Feeds

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

Can its willpower hold?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.