then it doesn't mean you're forced to use anything from MS on the back-end either.

So, what is to be gained? The ability to say they have x% of the server market or something?

Re:My first question would be... (3, Insightful)

Lord Pillage (815466) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123132)

The ability to sell support services.

Re:My first question would be... (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123146)

I'm not a .NET developer... but I seem to remember having to run .NET applications with the .NET framework on my local machine?

I'm not sure how much Microsoft gains by keeping .NET closed-source. Perhaps that's a good question, too: why not open source it. I don't think you have to pay anything to do .NET development, do you? So may as well get any free improvements from the open source community. ;)

Re:My first question would be... (-1, Troll)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123244)

To do .NET development well, you'll need to get licenses for VS(.NET), Windows, SourceSafe, Windows Server, Sybase SQL, ...

Re:My first question would be... (4, Informative)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123306)

Not quite. Visual Studio Express is free for commercial usage.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123316)

SourceSafe???!!! Please tell me it's not the same crap I was using in 1998 !!!

Re:My first question would be... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123362)

No, it's slightly different crap now.

Re:My first question would be... (2, Informative)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123348)

No, you don't. You can do development in any text editor and compile with mono.
also, there are free (as in beer) licences of VS express.

Re:My first question would be... (2, Informative)

spectre_240sx (720999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123380)

Sybase? I think you mean MSSQL. Also, the Eclipse IDE actually has some capability for .NET development now [ibm.com] . This can easily be used with open version control solutions. It may not be good for developers who are doing large projects, but for anyone developing plug-ins for office apps or something similar it's not too bad.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123830)

Keeping it closed source keeps people from easily porting the newest versions of the framework to platforms other than windows?

I write against the .net framework, but not mono, because mono can't keep up with MS's framework. That also means that my apps don't run anywhere but on windows machines.

I have nothing against mono, I just can't afford to work in what amounts to a 4 year old version of the framework.

Re:My first question would be... (0, Troll)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123152)

.NET micro is mostly for embedded devices running WinCE.

Re:My first question would be... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123268)

Sorry, .NET Compact Framework is for devices running CE. .NET micro is different, its a version of .NET that runs directly on the the hardware (no CE at all), a lot like running embedded C on a microcontroller. Says it right in TFA.

Re:My first question would be... (3, Informative)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123330)

.NET micro is mostly for embedded devices running WinCE.

Nope, you're wrong. You're thinking of the .Net Compact Framework [wikipedia.org] . Basically there are three .NET implementations available from MS (ignoring Rotor for the time being). The Windows one (known as "the .Net Framework") is the largest, with lots of libraries and capabilities. The Compact Framework targets Win CE level devices (fewer resources, lower capabilities), and takes about 12 Mbytes. The .NET Micro Framework [wikipedia.org] targets even smaller devices; it has a subset of the .NET classes, and can fit in 300 kBytes or less. The .NET Micro Framework doesn't need an OS to run (but it can run on an OS). That's the thing that was running in the (now defunct) SPOT watches and MSN Direct traffic dongles. Those were tiny devices which couldn't have run Win CE.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123720)

Well, no matter what else, they gain marketshare. Right now, they have the best -- or at least, rumored to be the best -- development tools for it (Visual Studio .NET), so it's in their interest to promote the platform as a whole, as that means more people using their tools.

It's the same reason it's in Google's best interest to improve the Internet as a whole, even if that means releasing a bunch of open source stuff which doesn't immediately, directly benefit them. Obvious example: Chrome was the catalyst for all browsers increasing their Javascript performance, thus enabling Google to create even cooler stuff that they might see more direct benefit from, such as Wave.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123776)

Isn't .NET a back-end thing?

Yes, and no - like Java, .NET is much bigger than just web apps, you can write pretty-much anything you want in it (with the usual caveat that you're probably not going to be writing anything too low-level, such as device drivers). There are plenty of client-side apps available written in .NET.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123826)

The best IDE for .NET development is still Visual Studio by a long shot, and licenses for it aren't cheap. Plus increasing their mindshare among programmers and all that, of course.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

pizzap (1253052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123134)

Well it's either Microsoft .NET or Sun Java or Google or Adobe.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Lord Jester (88423) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123402)

Don't forget ColdFusion, PHP, JSP and the host of CGI languages that you can accomplish the same server-side functionality.

