Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 (and the .NET Compact Framework 3.5) has shipped - more information is available on Somasegar's blog.
What does this mean for Embedded developers? - Let's take a look at this in "size" order.
- .NET Micro Framework - The .NET Micro Framework development tools are currently at version 2.0 SP1, these require Visual Studio 2005 SP1 to work - the .NET Micro Framework development tools do not work with Visual Studio 2008.
- Windows CE - There are two parts to the Windows CE story, the first is operating system development, the second is application development.
- Operating System Development - The Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 tools are a plug in to Visual Studio 2005 - the plug in doesn't work with Visual Studio 2008 - This means that operating system configuration, build, download, and Debug requires Visual Studio 2005 SP1 to work.
- Application Development - Visual Studio 2008 ships with "Smart Device" support, this means that you can develop native and managed applications in Visual Studio 2008 that target a Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile device. The same process of device authentication exists from Visual Studio 2008, so you will still need ConManClient2, and CmAccept running on your embedded target before deploying an application. I will write up some steps to integrate .NET Compact Framework 3.5 into a Windows Embedded CE 6.0 image...
- Windows XP Embedded - Windows XP Embedded can be considered to be a componentized version of Windows XP, this means that any technologies supported by Windows XP "desktop" will also work with Windows XP Embedded. At this time the .NET Framework 3.5 isn't componentized, this means that you would need to either manually integrate the framework with your operating system image, or install the framework on your embedded device - This may also need a blog post to explain the steps...