WinFX Becomes .NET Framework 3.0

Following through on plans reported during PDC 2005 last September, Microsoft at TechEd 2006 in Boston officially renamed WinFX to .NET Framework 3.0. The next-generation programming model extends version 2.0 with Vista-specific additions.

"The .NET Framework has always been at the core of WinFX, but the WinFX brand didn’t convey this," explained Soma Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division. ".NET Framework 3.0 aptly identifies the technology for exactly what it is – the next version of our developer framework."

The change is simply a rebranding, meaning .NET Framework 3.0 will include the same components as WinFX.

New to 3.0 are the Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation and CardSpace. CardSpace, formerly known as InfoCard, will provide a secure framework for managing identities on the Web.

ASP.NET, WinForms, ADO.NET and the CLR will remain part of the framework, which provides the basis for development on Windows Vista. .NET Framework 3.0 will be available for download on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well.

".NET Framework 3.0 will be integrated into Windows Vista when it ships and the technology also will be available for Windows XP. When looked at from the perspective of development environments, such as Java and J2EE, I see Microsoft as leveraging quite a competitive move off its operating system," commented Jupiter Research senior analyst Joe Wilcox.

"Competitors like Adobe, IBM, Oracle and Sun shouldn't ignore today's quiet .NET Framework 3.0 announcement, because it is potentially hugely significant to them or anyone else using other development environments, again, such as Java and J2EE."

Microsoft has established a new community site to help support version 3.0. There, developers can download sample code and share feedback about the framework. The former WinFX technologies are represented as "sub-sites" under the main netfx3.com page.

"We are confident that this change will go a long way towards reducing confusion people may have about our developer platform and the technologies in which they should invest," added Somasegar.

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