Just before Thanksgiving, Microsoft announced the release of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 to manufacturing -- RTM in Microsoft's software release terminology. MSDN subscribers can already obtain the final version of Visual Studio 2008 through their subscription access, and 90-day trial versions of Visual Studio 2008 are available for download, as are Visual Studio Express Editions. Likewise, the .NET Framework version 3.5 is also available for immediate download.
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Those developers who've worked with pre-RTM versions of Visual Studio 2008 must first uninstall that code before installing this latest version.
In general, this means launching Add/Remove Programs (in Windows XP) or Programs and Features (in Windows Vista) in Control Panel, and removing all references to Visual Studio 2008 or Codename Orcas products. It's also necessary to remove up to 22 different supporting products in a specific order (enumerated completely at Uninstalling Previous Versions of Visual Studio 2008). Only then can you begin to install the latest versions. Fortunately, most pre-release projects built using earlier versions of Visual Studio 2008 should continue to work in the RTM environment.
The following 90-day trial versions of Visual Studio 2008 are available:
- Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
- Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite
- Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server
- Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Load Agent
The following (free) Visual Studio 2008 Express Editions are also available:
- Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition
- Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition
- Visual C# 2008 Express Edition
- Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition
- SQL Server 2005 Express Edition (Remember, SQL Server 2008 will be released in February 2008)
You can also access instructions for downloading a complete set of files from which to burn the Visual Studio Express Editions DVD. This provides all of the aforementioned Express products in a single ISO image file, along with other optional components interested developers are sure to find useful.
And last, but by no means least, the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 is also available for download, and offers numerous incremental improvements to .NET Framework versions 2.0 and 3.0, as well as numerous added features.
As a kind of version update roll-up, this download also includes Service Pack 1 for both of those previous versions of the .NET Framework Framework as well (2.0 and 3.0). Important new features include the Language Integrated Guery (LINQ) and easy access into SQL data, XML documents, and DataSets using common syntax and notation; support for ASP.NET AJAX; Web protocol support for the Windows Communication Foundation, and new base classes designed to address user enhancement requests. Note: the full-blown redistributable .NET Framework 3.5 package is available for download, too.
Despite the timing of this RTM, this collection of goodies is no turkey. Check out these links to see what I mean!
Ed Tittel is a writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review. Cool tools rule!