Re:My first question would be... (2, Insightful)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123038)

OR maybe they just think that this will be the best thing for the framework. Maybe they feel that if they get more people using it, it will only strengthen their hold on the market, while making the open source crowd happy.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123096)

If it's open, then where does the hold on the market comes from?

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123172)

Its their technology, and I think .NET is a windows only thing.

Re:My first question would be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123248)

Its their technology, and I think .NET is a windows only thing.

You think [mono-project.com] wrong [gnu.org] .

Re:My first question would be... (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123326)

I'm good with that. I happen to like .NET (despite not being much of a microsoft fan). I find it is a pretty decent front end for the apps that run on windows.

Having it actually go open source and be out there replacing Mono would certainly be useful to me.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123816)

Why will it replace Mono? It'll probably be a source for Mono, not a replacement.

Re:My first question would be... (5, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123084)

Haven't people been yelling about for years how you can make money with open source? Maybe someone at MS believed them. Despite the general feeling that MS is "out to get you", a company is made up of people, and is not a big bad menace who does evil for evils sake. MS as a corporate entity has exactly one goal (the same as any other company) - make money for its investors. If they can make more money with open source then why is it a surprise they would pursue that avenue?

Re:My first question would be... (4, Informative)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123568)

a company is made up of people

and it is also a company, a hierarchal organization were those lower down have to do what those higher up tell them to do. Those higher up have a pattern of behavior that justifies many of the fears on Slashdot. Groklaw is full of evidence, much of which was gained through court systems from around the world.
So to quote Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

The base technologies submitted to the ECMA, and therefore also the Unix/GNOME-specific parts, may be non-problematic. The concerns primarily relate to technologies developed by Microsoft on top of the .NET Framework, such as ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows Forms (see Non standardized namespaces)

So whats changed

Re:My first question would be... (4, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123576)

Not only that, maybe MS believes that they can use this route to make better software too. If the OSS community can respond and show MS how much there is to benefit from opening one of their projects, maybe they'll be more responsive with other projects too.

The OSS community should see this as an opportunity to give something back to MS for good reason. They would be less likely to stab the OSS community in the back with patent suits and the like if we can engender a true, two-way relationship. Maybe with some dialogue, we can start moving toward working in harmony instead of against each other.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

manyxcxi (1037382) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123586)

I completely agree. Open sourcing .NET, or bits of .NET is like a loss leader in marketing. Get them in the door for a $17.00 microwave and sell them a warranty, snow blower, and bottle of soda on their way out.
You give the language a go in your corporation, maybe even like it, then realize that it can do [insert whiz bang marketing feature here] if you have it hooked up/into [insert Microsoft product here] and they've probably just sold you more than one product for more than one seat. If you do it a small percentage of the time, I'd think you could at least break even, and that's completely ignoring the fact that they have a stranglehold on most of the daily, or 'critical' apps for an overwhelming majority of corporations (at least in the US).

Re:My first question would be... (2, Funny)

pthreadunixman (1370403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123714)

You're right. It's made up of stock holders that only care about their near-term return on investment; hence, evil.

Re:My first question would be... (2, Funny)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123098)

Wow, you mean a multinational corporation with a fiduciary duty to return shareholder value thinks there might be some "angle" in this? Slashdot seriously needs a -1 (Durr) mod.

Re:My first question would be... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123126)

No, slashdot needs a -1 troll or flamebait mod.
 
Oh wait.

Re:My first question would be... (0, Flamebait)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123226)

Microsoft could make key applications like Windows Live Messenger (best messenger ever. Don't even dare to argue with me on that one because you WILL lose this one) and Office available on Linux and prepare every OS out there for being able to run their apps so that they can still make huge amount of profit outside of the Windows OS realm. Just to name one thing...

Re:My first question would be... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123606)

If it is so awesome how come it only works with one network?

How come it fails to have a command line version?

Re:My first question would be... (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123800)

best messenger ever. Don't even dare to argue with me on that one because you WILL lose this one

I'm game. What makes it so great?

