Microsoft had promised that Visual Studio 2008 (codename “Orcas”) would be released in 2007 and now the date is sometime this month:
BARCELONA, Spain — Nov. 5, 2007 — Today, during the keynote address at Microsoft TechEd Developers 2007, S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp., announced that Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 by the end of November 2007.
Microsoft has made available a high level overview of the Visual Studio 2008 features, but I like to think of it as the first tool release with complete Vista support including the Cider visual designer.
Additionally Microsoft also announced:
Microsoft’s David Boschmans reveals that the March Community Technology Preview of the upcoming Orcas release of Visual Studio is now available from the Microsoft Download Center. The download overview has a list of what’s new in the March CTP, but the major highlights to my mind are:
Since these were the anticipated big ticket items, it looks like Orcas is really coming together but no specific date has yet been set for its release. For a nice overview of Orcas, see Scott Guthrie’s recent presentation.
Microsoft formally unveiled the Expression family of design tools at last September’s Professional Developers Conference and late yesterday released Community Technology Previews of two of them: Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer (“Sparkle”) and Expression Graphic Designer “Acrylic”). There was no word on Expression Web Designer (“Quartz”).
If, at first glance, all of these products seem confusing, the new Expression Team Blog puts them in their place:
Microsoft Expression is a suite consisting of three products each intended for use mainly by the professional designer community. Expression Graphic Designer [Acrylic - ed.] is a visual arts package equally at home with vector or with bitmap graphics. Expression Interactive Designer [Sparkle - ed.] gives interaction designers the environment in which to build Windows applications for the Windows Presentation Foundation platform – in other words, to build the new Vista-wave generation of Windows user experiences. Expression Web Designer [Quartz - ed.] is the product which offers all the tools you’ll need to produce high-quality, standards-based Web sites.
For lots more information, videos and downloads about Expression, please see the Microsoft Expression product website.
They are all based on the Windows Presentation Framework (“Avalon”) coming in WinFX with Vista and to be available for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 as well. Finally, note that there is a separate design tool for developers codenamed “Cider” coming in the future “Orcas” release of Visual Studio.
Yesterday’s announcement of the “Go-Live” licences for Windows Communication Foundation (WCF, formerly Indigo) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) overshadowed the January Community Technical Preview (CTP) of WinFX. All the pieces of the CTP (excluding the “Go-Live” licenses) are now online for public download and nicely summarized by Ryan Storgaard here.
Worthy of special note is the optional Microsoft Visual Studio Code Name “Orcas” Community Technology Preview – Development Tools for WinFX which includes “Cider,” a visual designer for the new Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly Avalon). Orcas, of course, is the next version of Visual Studio which will only be available sometime after WinFX ships with Vista and for prior operating systems.