This chapter provided you with some direct insight from two people who have successfully built projects using the .NET Micro Framework. Each had very different requirements, yet each had similar experiences. Below are the key takeaways:
If you come from a traditional embedded development background, the transition to a managed code world is straightforward.
The .NET Micro Framework dramatically simplifies the development process for embedded applications and thus brings overall costs down.
The extensible emulator provides a rich environment that can be used to develop software before (and after) having actual hardware.
The .NET Micro Framework encourages experimentation and prototyping (due to its relative ease of use).
If you come from a Windows or managed code background, the transition to an embedded code world is straightforward.
The class libraries provide most of the basic functionality you need, but it is possible to extend this with your own libraries.
There is support only for CLR 1.0 (no support for generics).
Performance requires a deeper understanding of what the runtime is doing than is typically the case with .NET development.
Hopefully it is clear by now that the .NET Micro Framework, in conjunction with Visual Studio, is a flexible and productive solution (though not perfect) for a variety of embedded development tasks. The .NET Micro Framework team and its partners will continue to evolve the runtime, class libraries, tools, and development kits; this is only the beginning.