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Microsoft Releases VS2010 RC

The Release Candidate build of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 is available this week with a go-live license for production environments. Microsoft released the bits to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) on Monday. General availability is planned for Wednesday, according to the company.

The public VS2010 RC follows two beta releases, the latest in October. Despite significant progress since Beta 1, released in May, Beta 2 testers reported sluggish performance compared to VS2008, buggy or missing functionality, issues with memory consumption and stability concerns. Those issues caused Microsoft to push back the intended March launch event, and release the public RC build.

Through its Visual Studio Connect and survey sites, Microsoft received lots of feedback on VS2010 Beta 2, according to Jason Zander, general manager, Visual Studio team at Microsoft.

"In particular many of you pointed out areas of performance where we were not at parity with VS2008 and it was impacting your ability to adopt the product," he said in his blog. "Some of those areas of feedback included general UI responsiveness (including painting, menus, remote desktop and VMs), editing (typing, scrolling, and Intellisense), designers (Silverlight and WPF in particular), improved memory usage, debugging (stepping, managed / native interop), build times, and solution/project load."

The wide release of the public RC test build enables developers to report bugs and other stability and performance issues before the planned April 12 launch. Bug reports should be submitted via the Microsoft's Visual Studio Connect.

"The primary motivation behind releasing a public RC was to ensure that we could get broad testing and feedback on the performance and stability work we’ve been doing since the last public VS 2010 Beta 2 release," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president, Microsoft developer division, in his blog. Guthrie is also requesting direct emails on any issues that developers find.

Early reports by MSDN developers who have downloaded the RC build indicate vast speed and performance improvements.

The VS2010 launch event, planned for April 12, is not confirmed as the date of the VS2010/.NET 4 RTM, although Microsoft would like to release the new development environment in that timeframe. The timing of the RTM "partly depends" on the developer feedback that Microsoft receives on the VS2010/ .NET 4 RC, according to Guthrie.

In VS2010 Beta 2, many developers reported issues when working with XAML and Windows Presentation Foundation and Silverlight. The VS2010 RC supports Silverlight 3.0 apps. Silverlight 4.0, still in beta, is not supported in this release.

"We will be adding VS 2010 RC support for SL4 with the next public Silverlight 4 drop," explained Guthrie. "If you are doing active Silverlight 4 development today we recommend staying with the VS10 Beta 2 build for now."

The VS2010 RC can be installed on machines with VS2005 and VS2008, but you need to remove VS2010 Beta 2 and .NET 4 Beta 2, according to Microsoft. MSDN subscribers can download the RC of VS2010 and .NET 4 here.

Microsoft is also working with companies that supply widely used third-party add-ins—ReSharper, CodeRush and Whole Tomato-- to ensure that the tooling works as advertised in the new IDE. "We’ve still got more work to do here but are making great progress," said Zander.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of RedDevNews.com and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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