Feeds

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

Can its willpower hold?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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.®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.