By almost any metric, Visual Studio 2010 is a big release. The new IDE features extensive changes to the Visual Studio code editor and designer; improved support for platforms like Windows Azure, Silverlight and SharePoint; and welcome refinements to the Visual Studio application lifecycle management stack. In fact, it could be the biggest update to the IDE since Visual Studio .NET shipped in 2002.
As Dave Mendlen, senior director of Developer Marketing at Microsoft, told me in an interview for this month's cover feature ("The Making of Visual Studio 2010"), working on the project was a true high-wire act. "Imagine a platform that's changing in real time, and you're trying to tool it while it's moving. You're literally trying to build the plane as it's flying and keep it in the air," he said.
Hey, don't let anyone tell you that Mendlen doesn't know how to have a good time. His team at Microsoft has been flat out the past couple months, producing an impromptu release candidate to address issues in the beta 2 code. As if that weren't enough, Mendlen pushed through a wholesale restructuring of the bloated Visual Studio SKU profile.
Mendlen also got busy writing the inaugural VSInsider column in this month's issue. The new column reflects Microsoft's increased participation in Visual Studio Magazine. Each month, a member of the Visual Studio team or other insider will offer insight into the workings of the dev team and provide a timely heads-up on emerging tools and technologies. Microsoft will also contribute regular how-to features, starting with this month's explorations of Windows Azure- and C++-based development in Visual Studio 2010.
There's a lot going on, and more to come as we work with Microsoft to improve our coverage of the fast-changing .NET developer space.
Michael Desmond is an editor and writer for 1105 Media's Enterprise Computing Group.