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VS 2008 Beta 2 Debuts

Get the latest downloads related to Visual Studio 2008 (formerly Orcas).

What had been known as Visual Studio Orcas has been renamed Visual Studio 2008 as the product nears completion. Beta 2 is probably the most significant build for VS 2008; most of the tool's major features are now in place. VS 2008 is set to ship in a mere five months (January 2008), so the remaining work on VS 2008 will focus heavily on implementing bug fixes and giving the tool an appropriate level of polish. Microsoft is confident enough in the current feature set to release "Go Live" licenses for beta 2, allowing you to build Web sites and rich client applications using Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET framework 3.5.

A word of warning about the Go Live license: the End User License Agreement appears to preclude explicitly the use of the software in any e-commerce site:

3.e. Commerce Transactions. You may not use the software to design, develop or test programs that conduct e-commerce transactions (exchange of goods or services by means of the Internet or other computer networks), including without limitation any shipping, credit card, monetary or other banking transactions.

You'll find the Eula.txt buried away on the installation DVD inside the Setup directory. If you do decide to Go Live with Beta 2, make sure you familiarize yourself with the conditions within.

The Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 downloads page includes installation disc images (.ISO format) for all the different SKU's of Visual Studio Express, Standard, Professional, and Team Suite. Alternatively you can download a Virtual PC image for Team Suite running on Windows 2003. If you're going to download only one, I recommend downloading the Team Suite ISO image and installing that in your own Virtual PC. Two other smaller downloads are worth adding on: Team Foundation Server and Test Load Agent.

You can download the samples for VS beta 2 from here. The samples are comprehensive, and it's well worth the time to go through them.

One problem with the sample code is that it was written for Visual Studio Orcas Beta 2, not Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2. Yes, they are the same thing, but the change in the product name changed the product identifier string that you need in the solution files (.sln). Unfortunately this means the solution files won't open in VS 2008 Beta 2. To work around this, execute this code against the directories the samples are located in:

With My.Computer. _
	Dim samplesPath = _
		.SpecialDirectories. _
		MyDocuments _
		& "\VB Samples Beta2" 
	For Each file In _
		.GetFiles(samplesPath, _
		FileIO.SearchOption. _
		SearchAllSubDirectories, _
Dim contents As String _
		= .ReadAllText(file)
contents = contents.Replace( _
"# Visual Studio Codename Orcas", _
"# Visual Studio 2008")
		.WriteAllText(file, contents, _­­
End With

Rosario is the codename for the next version of Visual Studio Team System providing collaboration and source control for enterprises. The Rosario release is for the version after Visual Studio 2008, so this is its first CTP. If you're a VSTS user, this is a great chance to get involved early and provide feedback to help shape future releases. Download this CTP here.

About the Author

Bill McCarthy is an independent consultant based in Australia and is one of the foremost .NET language experts specializing in Visual Basic. He has been a Microsoft MVP for VB for the last nine years and sat in on internal development reviews with the Visual Basic team for the last five years where he helped to steer the language’s future direction. These days he writes his thoughts about language direction on his blog at http://msmvps.com/bill.

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