Thursday, April 15, 2010

Microsoft's Biggest Development Launch in Years

Article by: RDN Express Blog

It's a big week for the Developer Division at Microsoft. Yesterday marked the release of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4. Silverlight 4 final release bits are expected on April 15.

In addition to the new look and feel of the VS2010 code editor, which was rewritten in Windows Presentation Foundation; the IDE offers tooling for Microsoft's latest platforms: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, SharePoint 2007, Office 2007, Windows Azure and Windows Phone 7. This release also marks the first major upgrade to Visual Studio Team System and Team Foundation Server since Microsoft debuted its ALM system in 2005.

Among the anticipated tooling in Visual Studio 2010 is a designer for Silverlight. The VS2010 add-in for SL4 will be updated when the SL4 bits are released later this week to the Web, according to Microsoft.

Visual Studio 2010 launch events were held in London, Beijing, Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Las Vegas. According to Microsoft, about 50 partners had their VS2010 tooling ready for the launch. With the new WPF code editor, companies like JetBrains with its ReSharper refactoring tool and others had to do a lot of work to make that happen.

In Scott Guthrie's blog on the VS2010 and .NET 4 release, he makes the point that there are a lot of improvements in the tooling that are designed to make you more productive in your every day development, without learning new concepts or studying tomes of information. Improvements to code and JavaScript IntelliSense, code navigation and visualization, enhancements to multi-targeting of .NET (two versions can run in the same process) and multi-monitor support, among other advances. Check out his VS2010 and .NET 4 blog series—he provides links to about 20 drill-downs on various tooling (halfway down the page)—for a closer look at what's new.

Guthrie explained the side-by-side functionality in an earlier post:

".NET 4.0 has a new version number for both the framework libraries and CLR engine – which means it runs completely independently from .NET 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5. What this means is that you can install .NET 4.0 on a machine that has .NET 2.0/3.0/3.5 installed, and configure some applications to run using .NET 4.0 and others to run using the older .NET versions (the IIS admin tool allows you to configure this for ASP.NET applications). This allows you to use .NET 4.0 for new applications - without having to necessarily test and upgrade all your existing ones."

Visual Studio 2008 introduced multi-targeting; the CLR in .NET 4 has been rewritten while earlier versions were built on .NET 2.0.

If you aren't an MSDN subscriber, you can still check out VS2010 for free with a 90-day trial or download an Express edition. Microsoft is also running a $299 promotion until October to upgrade VS2005/VS2008 Standard edition users to VS2010 Professional edition.

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