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Visual Studio 2008 Is Nearly Here

Scott Guthrie, general manager of the Developer Division at Microsoft, has been telling us for months that Visual Studio 2008 would arrive in November of this year. And you know what? I didn't really believe him.

After all, VS08 is a huge upgrade for Redmond's flagship IDE. For the first time, rank and file developers are actually going to get a chance to work with all the neat and shiny stuff we've been reporting on for the past year. Stuff like Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), the underlying Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) for expressing application UIs and Language Integrated Query (LINQ) for querying data stores from directly within C# or Visual Basic.

So color me impressed that Microsoft is lined up to make deadline, despite some bumps along the way.

As Gartner analyst Mark Driver noted to me the other day, the emergence of AJAX as an absolute must-have capability really scrambled Microsoft's plans.

"AJAX completely caught them by surprise. Their plans for a next-generation UI did not involve AJAX at all. They had WPF as a next-generation declarative UI," said Driver, who added: "I think Silverlight may end up being the saving grace for WPF as it matures."

Yes, Silverlight development is supported in VS08 as well, though it remains incomplete as the dev-centric Silverlight 1.1 product remains in an open-ended alpha state for the time being. But what Silverlight will do is hook an energetic nation of Web developers to XAML -- the same XAML that is at the heart of WPF-powered UIs. Can you feel the leverage?

For people who've been patiently waiting for a reason to get excited about all the framework and foundation work being done at Redmond, it's time. With VS08 finally coming to market, dev shops can get to work crafting the next generation of Windows, .NET and Web applications.

Are you going to jump on Visual Studio 2008? E-mail me at [email protected], and let me know your thoughts about VS08 and whether you plan to move to your apps to WPF.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 11/07/2007

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