Microsoft’s Developer Division has a lot on its plate: Windows 7, Cloud Computing, SharePoint 2010, Office 2010, and the yearning to somehow get Visual Studio Team System to make inroads on IBM’s Rational application lifecycle management tools. Visual Studio 2010 and the accompanying .NET Framework (.NET FX 4) is Microsoft’s answer and this week they announced Beta 2 and a scheduled general availability of March 22, 2010.
You will note, of course, that VS2010 lags Windows 7 and that is a problem for developers who really want to be at the cutting edge., particularly with .NET. While you certainly can build applications with Windows 7 features with Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET 3.5 SP1 that comes with Windows 7, it is not the kind of experience Microsoft would prefer for developers. More to the point for development organizations: you won’t get fired for not exploiting the new Windows 7 features in your mission critical apps so inevitably such apps will be slow to arrive and even slower because of the schedule mismatch.
As for the rest of the agenda:
Beta 2 also includes integrated tooling for SharePoint, including project templates and debugging support, and runtime and tooling support for developing great Windows 7 applications.
Since Beta 1, new Windows Azure Tools templates make it easy to get started developing Windows Azure applications, and enhanced support for Silverlight 3 databindings let you focus on writing your code.
Team Foundation Server is now included in all versions of Visual Studio 2010 with MSDN. For small teams that need only core development features such as source control, bug tracking, and build automation, TFS Basic offers a simple, streamlined install and runs on server or client machines. Test Elements users will notice a more intuitive and responsive user interface.
In the latter regard, Microsoft has completely reorganized the packaging of Visual Studio and the Microsoft Developers Network to, among other things, merge Team System into the base packages.
Besides announcing the acquisition of devBiz at VSLive!, Microsoft also laid out a roadmap for their upcoming development tool releases:
Visual Studio code name “Orcas”
Visual Studio Team System code name “Rosario”
Follow the link for feature details and also the details on upcoming Team Foundation Server Power Tools, Team Edition for Database Professionals Power Tools, and the Team Edition for Database Professionals Service Pack 1 projected to be available in 2Q07.
I watched the Webcast of yesterday’s TechEd 2006 keynote and offer the modest suggestion that it would be rather better for Microsoft to take it easy on the soporific “People-Ready Business vision” marketing boilerplate and cut to the technical content. To that end, here’s the raw meat:
Security (more details here)
- Antigen e-mail security products announced last week
- Internet Security & Acceleration Server 2006 launched
- Microsoft Forefront announced as new brand for enterprise security products including the next generation of Antigen products. “The Forefront line will include Forefront Client Security (formerly called Microsoft Client Protection), a solution delivering unified malware protection for business desktops, laptops and server operating systems. An early beta version has been made available to select customers, and a public beta is planned for the fourth quarter of 2006.”
Microsoft Application Platform
- A Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the forthcoming SQL Server Everywhere client database was announced – download it here.
- Community Technology Preview of Visual Studio® Team Edition for Database Professionals announced – download it here.
- BizTalk® Server 2006 R2 was revealed last week and there was also mention of a “BizTalk Adapter Pack, a set of application adapters to enable customers to surface line-of-business data directly into familiar interfaces such as Microsoft Office or any client using Web services”.
Exchange (more details here)
- Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 Announced – available for testing by the end of July
- “Microsoft also disclosed new mobile features and functionality in Exchange Server 2007, including support for search on a device, improved meeting request handling, support for HTML e-mail, message flagging and self-service remote device wipe. The upcoming availability of Exchange Server 2007 Beta 2 is a key step forward to general availability for late 2006 or early 2007.”
- Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 released last week
System Center Operations Manager
- Beta of System Center Operations Manager 2007 now publicly available here.
Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta)
- Microsoft Dynamics™ AX version 4.0 launched – details here
There’s likely more to come, but it’s certainly a mixed bag of products.
Mary Jo Foley at Microsoft Watch has the story on Visual Studio service packs:
Microsoft is moving ahead on its promise from late last year to release service packs for both its Visual Studio 2003 and Visual Studio 2005 tool suites in calendar 2006.
Microsoft is planning to roll out Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Visual Studio 2003 (VS 2003) in the second quarter. Beta testing of that service pack is slated to begin in late March. The company is readying in parallel SP1 for Visual Studio 2005 (VS 2005), and planning to ship the final release of that code in the third calendar quarter of this year. Microsoft has not gone public with an expected beta date for SP1 for VS 2005.
More details by following the link where there is a pointer to the weblog of Microsoft’s Heath Stewart where he points to a new Visual Studio web page that describes the servicing plan.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Corporate VP, S. “Soma” Somasegar, reports on his weblog that, as promised, the Team Foundation Server for Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) will be available in March. On Monday at the VSLive! conference in San Francisco, he also revealed:
A release candidate, considered a prelude to the final, general release of the product, will be available on the Microsoft Developer Network either this Friday or Saturday…
and other tools news:
Somasegar said Microsoft has had more than 10 million copies of its .Net Framework 2.0 runtime downloaded since the November release of Visual Studio 2005.
“This is by far the fastest adoption of the .Net Framework that we’ve ever seen,” he said.
There have been more than 1.8 million downloads of the Visual Studio Express products since then as well, he said. Visual Studio Express tools offer an abbreviated list of functionality from what the full Visual Studio 2005 platform has. Express tools are language-specific.
Somasegar also cited an IDC survey that he said shows more companies betting on .Net for mission-critical applications than Java, with 35 percent of respondents opting for .Net and 25 percent for Java.
Microsoft in the next week plans to offer a CTP of its planned Visual Studio for Applications offering. Geared mostly toward ISVs, this product is intended to enable .Net-style application customization.