I can give you a list of things it doesn't have, and likely never will, that other messengers do. Towards the top of the list is interoperability. Google Talk uses Jabber to begin with, which is the defacto open standard for IM, so it wins as a network. Pidgin, Kopete, Adium, Trillian, and Meebo all allow connections to most IM networks, including Windows Live, Yahoo, and AIM, and I know for a fact that Pidgin, Kopete, and Adium support Jabber.

Farther down is good AV support. Maybe it's improved, but right now, Skype wins on that front.

And finally, there's the ability to write plugins, or write my own client. For instance, how easy is it to record a history of every message ever sent? Pidgin, Kopete, and Adium all have History plugins, and Google Talk does it server-side automatically, unless you turn it off. How about crypto? Again, Pidgin, Kopete, and Adium have plugins, and Google Talk has an "off the record" feature.

Can Windows Live do either crypto or history at all?

so that they can still make huge amount of profit outside of the Windows OS realm.

How do they make a profit on Windows Live Messenger? I'm curious what the business model there is. I'd always assumed it was a way to suck people into MSN as a whole -- whoops, I mean Windows Live -- and get them to keep using Windows and Microsoft services for more things -- for example, it ties into Hotmail.

But it seems like at least part of its purpose is to support the Windows platform (hence the name), so I can see why they wouldn't want to port it.

Embrace (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123302)

Step 1. Embrace.
Step 2. Extend. ("New .Net 5.0: Now with new Windows-only features!")
Step 3. Extinguish. ("Support notice: .Net 4.0 and earlier now deprecated.")
Step 4. Profit.

Remember Internet Explorer for Unix (and Mac?) Remember what happened to that once IE was dominant?

Re:Embrace (1)

Virak (897071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123786)

They don't need to open source the code for that. Mono is already behind and always will be. The .NET Micro Framework is a stripped-down version of .NET for use on embedded devices and such. It only has a small subset of the whole .NET library, and the VM itself is much simpler. Opening up the code gives away none of the interesting stuff, and probably nets them greater market share. There's absolutely no downside for them. There's also really no downside for the free software community, but they don't gain anything from it either.

Re:My first question would be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123384)

MS sees .NET as the way they want all of their apps developed. .NET is far more stable and secure than running native executables, so they really want more and more apps to move to .NET. They put a lot of work into .NET and already post it for free download. The way MS sees it, if more apps were written in .NET, then Windows will have a better reputation for stability and security, and that is something where they make money. They also make money on embedded copies of Windows and on ASP.NET servers, so the more they make .NET an attractive development platform, the more they sell of the other stuff that makes money.

I think it's also a begrudging admission that Linux is important. They won't come out and say it, but this indicates that they see .NET support of other platforms as being important. After all, open source is a way to get improved support for platforms that you're unwilling to touch yourself.

It's a trap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123488)

Duh - the release is a trap. Anybody who looks at the code and then contributes to Linux is obviously stealing Microsoft's IP.

Re:My first question would be... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123494)

Just what is Microsoft's angle? Surely they are gaining some advantage here.

That's easy: Free code from their newly-minted community.

One of the advantages that a company going FOSS has is that the company gets a potential for hordes of non-employees to help them code their product. Or, at least that's how the concept goes. Reality usually delivers a bit less, often a lot less. YMMV, but I suspect that Microsoft is banking on getting a whole bucketload of free dev help out of this (assuming they take in patches and etc).

/P

no way! (-1, Offtopic)

Ferante125 (971811) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123012)

and first post!??

I think I'm ill (4, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123056)

I must have the swine flu. Maybe I'm having a psychotic episode. Did I wind up in a holodeck? Or the Twilight Zone? It must be one of these things because I keep having these senseless hallucinations where MicroSoft acts like a decent company.

Re:I think I'm ill (2, Funny)

loconet (415875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123094)

I must have the swine flu

Yes, with pigs flying and all .. that shot isn't looking *that* bad now.

Re:I think I'm ill (5, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123162)

I think you might have Mono.

No you're not! (1)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123180)

MS is turning into decent people! I can proudly say here on Slashdot that I like Microsoft products! I don't have to hide any longer! I can be in the open - no more a closet Microftie!

