Back in 2008, GHI Electronics started leading the way with devices running Microsoft’s .NET Microframework (NETMF). Allowing C# to run on small devices. With the extensions and improvement GHI Electronics had added, the software quality and feature set was very welcoming in the commercial industry. However, makers also needed a C# capable board. Back then, our lowest cost device was the $100 USBizi Development System.
In the winter of 2009 we decided to create an Arduino-pin-compatible board, that used one of the offered NETMF commercial chipsets. For a product name, it needed something that implies “This product is so easy that a monkey can almost do it!”. Not just easy, it is Freakin’ Easy! FEZ is a good short for Freakin’ Easy. Since FEZ also stands for a type of hats and “a monkey can almost do it”, a monkey wearing a fez was born!
FEZ Panda was introduced in 2010 and makers loved it. A community started growing rapidly supporting the idea.
Through the community’s feedback and later that year the FEZ Panda II was introduced. This board became an instant hit with thousands sold world wide. With its ease of use, FEZ started making its way into schools and even commercial companies; however, the “Freakin’ Easy” term was not very welcoming by some users so the meaning was changed the FEZ meaning to “Fast and Easy”.
The FEZ products continued to evolve over the next several years. In 2020, GHI Electronics’ vision and the introduction of new SITCore products, FEZ became part of the SITCore family, running TinyCLR OS and capable of modern secure Internet connected applications.