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.