Netduino

Am i right this is a faster processor version of Arduino that will allow you to use visual studio to program the board ?

is this of more use to a software devloper that uses a windows interface ?

Am i right this is a faster processor version of Arduino

No. Completely different kind of chip. And, it's not necessarily faster. It is a 32 bit processor, instead of an 8 bit processor, though.

that will allow you to use visual studio to program the board ?

Let you? It requires that you use Visual Studio.

is this of more use to a software devloper that uses a windows interface ?

Are you a software developer that uses a windows interface? The only thing I use a windows interface for is to see if it is raining outside.

There are no windows interfaces involved in programming the netduino.

i read somewhere you can still use visual studio to program an Arduino

is it best to use something like firmata to access the board - or just do it through the serial port ?

i read somewhere you can still use visual studio to program an Arduino

Never heard, can you post a link? What can be done is using VS as an editor ... but that is pure overkill NotePad++ has also syntax highlighting

Furthermore VS is used for the Netduino (and FEZ panda etc) as these are .NET based.

I know of people using Eclipse as their front end to the compiler (search in the upper right for eclipse) Rob

is it best to use something like firmata to access the board

As soon as you develop a Firmata library for the Netduino, you can use it. Best? Not in my opinion.

If you are using any visual studio version other than express then you can use the free Visual Micro addin for Visual Studio. The addin allows us to program, compile and upload to any arduino microcontroller using Visual Studio.

Read more... http://www.visualmicro.com/