I feel so free! I can use my MS products with my Apple and Linux! I'll never have to take sides ever again to keep my karma whole! Gather around everyone and let's sing Kumbaya!

Re:No you're not! (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123422)

Yahoo! Is! that! you!?

Re:No you're not! (2, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123638)

Yahoo! Is! that! you!?

I didn't sound like Bill Shatner, did I?

Buy my euphoria has died down. Some guys with Think Geek! T-Shirts came by and beat the shit out of me.

Re:I think I'm ill (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123508)

As long as its not cancer you're fine, because it was only 5 minutes ago that the chair thrower was telling the world thats what OSS is.

Open Sourcing Platform Lock-In Is Meaningless (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123068)

The entire concept behind .NET is that any company that bases their products on it slips the yoke of control onto their necks and lock the hasp. You don't code your applications to .NET and then move them to anything other that whatever versions of Windows Microsoft chooses. You can call it Open Source, but that doesn't make it so.

Re:Open Sourcing Platform Lock-In Is Meaningless (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123260)

Mono.

Re:Open Sourcing Platform Lock-In Is Meaningless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123404)

Yeah... open source doesn't mean what you seem to think it means. In fact your point is nonsensical as because you have the source you could port it to whatever platform you want. Seriously, wtf are you blathering on about?

Re:Open Sourcing Platform Lock-In Is Meaningless (3, Insightful)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123476)

Making it open source allows you to use it, distribute it, and modify it. Even if nobody ports it to your favorite platform, it's still a win for the users. No longer do you have to depend on Microsoft for bugfixes. No longer do you have to hope that, one day, they will implement the feature you're waiting for. Microsoft is no longer the only party allowed to improve the platform or tailor it to your needs. Once it's open source, everyone is allowed to do so.

So while you are right that making the software open source doesn't magically make it portable, it is far from meaningless.

Mono? (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123114)

Woo! Now I don't have to feel guilty when I bitch about Mono not f***ing working correctly.

Re:Mono? (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123214)

Nope this framework is for mobile devices and the 360.
Microsoft is really dieing in the mobile space right now. WinMo 6.5 Still doesn't have native support capacitive touch screens and the Mobile world is on fire with Android and of course the iPhone.
HTC, LG, and Samsung are all developing or have released Android phones.
Palm and Motorola are now dropping WinMo and going with WebOS and Android.
This is one space where Microsoft is at best an also ran and really is dropping in the race for mind share.

Re:Mono? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123818)

That's kind of fascinating, because they were dominating not very long ago.

I wonder what happened...

Marketshare in Mobile Market (5, Insightful)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123128)

Microsoft knows that mobile development is booming right now and their best chance to get into the market is on very accessible powerful development tools rather than the Windows OS which is quickly losing market share. If Microsoft can have mobile developers coding in .NET, having them be familiar with Windows development is trival (since the Framework obstruficates most of the OS API.)

If the Framework gets ported to non-MS platforms, having those developers develop on Visual Studio, on Windows, in Windows eco-systems is additional trivial.

I am absolutely certain that iPhone development is causing iPhone developers to learn and be comfortable with XCode on Mac machines while at the same time creating more skilled Objective-C coders that will be more proficent in writing normal OS X applications.

Re:Marketshare in Mobile Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123300)

Amusingly, I was so unsatisfied with XCode (how do people claim to enjoy it?? Visual Studio is leaps and bounds beyond it, as are NetBeans and Eclipse) that I stopped making iPhone apps, but when MonoTouch came out, I started back up again.

I am still forced to use Interface Builder (which is terrible with all of its floating windows), but the Mono tools are much closer to Visual Studio, which feels infinitely more productive than XCode.

The only interesting thing about XCode is their future compiler, which produces faster code as well as cleaner compiler warnings/error messages.

Re:Marketshare in Mobile Market (1)

jhoger (519683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123320)

Obstruficates? Is that like encapsulates, or abstracts?

Re:Marketshare in Mobile Market (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123486)

All of the above... good catch, those would both be better choices in terms. Though I don't know to what degree Microsoft has documented what Win32 (or other) APIs are being utilized by the various methods in the framework in all cases.

Like a rocket takin' off to the moon! (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123468)

Microsoft knows that mobile development is booming

Drum boom bass and the party is boomin'!

