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Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 hits the streets, Part 1

In case you missed it, Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 has arrived. Here we provide information for developers looking to get started with the release now.

Last week Microsoft announced the release of Beta 2 versions of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5. There's also an interesting blog entry from Somasegar on the Beta 2 release that describes the run-up to this milestone, and talks about what the transition to Beta 2 really means.

Interesting tidbits about this latest release include the following:

  • The process between Beta 1 and Beta 2 involved frequent community technology previews (CTPs) for developers working with the beta versions, and have worked hard to incorporate all the feedback they could get.
  • Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for Silverlight 1.0 will be released some time during the week of July 30. Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform run-time environment designed to support multimedia, interactive content, and application scenarios (techniques for providing flexible application extensions that include dynamic components, fast, easy installation, and impressive graphics, media, text, animation, and overlay support). For a look at the Silverlight 1.0 Beta SDK, check out this May 21 download; also, take a peek at this terrific high-def video , Experience Microsoft Silverlight.
  • More on Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2
    Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 now available

    Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 hits the streets, Part 2
  • Microsoft is releasing Go Live licenses for Visual Studio 2008, .NET Framework 3.5, and Silverlight 1.0, which enables developers to move projects into production status as and when they see fit to do so.
  • Current Beta 2 versions for both Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 have been declared "feature-complete," which means that from here on out there shouldn't be too many major changes to contents, capabilities, look and feel for either of them. (And of course, this also explains why it's safe for Microsoft to offer Go Live licenses for these components as well.)

Developers interested in digging more deeply into Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 should also look over the VS 2008 Feature Specifications document that covers these items. A quick review of this document indicates that no major updates have been added between the Beta 1 release on April 26 and the latest Beta 2 release on July 26. This also argues nicely that features and functions are reasonably stable, and that the environments are worth investigating, and perhaps even ready for pilot development projects, if not full-blow production commitment at this time.

The final worthwhile tidbit from Somasegar's aforementioned blog is that he states that Silverlight 1.0, Visual 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 are all scheduled for release to manufacturing (RTM) before the end of this year. Because full-blown public release typically follows no more than 30 days after RTM, that indicates new versions should be out before the end of January, 2008.

Ed Tittel is a writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security. E-mail with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review. Cool tools rule!

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