Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates yesterday announced the worldwide launch of .net Compact Framework, a tool that lets developers bring Microsoft's .net technology to mobile devices.
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The framework will let developers extend the capabilities of .net, such as web services support, to mobile devices, said David Rasmussen, lead product manager for .net Mobility Developer Platform at Microsoft. The .net Framework and .net Compact Framework provide a consistent development model through a single tool set, Visual Studio .net, so developers can easily extend PC applications to mobile devices, he said.
The new tool will support development of software for any device that runs Windows CE version 4.1 and later. That includes devices based on the Pocket PC 2000, Pocket PC 2002 and Pocket PC Phone Edition reference platforms. To start with, it will not support Microsoft's Smartphone 2002 platform because the latest version of that was locked in before .net Compact Framework was finished. The next version will support that platform.
Developers can download .net Compact Framework from today. It will be included in the Visual Studio .Net 2003 development tool, which is set for general availability April 24. Until then, developers can deploy applications based on .net Compact Framework by using the beta version of Visual Studio .net 2003.