Re:Marketshare in Mobile Market (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123538)

The standard platform for phones is the .NET Compact Framework. What is the Micro Framework intended for anyway? My guess is that this is Microsoft abandoning a product that has no market, and trying to look good in the process.

Re:Marketshare in Mobile Market (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123688)

From TFA:

# The .NET Compact Framework is a cut-down version of the full-fat framework, stripping out many things that aren't used in small environments. Windows Mobile devices commonly ship with Compact .NET, as does the Xbox 360.
# The .NET Micro Framework has the smallest footprint of all, and is designed for devices with very limited resources.

So its not even good enough for mobile phones, maybe if you want to run your dishwasher on .NET, then it might be useful - except its got a very limited set of framework classes and a cut-down GC. This is the cannabis edition, designed to get you hooked enough to need to more powerful .NET CE, and then the full .NET framework.

Re:Marketshare in Mobile Market (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123612)

Correct me if i'm wrong but doesn't .net run in a VM which are explicitly banned from the iphone? OFC it's useful on other smartphones but unless it has sybian support i can't see it being a major player.

Re:Marketshare in Mobile Market (1)

Carbaholic (1327737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123834)

I know, I can't wait for a full port of Revenge of the Fart Machine II for OS X.

Awesome! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123144)

I can't express how excited I am to see how this will be turned against Microsoft.

Re:Awesome! (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123178)

Givers losers, whiners keepers!

OMG it is Meta EEE! (5, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123156)

Not satisfied with killing software competitors by the Embrace, Extend and Extinguish methodology, now they are doing it to licenses. Pretty soon Apache license will be incompatible with everything non Microsoft, inlcuding Apache Web Server. Run, Run away when you still can!

Re:OMG it is Meta EEE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123240)

Who modded this idiot insightful?

The Apache license is authored by *gasp!* The Apache Software Foundation. As such, Microsoft has no influence over it.

Re:OMG it is Meta EEE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123282)

Ahhh, so *that's* what the triple-E in the Asus eee submini notebook stood for. They knew what Microsoft was going to do to it before they even shipped!

There is a problem (4, Interesting)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123164)

I was initially impressed by the MS 'open' pledges, until I talked to several coder friends. Their take, paraphrased, was that it was window dressing with a lot of traps. Basically, they 'opened' the wrapper, just like they did with their Office formats.

The problem, as it was explained to me, is that if you want to do anything useful, you have to call a bunch of things that are not opened, will not be opened, and MS can still sue your *ss off for using. One person asked how useful it is to 'open' the hypothetical call, Play_video_with_MS_proprietary_closed_codec? I mean, you can copy the functionality, but your software is only cross-platform to the extent that MS proprietary and closed codecs and other things are 'open'.

This is nothing more than a stealth PR attempt, they will use it to say, "We opened everything up, and see, Linux still sux0rz because it can't play movies, sound, DRM, or anything else useful. We opened everything up, but the Linux model is broken, and their lazy codes won't do the right thing. If you want real XYZ, you need Windows".

It is nothing more than opening the most useless bits, and using it as a PR hammer. Yay progress?

                  -Charlie

Re:There is a problem (3, Interesting)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123530)

``This is nothing more than a stealth PR attempt, they will use it to say, "We opened everything up, and see ..."''

Or maybe it's just fear of more lawsuits from the EU.

However, the result is that .NET Micro Framework is now open source. That's a Good Thing.

Re:There is a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123536)

Err... couldn't you just rewrite Play_video_with_MS_proprietary_closed_codec so that it doesn't use 'MS_proprietary_closed_codec' when you port it to a different platform...

Re:There is a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123556)

You talked to some dumb coders then.

While there are bound to be some useless features, one has to wonder what you are spouting your own anti-Microsoft misgivings for.

The .NET Micro Framework provides simple access to USB and a basic file system, as well as enables developers to write device drivers in C# instead of completely in their device's flavor of Assembly, or C/C++ if they are lucky.

It's certainly a niche group, but it's not exactly some sort of laughable release by Microsoft.

