Visual Studio 2008 Available at End of November

The next version of Microsoft's development flagship product, Visual Studio 2008, will be sailing into customers' harbors by the end of November. The release will include the latest version of the .NET Framework, iteration 3.5.

Microsoft made the announcement this morning in Barcelona, Spain, at the Microsoft TechEd Developers 2007. S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division, also announced a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Microsoft Sync Framework, and new capabilities for Popfly Explorer.

The announcement means it's increasingly likely that Microsoft will hit its target date of Feb. 27, 2008 for availability of three major server releases: VS 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft has called the date its "Global Launch Wave," and is one of the biggest-ever single-day product launch announcements in the company's history.

Both VS 2008, codenamed "Orcas," and .NET Framework 3.5 are currently at the beta 2 stage, meaning Microsoft has a short window to prepare them for release. A company spokesman said that in this case, the "release date is the same as RTM." The spokesman added that both VS 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 will be available from the MSDN Subscriber Center on the release date, and that "retail availability will occur soon thereafter."

It's the first major update to Visual Studio, Microsoft's flagship integrated development environment (IDE), since VS 2005. Some of the key features in VS 2008 include:

  • LINQ. Language Integrated Query (LINQ) is the most-anticipated new feature of Microsoft's next IDE. LINQ will make access to databases and XML faster and more efficient.
  • Tools for Microsoft Office. Programming for Office 2007 will be enhanced with new tools, including tools that enhance collaboration.
  • Support for multiple versions of .NET. For those with older versions of the .NET Framework, VS 2008 allows developers to build applications for .NET Framework versions going back to 2.0, without leaving the IDE.

Note that the Java-like language of J# will not be in VS 2008, as Microsoft has decided to drop support for it.

The Sync Framework is a synchronization platform that smoothes offline and online application development. Using the Sync Framework, according to a Microsoft Web site, "developers can build sync ecosystems that integrate any application, with any data from any store using any protocol over any network."

Popfly is a distinctly "Web 2.0" technology that allows quick and easy development of the type of mashups, gadgets and Web pages that are becoming popular on social network Web sites.

Microsoft added that non-English versions of VS 2008 will be available within 90 days of the release of the English version.

About the Author

Keith Ward is editor of Virtualization Review magazine. You can contact Keith at [email protected].