Looking to the future with our mobile support

04 October 2011

Recently, there’s been a few developments of note in the mobile space from Microsoft. Let me recap them briefly:

Er, say what? Yes, as far as we are aware, both by reading links such as the two I gave and by evaluating the subtext, Microsoft don’t want you to continue Windows CE and .NET CF development but would rather you concentrate on Windows Phone apps in Silverlight. If you do want to do such pre-WP7 mobile development, there’s still Visual Studio 2008 and the Windows Mobile 6 SDK, but that’s it.

Consequently, we feel certain that continuing to provide .NET CF support in our Data and XPO libraries is no longer a viable use of our resources, especially given the major changes to the markets we operate in and platforms we support. Quite honestly, we haven’t provided any new functionality for CF for a while and I’m sure that the large majority of our customers don’t even know that it’s there. (I’m the CTO and I was only vaguely aware of its presence.) Nevertheless we expend time and resources in testing it whenever we make changes to our data support. Hence v2011 vol 1.x will be the last version of DXperience that will support data provisioning for CF; v2011 vol 2 will no longer have that support.

10 comment(s)
Michael Proctor [DX-Squad]

Sounds like a fair call, .NET CF did interest me, but with the waning support from MS I stayed clear from it.

However MS has left a gaping hole in the enterprise support for industrial devices. MS has always said that WP7 is only a consumer platform.

One can only assume they are looking at Win8 as being the solution? Ultimately you might end up with Win8 scanner handhelds? who knows, hopefully in the next 12 months the dust will settle and we will finally understand how the Win8 ecosystem will look from a device POV.

4 October, 2011
Sigurd Decroos

Well, we develop on WM6.5 because we need rugged PDA's. WP7 is not available on those devices. I'm talking about Honeywell, Motorola, Psion, ... They all come out with new fast devices, running Windows Mobile 6.5. And yeah, .Net3.5 and Studio 2008. It sucks :(. MS is certainly losing terrain in these niche markets.

4 October, 2011
wolfgang hauer

I have at the moment 4 projects with net cf and in the office winforms. If you drop cf then you have to make shure that side by side installations for a project with 2011/1 and 201x/x is painless.

5 October, 2011
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Wolfgang: Surely, you can install 11.1 and 11.2 (as any other major version) side by side.

5 October, 2011

What about support of SQL Server Compact? Are you discontinuing that support? I am using that today in a WinForms project, and I think it would be great to have that option supported in the future.

5 October, 2011
Derek Mitchell

I can completely understand DevExpress' perspective on this although I am disappointed. Microsoft has done a very poor job in communicating their roadmap. On the one hand they say they are fullly committed to Windows Embedded Handheld but then on the other they seem to have changed their plans about Windows Embedded Handheld 7. This has further fueled support for Android, although I gotta say Android is not as mature (from a hardcore dev perspective not a UI POV) as the current incarnation of WM 6.5.3 and none of the Windows Mobile Rugged devices run it as @Sigurd stated.

5 October, 2011

I can't say I quite understand this decision. IMHO, as long as .NET 3.5 support is maintained, then so should be CF support.

Being aware of what will happen in the future is great, but not at the cost of ignoring what's happening RIGHT NOW. And RIGHT NOW, the most common task-oriented device's OS remains, like it or not, Windows CE.

Besides, I wouldn't be so certain about the future of Windows 8 on these devices...

5 October, 2011
Bassam Abdelaal

I thought you will talk about new support for Windows Phone 7.5 controls as a new surprise as  Critics are now saying it’s a worthy competitor to Android and iOS as you said im disappointed not to find such claim.

6 October, 2011
Dennis (DevExpress Support)

@Miles Rush:

SQL Server Compact is still supported and it will be supported in the full .NET Framework. The accepted decision does not affect its support at all.

10 October, 2011
Dennis (DevExpress Support)


At the end of his post Julian described why we will not be supporting CF in the future.

However, take special note that we will continue supporting CF in v2011 vol 1 as long as it is required by our customers. It is a very similar story with how we supported v2006 vol 3 for customers who needed .NET 1.X.

10 October, 2011

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