Re:There is a problem (1)

Carbaholic (1327737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123928)

You've been able to use .NET in the way you mentioned above for some time. Right now you can download visual studio express, go to codeplex, and start an open source project. It's true that you'll be bound to windows, but there are other benifits to Microsoft opening up a bit.

MSDN is just a nice community of developers to be involved in. It makes me loyal to Microsoft development products because I know that if I use Visual Studio and .NET tools there is a community of friendly people who will help me with my problems and there are friendly people working together to release open source code that Microsoft hasn't gotten around to yet. There are also a host of well written blogs, well made videos, and clear tutorials that help you get started using .NET tools.

I have not had the same experience working with Java. Whenever I have a java problem to solve I am met with unclear articles and flames. Lots and lots of flames.

not the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123170)

Several years ago MS released a separate, non-production implementation of the CLR [amazon.com] under a permissive Shared Source license. That was the "Rotor" project headed by David Stutz. IIRC the license was pretty reasonably - the gist of it was that you may not copy code verbatim into your own competing project, but if you carry away some useful ideas that appear in a similar form they won't sic David Boies on you. I heard the Mono folks were sort of paranoid about it, though - they didn't want anyone who had studied that code developing for their project.

Re:not the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123378)

Given David Boies's track record, I'd really hope he'd be the one they'd sic on me.

Yeah, sure (4, Insightful)

Shadowhawk (30195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123184)

Wake me up when they open source the main .NET framework. They put this out there because no one is using it.

Re:Yeah, sure (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123392)

This. The Micro Framework is for resource-constrained embedded devices... which are just about the last place you'd want to run bytecode anyway, as far as I can see. We've got tons of embedded stuff where I work, but I fail to see how controllers for mechanical bits and pieces are going to benefit from having the CLR, object classes, GUIs, etc. made available to them.

Yes, I know they're hoping to scoop the mobile market, but which part of it - the non-smartphone (dumbphone) market?

Re:Yeah, sure (3, Interesting)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123692)

This. The Micro Framework is for resource-constrained embedded devices... which are just about the last place you'd want to run bytecode anyway, as far as I can see. We've got tons of embedded stuff where I work, but I fail to see how controllers for mechanical bits and pieces are going to benefit from having the CLR, object classes, GUIs, etc. made available to them.

 
I think they're targetting the same area as some embedded Java implementations, like MicroJava [is2t.com] . You're getting a nice programming environment (you can use Visual Studio to write C# software for your embedded app), you're getting automatic memory management and it'll offer a migration path for people familiar with larger platforms. While it's not going to be as efficient as hand-tightened C and/or assembly code, it should allow faster development for embedded applications.

Yes, I know they're hoping to scoop the mobile market, but which part of it - the non-smartphone (dumbphone) market?

Not sure they're interested only (or even mainly) in the mobile market; the .NET MF can run on much lower performance processors than the ones used in phones, even feature phones (i.e., not smartphones). From what I've seen most phones use ARM 9 level CPUs, or even ARM + DSP combos, like the TI's OMAP (please feel free to correct me, phones aren't an area I have much interest in). That's overkill for the .NET MF which can happily run on ARM7 level CPUs.

Re:Yeah, sure (1)

syntaxeater (1070272) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123578)

ILDasm.exe and get the IL for your viewing pleasure. Utilize shared extensions and enhance any type you feel needs "opt-inable" improving. The only thing you're pseudo-kept out of is the VES, but nothing's telling/restricting you from creating your own runtime hosts. It's what I'd consider client-cloned open source. Do what you want, extend as you need but ultimately the direction and decision for global enhancements is left with a heavily vested company instead of a users community.

Re:Yeah, sure (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123880)

Nobody is using it -ANYMORE- because they gutted Visual Studio up through Standard Edition, effectively removing the ability to write WinMo apps using their IDE. WinMo was a really popular platform, right up until the iPhone showed up and MS fucked their developers. 1, 2 combo... knocked themselves out.

As Admiral Ackbar warned (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123194)

It's A Trap!

Re:As Leia warned - 3 years earlier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123406)

"Luke, it's a trap"

Credit where credit's due...

Your tongues can't repel flavor of that magnitude! (2, Insightful)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123434)

Ugh, I guess we'll have to eat this boring oatmeal...

It's A Trap!

