Q&A: Matt Carter on Visual Studio 2010

Microsoft Group Product Manager Matt Carter talks about what developers can expect from the upcoming version of Visual Studio.

With Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 promising so many significant features and capabilities, developers are anxious to understand what they will face when the final version of the IDE and framework finally arrive sometime in 2010. Microsoft Group Product Manager Matt Carter answered our questions about Visual Studio 2010.

Why has there been such a long lag time between the VS 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP Virtual PC image (made available on Oct 31 and expired in January) and new preview bits?
We ship the CTP to provide direction to customers as to what kind of new features and innovations will be in the upcoming release. Beta 1 is the first product release for the public that allows developers to get their hand `on a more complete version of the product that delivers on the directions in the community technology preview. As always, customer feedback influences the development of the product and ultimately indicates when beta and final products are ready to ship.

People have complained about the lack of a "true IDE" for WPF and Silverlight. There is a steep learning curve for XAML, and they have to switch between VS and Blend. Will this be addressed in VS 2010, and if so, how?
Visual Studio 2010 has a design surface for XAML integrated into the product. This brings the XAML editing and design into the Visual Studio IDE so you don’t have to switch between Visual Studio and Blend. Of course, designers and visually-oriented developers can still use the design-centered features in Blend to create their WPF and Silverlight applications if they so choose.

What improvements will we see in WPF 4.0 and the VS 2010 WPF designer?
WPF 4 includes improvements for line of business developers, such as business-focused controls including Masked Edit, improved Charting controls, and a new DataGrid, as well as harnessing the advances found in Windows 7 such as multi-touch UI and Ribbon interfaces. The improved design surfaces in Visual Studio 2010 provide an integrated tool for creating XAML within Visual Studio.

Will Visual Studio 2010 beta 1 be feature complete, a la Windows 7? Or can we expect significant feature movement?
"Microsoft Beta tests products to gather customer and partner feedback, which results in changes and improvements to the final product.  Details about the features and functions that are available in Beta 1 will be disclosed when Beta 1 is released."

How does the role of Visual Studio add-ins change with 2010 and the WPF enabled interface? Will there be significant changes in how add-ins are built, as well as how they are integrated and treated within the VS environment?
The editor in Visual Studio 2010 is built in WPF. This opens up exciting opportunities for add-in vendors to provide new and innovative IDE enhancements that use visualizations to help developers understand their code and applications. Functions like code-coverage can benefit greatly from add-ins that partners create, which combine insight into code with graphical visualizations that are enabled through the combination of WPF and Visual Studio extensibility.

We are continuing to use assets like the Visual Studio gallery to make it as easy as possible for developers to discover, try, and acquire add-ins for Visual Studio to help them get their jobs done better and faster.

In the past, dev tooling has often lagged the platforms. To what extent will new features in .NET 4.0 be fully supported by Visual Studio 2010? Are there core .NET 4.0 features that will have to await a VS SP or VS 2012 release?
We are committed to supporting platform features in Visual Studio releases so developers can take advantage of innovations being developed in the framework. For example, we simultaneously supported the features and innovations in .NET 3.51 in Visual Studio 2008 SP1. .NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 are tightly related and a further example of the connected innovation we have between our tools and platforms.

About the Author

Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.

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