Tech-Ed Barcelona: Visual Studio 2010 News Amid VS 2008 Price Cuts

Microsoft is showcasing new functionality in Visual Studio 2010 this week at its Tech-Ed EMEA 2008 Developers Conference in Barcelona. More details about planned features in the next-generation toolset are coming to light as the company slashes pricing on different versions of VS 2008 by as much as 30 percent.

The first VS 2010 CTP appeared on Oct. 28 as part of "the goods" given to attendees of Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in Los Angeles. At PDC, Microsoft highlighted its support for emerging technologies such as parallelism, the new Windows Azure services platform and Windows 7. Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Developer Division, also showcased the new Visual Studio editor built on Windows Presentation Foundation and the new Managed Extensibility Framework during his PDC keynote.

At Tech-Ed EMEA this week, Visual Studio General Manager Jason Zander is providing a closer look at Microsoft's plans for VS 2010. The upcoming IDE will support Microsoft's next-generation platforms including .NET 4.0, Windows 7, Office 14 and SharePoint. It will also integrate several existing out-of-band technologies such as the ASP.NET Model View Controller framework, improved JavaScript Intellisense, jQuery support, one-click deployment of ASP.NET apps and Silverlight 2 tooling. SharePoint tooling such as an explorer and project template -- basic functionality not available in VS 2008 -- will be added.

A new Virtual Lab Management feature in Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) 2010 is designed to speed up testing, with quick setup and tear-downs using virtual machines that can capture user states and reproduce bugs.

"If you are building a distributed application, you might have in your environment a back-end server, a middle tier and potentially a couple of different environments for a client -- some of your clients may be running Windows XP, some Vista, some may be running a down-level version of Office," said Dave Mendlen, director of developer marketing at Microsoft. "What we can do is capture a virtual machine that represents each of the end user states, as well as setting up a virtual machine for middle-tier and back-end servers, and now we can dynamically set, tear down and restore virtual environments to a clean state so you as a tester can very quickly, if you want to, run your tests again."

Microsoft is also trying to win over native coders still loyal to VS 6.0 with new code-driven features such as the ability to handle massive amounts of code (project systems and file sizes), a quick search across languages filters, and a "generate from usage" feature, which allows developers "to generate a type, constructor, method or property by inferring its usage in code." More details on these features, many of which appear in the first CTP, is available in Microsoft Corporate Vice President Soma S. Somasegar's blog.

Steps to help developers embrace Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), especially as the company looks to the cloud, are also being taken. A new SDL Optimization Model template for Visual Studio, designed to help managers implement SDL in their own organizations, is now available for download on MSDN. In addition, dev team managers can try out the beta release of the SDL Threat Modeling Tool designed for Windows and SQL Server. To further SDL best practices, Microsoft is also announcing an SDL Pro Network to offer small and large companies additional guidance through trained partners and security experts. The program, which launched this month, is in a one-year pilot phase with limited membership. Right now, it consists of nine service providers, among them Cigital Inc., IOActive Inc. and Verizon Business.

The VS 2008 price promotions, which started Oct. 1 and will continue to roll out through Dec. 1, are designed to provide discounts to developers using competitive products and to those already in the Microsoft ecosystem who may want to upgrade to the Microsoft Developer Network or VSTS.

"We are now giving a 30 percent discount to step up from VS Pro to Team Developer, and if you have Team Developer and you want to step up to the Team Suite, we also have a 30 percent discount," Mendlen said.

Starting today, developers can attach MSDN Premium Subscriptions to VS Pro and receive several products including the VS 2010 download when it ships. They can also gain access to VSTS Developer Edition and VSTS Database Edition, two products which will be rolled up in VS 2010. More information on the price promotions, which are expected to continue through June 1, 2009, can be found here.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards ([email protected]) is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.