Re:As Admiral Ackbar warned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123534)

You can't beat flavour of that magnitude!!

Re:As Admiral Ackbar warned (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123542)

I know you're joking and I don't mean to direct this at you necissarily but I think it should be said.

Many companies suck. They abuse their positions and take advantage of their customers, they manipulate the writing and interpretation of laws to suit their ends, they sue innocent people in an effort to scare people into respecting their intangible rights. Slashdot, correctly, berates them when there is news about this kind of thing. We help spread knowledge of their actions and provide sometimes insightful analysis which in turn, I hope, gets passed on to others outside the slashdot crowd.

However, when one of these companies does something right, instead of saying "Good first step, you've got a long way to go but this helps ever so slightly" we berate them just as much as if we found out their datacenters were powered by burning babies. It's not helpful and it's not really fair. You can't punish good behavior just as much as bad and expect to have any effects, it doesn't work on dogs and I doubt it works on corporations.

So, let me (karma be damned) be the first to say: This is a small step in the right direction Microsoft. You have a long way to go, but this, ever so slightly, helps.

Re:As Admiral Ackbar warned (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123724)

I have a honest question. Has Microsoft ever done the things you mention? If they have I haven't heard of it.

I mean we all know they are evil. But I really don't think they play in the major league. Maybe they are just hiding their traces very good. But I honestly think in evil they can't compete with Fox News, Scientology, the RIAA, Monsanto, Halliburton and all these.

Re:As Admiral Ackbar warned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123676)

No it is a sign. Microsoft releasing open source in any form == cthulu or something worse about to happen. zoiks

A sign of the End Times (1)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123292)

Is the world going to end now that Microsoft has released Open Source code?

2012 Ads? Hell Freezing? (2, Funny)

superflit (1193931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123312)

Maybe it is a promo for the 2012.

Or

then the maya calendar has Its reason to end on 2012....
Hell is Freezing somewhere...

That's one small step for Microsoft.... (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123324)

First they release the source code for Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, and now they open up part of the .NET framework.

That's one small step for Microsoft, one giant leap towards OpenWindows initiative.

Where is RMS when Half-Life 2 went FOSS?

Aha! I see it... (1, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123334)

It took some work to locate, but I knew there was skullduggery afoot...

Microsoft has taken things to the next level by releasing the .NET Micro Framework under the Apache 2.0 licence.

There ya go. Microsoft has cleverly made it look like they were following the Apache 2.0 license, when in reality they've got some evil spawn of their own creation that goes under the name "Apache 2.0 licence". That special Microsoft license probably says Ballmer gets to eat your firstborn, or something equally nefarious.

Those dastardly evildoers!

Re:Aha! I see it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123868)

LOL IM AMERICAN

Why not give them some cred for trying? (3, Insightful)

drdrgivemethenews (1525877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123448)

You don't train a misbehaving dog to be well-mannered by whacking it one every time it wags its tail.

What's .NET? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30123464)

I've been too busy working with open source technologies and tools.

Is .NET something new? Does anybody think it will catch on?

Not your father's MS (1, Interesting)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123478)

It seems to me like MS has started acting on consumer's behalf in the past year or two. Despite how much I hate Office and how that unit operates, they have been doing a lot of other things that I've been rather impressed with.

Still behind the curve. (2, Informative)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123532)

This is all about trying to gain mobile market share, but realistically all they're doing is highlighting the headache. Thanks, but I don't want to build an app in Objective C, Java, and .Net and get them certified by Google, and Microsoft, and Apple. What a headache. As usual Microsoft is arriving at the point when the whole idea of writing custom apps per phone is starting to jump the shark.

If they would release an easy to use IE mobile virtual images like they've done for all the current IE desktop applications they might actually have something like a leg up on their competition (I know they have some emulator inside Visual Studio, but that's not the same).

Google has a cross-platform emulator, but neither Apple nor Microsoft do. This could easily be another situation like Firefox where developers design webapps for Android and make them work passably on the other browsers.

Good Move (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123718)

Finally Microsoft makes a good coding choice, Open Source = Better Code.

And coming January 1st... (1)

gorehog (534288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30123858)

I wonder what Microsoft is going to supersede .NET with and when. And which version of .NET is this?

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