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What is the future of CE, real time, and embedded development? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Like many users,  I was totally shocked when I learned that Visual Studio 2010 would not support "smart device" projects.  On the other hand, it does seem to support things for Windows Mobile Phone version 7.

    Around the office we were trying to figure out what the heck is going on with Windows and/or Visual Studio development for embedded systems.  What is still supported?  What will be dropped?  Will there be upgrades for future development tools of embedded devices?  Will embedded systems development ever be found in Visual Studio 2010?

    At our shop, we mostly develop embedded systems for industrial use.  Our most important device is an embedded controller that runs on Windows CE.  Today, it's version 5, but the next version will be version 6.  The most important applications that use that platform are "soft" real time applications that run the .Net Compact Framework.  We do have some devices where hard real time is required, and we use native C++ for those applications, again running on Windows CE 5.  We also have a few tiny footprint network devices that we have built using the .Net Micro framework.

    We are wondering if we should continue devloping some or all of these tools, or if we should assume that these are basically dead end devices that will not be supported in the future.  So, the general question we have is what is the future of embedded, real time, and device projects using development tools and/or operating systems from Microsoft?

    A couple of specific questions are:

    If we wish to develop an embedded controller that has "hard" real time requirements (the kind we do right now with Visual Studio 2008 and Windows CE using C++), what should we be using for that devlopment today, and is that likely to change in the future?  (For example, will a later service pack of Visual Studio 2010 support such development?)

    If we wish to develop an embedded controller that has "soft" real time requirements (the kind we do right now with Visual Studio 2008, Windows CE, C#, and the .Net Compact Framework), what should we be using for that devlopment today, and is it likely to change in the future?

    If we wish to develop tiny, easy to program, simple devices (the kind we do right now with the Microsoft .Net Micro Framework, with C#), what should we be using for that development today, and is it likely to change in the future?

     

    In short, we are trying to plan some future products here, and we can't take a chance that we'll be stuck on a legacy platform that has no support going forward.  Does the lack of inclusion in Visual Studio 2010 signal some sort of pullback from the real time and/or embedded market?

    Thursday, April 15, 2010 4:44 PM

Answers

  • First of all - the Windows Embedded Offering are well alive. Microsoft has at least three new Operating Systems under development active development at this point. Some of them will be released later this year.
    for instance Windows Embedded Compact 7 - new next version for Windows CE

    For 'Hard' realtime systems, using Windows Embedded CE 6 (or 7) /C++ on Visual Studio 2008 ist still the way to go. You're perfectly fine with this.
    The same does apply for your "soft" realtime controller: Windows CE with .NET CF 3.5 using VS 2008 is still fine.
    Microsoft ist still commited to these Embedded Offerings - I do not see any signs that this is going to change in the future.

    Fact is, that the Windows phone 7 development is based on Visual Studio 2010. So the base infrastructure to support platforms is there. Whether we will see other "Smart Device" platform supported is hard to predict.

    Using VS 2008/5 for Windows Embedded Application Development and VS 2010 for Desktop and other stuff is not a problem. Side by Side installation works just fine.

    In short: I don't see signs of Microsoft from pulling back from the embedded market.

    References:
    http://geekswithblogs.net/BruceEitman/archive/2009/09/23/windows-ce-7.0-announced.aspxhttp://blogs.msdn.com/obloch/archive/2010/02/16/i-see-7-everywhere.aspx


    MVP Windows Embedded
    • Marked as answer by Meadmaker Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:45 PM
    Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:38 PM

All replies

  • First of all - the Windows Embedded Offering are well alive. Microsoft has at least three new Operating Systems under development active development at this point. Some of them will be released later this year.
    for instance Windows Embedded Compact 7 - new next version for Windows CE

    For 'Hard' realtime systems, using Windows Embedded CE 6 (or 7) /C++ on Visual Studio 2008 ist still the way to go. You're perfectly fine with this.
    The same does apply for your "soft" realtime controller: Windows CE with .NET CF 3.5 using VS 2008 is still fine.
    Microsoft ist still commited to these Embedded Offerings - I do not see any signs that this is going to change in the future.

    Fact is, that the Windows phone 7 development is based on Visual Studio 2010. So the base infrastructure to support platforms is there. Whether we will see other "Smart Device" platform supported is hard to predict.

    Using VS 2008/5 for Windows Embedded Application Development and VS 2010 for Desktop and other stuff is not a problem. Side by Side installation works just fine.

    In short: I don't see signs of Microsoft from pulling back from the embedded market.

    References:
    http://geekswithblogs.net/BruceEitman/archive/2009/09/23/windows-ce-7.0-announced.aspxhttp://blogs.msdn.com/obloch/archive/2010/02/16/i-see-7-everywhere.aspx


    MVP Windows Embedded
    • Marked as answer by Meadmaker Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:45 PM
    Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:38 PM
  • Thanks.

    I'll check in on the developer center for embedded stuff periodically and see what I can find, then, assuming I can figure out the name changes as they come.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:49 PM