Earlier today we shipped a public beta of our upcoming .NET 3.5 SP1 and VS 2008 SP1 releases. These servicing updates provide a roll-up of bug fixes and performance improvements for issues reported since we released the products last November. They also contain a number of feature additions and enhancements that make building .NET applications better (see below for details on some of them).
We plan to ship the final release of both .NET 3.5 SP1 and VS 2008 SP1 this summer as free updates. You can download and install the beta here.
At the first link there’s quite a list of enhancements including SQL Server 2008 support, ADO.NET Data Services (formerly code-named "Astoria"), and the ADO.NET Entity Framework and ASP.NET 3.5 extensions previewed in December.
As promised last week, Microsoft yesterday released preview versions of the ADO.NET Entity Framework and ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions:
Microsoft Developer Division General Manager Scott Guthrie today revealed the roadmap for a series of additional Web development products that build on top of last week’s RTM of Visual Studio and .NET FX 3.5. In outline form with liberal quoting from Guthrie, it looks like the following:
Last night at midnight, Adobe released a public alpha version of it’s forthcoming Apollo application environment:
A beta is due sometime this summer and Version 1.0 is planned for the second half of this year.
Beside the fact that Adobe is a fearsome competitor in the Web application development space (think Dreamweaver and Flash), Apollo is important in that it provides more robust Web applications that escape the browser to provide user interfaces equivalent to desktop apps and are also able to work while disconnected from the Web. If you’re itching to give Apollo a try, See this post by Ryan Stewart which gives more details and some demo apps and the list of best Apollo demos at Techcrunch.
So how does Microsoft play? Good question since while Microsoft is willing to support spiffier Web apps with AJAX and the WPF/E “Flash killer,” they love the mantra that Web apps can’t really compare to desktop applications like Office where they make lots of money.