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Once Again .NET has Been Announced for the Nokia S60 Platform

by Jonathan Allen on Mar 29, 2010 |

It seems like every year we relay the announcement that the .NET platform is going to be available on the Nokia S60. In 2007 the now defunct Red Five Labs was talking about Net60, a version of the .NET Compact Framework. Then in 2008 Nokia announced that Silverlight 2 would be demonstrated at the MIX08 conference. It has been two full years since then and we are just now seeing a public Silverlight for Symbian beta.

While the rest of the world is gearing up for Silverlight 4, developers targeting the S60 platform are limited to Silverlight 2. This means going back to Expression Blend 2 and sticking with Visual Studio 2008.

And even in the context of Silverlight 2, the platform is severely limited. Looking at the list of unsupported features, this appears to be more of a tech preview than an actual beta release.

  • Cryptography
  • Deep Zoom
  • DLR
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM)
  • Expression trees
  • HTML DOM bridge
  • JavaScript programmability
  • LINQ to SQL
  • Localization of Silverlight resources
  • Reflection
  • Sockets
  • Visual Basic
  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

And these are just the completely unsupported features. There are many common scenarios that lead to undefined behavior or outright browser crashes including having multiple plug-ins on the same page. One can’t even use a single Silverlight plug-in until 200 milliseconds after the onLoad event fires.

Between Silverlight and the S60 operating system is the .NET Compact Framework. Unfortunately developers will not be able to use it; the framework is restricted specifically to running Silverlight plug-ins. And unlike Windows Phone 7, there will be no support for S60-specific features or XNA-based games.

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