Microsoft Launches Mobile Developer Solution Featuring .NET Compact Framework
Bill Gates Announces Launch of .NET Compact Framework, Mounting Customer and Partner Momentum, Pocket PC Device Incentive
NEW ORLEANS, March 19, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the worldwide launch of the Microsoft® .NET Compact Framework, its mobile application technology that harnesses the power of Web services on smart mobile devices and enables the millions of Visual Studio® .NET developers to easily build mobile applications on the Pocket PC operating system. Speaking at the Microsoft Mobility Developer Conference 2003, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates unveiled the final version of the .NET Compact Framework that will be included with Visual Studio .NET 2003, revealed that the company will provide 25,000 Visual Studio customers with Pocket PC devices from ViewSonic Corp., and announced extensive customer and partner support for the .NET Compact Framework.
"Major computing trends have always been driven by software developers, and the same will be true for mobile computing," Gates said. "Just as Visual Basic® sparked a wave of innovation in business applications and made the PC an essential business tool, Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Compact Framework will unlock the potential of Web services and rich data on smart devices. This will enable developers to drive a new era of innovation in the mobile marketplace, transforming smart devices into 'must-have' productivity tools."
The .NET Framework and the .NET Compact Framework provide a consistent programming model across the full range of Windows platforms and expose that programming model through a single unified tool set, Visual Studio .NET 2003. Together, Visual Studio .NET 2003 and the .NET Compact Framework enable millions of desktop Visual Basic developers and the rapidly growing market of C# developers to begin building smart mobile applications. Features of the .NET Compact Framework and Visual Studio .NET 2003 include support for XML and Web services; the ability to integrate components written in multiple programming languages; and developer productivity features such as integrated rich device emulator support, a visual drag-and-drop forms designer, a comprehensive set of user interface controls, remote debugging support, and simplified application deployment.
"The challenge for the mobile industry in 2003 is to convert technology into useful business applications," said Nick Jones, vice president and research fellow at Gartner Inc. "Corporations already have lots of great ideas for mobile applications; what we need now is for vendors to make mobile application development easy and accessible to the millions of corporate programmers using the skills which they already possess."
The .NET Compact Framework is available for Pocket PC 2000 and above, and Windows® CE .NET 4.1 and above. Microsoft also today gave an early demonstration of .NET Compact Framework for a future version of Smartphone.
Web Services: The Choice of a New Mobile Generation
Enterprises around the world are realizing the potential for streamlining operations and increasing revenues by automating outdated processes via data-intensive applications on smart handheld devices. Microsoft and The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. announced that PBG is deploying a solution built with Visual Basic .NET and Visual C#® .NET that uses the .NET Compact Framework, Web services and Pocket PC devices to dramatically improve the effectiveness of its field sales operations. PBG has automated several formerly paper-based processes to help its 6,000 sales representatives maximize sales and distribution of its products while minimizing out-of-stock situations across its customer base of more than 650,000 retail locations in the United States.
"Web services and rich offline data access provide our sales force with the edge to be able to deliver the right information to our retail customer and close the sale," said Paul Hamilton, vice president of the supply chain group at PBG. "Specifically, we want our salespeople to be able to deliver selling materials to help drive the category, as well as information to help eliminate out-of-stocks of our product inside the store. Our .NET Compact Framework-based application has allowed us to do both."
Microsoft to Boost Industry, Providing Developers With Everything They Need
Microsoft believes developers are vital to driving success for the mobile industry. In addition to providing a comprehensive platform and tools, Microsoft plans to boost mobile development with a promotion to provide 25,000 developers with ViewSonic V37 Pocket PC devices. The V37 features a 3.5-inch transflective screen, Intel 400MHz XScale processor, 64 MB of SDRAM (36.45 user accessible) and 64 MB of ROM, and will include the .NET Compact Framework in ROM. Details about this program are available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/getpocketpc/.
"Developers are crucial to the advancement of any product category," said James Chu, CEO of ViewSonic. "Visual Studio .NET 2003 offers developers much greater ease of application development for embedded devices, and we've positioned the Pocket PC V37 to be the platform of choice for Visual Studio .NET 2003 users. The selection of the V37 Pocket PC by Microsoft for this initiative is exciting for us because we consider the Pocket PC to be an excellent platform for custom applications and solutions."
In addition, Microsoft is working closely with its extensive software partner community to help a broad range of developers bring mobile applications to market quickly. Partners building solutions and components to complement .NET Compact Framework development include /n software Inc., ABB, Arc Second Inc., ComponentOne LLC, Countermind LLC, Dexterra Inc., eDial Inc., GameHouse Inc., HP, InstallShield Software Corp., IntelliProg Inc., Intermec Technologies Corp., MedDay, Mobitor Corp., Odyssey Computer Solutions Inc., PreEmptive Solutions Inc., Shelflink Inc., Valentin Iliescu, ViewSonic and Xceed Software Inc.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
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