Feeds

'Milestone' Microsoft service pack staples .NET's stomach

Can its willpower hold?

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft's "milestone" first-service pack for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 has been released as the company shows concern over growing code bloat.

SP1 certainly offers a radical diet for .NET's weight problem: it introduces the .NET Framework Client Profile for client-side applications. The Profile cuts by 85 per cent the amount of code you'll need to run a Windows Vista-looking application on a machine that can only stretch to Windows XP. It's designed to improve download and start-up times.

SP 1 comes less than a year after the launch of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. It has been released, though, as further evidence has emerged that Microsoft is concerned over the number of .NET Framework libraries, as product groups converge on a single framework.

SD Times claims to have seen a Microsoft memo that pointed to the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and ADO.NET entity framework as particular causes for concern. Tellingly, the .NET Framework Client Profile includes the WPF and WCF.

The report follows our own recent conversation with the general manager for Microsoft's presentation platforms and tools team Ian Ellison-Taylor, who said on the client: ".NET got a little big - it was a victim of its own success"

Are deployment-specific "profiles" the answer to a complicated problem?

The client profile is intended to help regain some focus and bring some Windows Vista like look-and-feel and functionality to Windows XP machines. If, though, more profiles are planned, then Microsoft risks going in the opposite direction - away from convergence on a single development framework and into fragmentation as more forks and features are included.

The challenge would then be to coordinate the core .NET Framework and profiles at a product-engineering level and at a meta framework level. Does Microsoft, or any large software company or project, have that discipline?

There's also a hidden problem for those building .NET applications. Already, a lot of people are angry at the fact they have to download different version numbers of the .NET Framework on their machines to build and test applications. Imagine how messy it could get in a world of multiple profiles, all of them running different version numbers.

Ultimately, the big question is whether the profile approach is a long-term weight loss strategy for the .NET Framework. We've heard Microsoft's plan for the next big release of Visual Studio - version 10 - is for a "stripped down" suite, although the company has not provided more information.

Profiles could be a part of that plan, with profiles plugging into the suite instead of Microsoft delivering a one-size fits all development environment. This could be a good move.

Or profiles could be a tactical answer to simply getting more people using Windows Vista and driving uptake of Visual Studio 2008. This would be a bad move. It would suggest there's no long-term commitment, and would swap the problem of bloat for islands of development profiles that have no real future, and further complicate the development and deployment landscape.®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.