Microsoft Releases Visual Studio 2010 SP1

Microsoft today announced the release of Service Pack 1 (SP1) of its Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE). The release was announced by S. "Soma" Somasegar, senior vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft, during his keynote address at the Tech-Ed Middle East conference in Dubai.

Visual Studio 2010 SP1 provides a comprehensive set of bug fixes, software tweaks and feature additions to Microsoft's flagship IDE. The improvements address responsiveness, stability and performance of Visual Studio 2010, according to Microsoft. Visual Studio 2010 SP1 has been available as a public beta since December.

Visual Studio 2010 SP 1 is available today for download to MSDN subscribers, at this location. SP1 will be available for public download on March 10 from this page.

Jason Zander, corporate vice president of the Visual Studio Team in the Developer Division at Microsoft, provided more detail in a blog post earlier today. He singled out several new features added at customer request, including IntelliTrace support for 64-bit and SharePoint projects, an improved Help Viewer and integrated Silverlight 4 tooling.

Other additions in SP1 include a new VB Compiler runtime switch that allows VB developers to target their projects at platforms lacking the full Visual Basic Runtime. Microsoft also added native code tweaks, with new Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) APIs for Windows 7, addressing Direct2D, DirectWrite and Windows Animation Technologies.

Rob Sanfilippo, analyst at research firm Directions on Microsoft, said the SP1 continues Microsoft's ongoing efforts to improve Visual Studio 2010, which launched in April of last year.

"VS 2010 has been a solid, successful release. It has delivered on its promises and has been a stable environment, without the requirement of any major patches since it shipped," Sanfilippo wrote in an email interview, noting that the fixes in the SP1 release were not "urgent."

Sanfilippo emphasized that Microsoft has added a range of new SDKs and tooling for Visual Studio 2010 since its release, addressing supports for Windows Azure, Windows Phone 7 and ASP.NET MVC 3.0. The release of SP1 could motivate some dev organizations to make the switch to Visual Studio 2010.

"SP1 will further stabilize the IDE, so teams that haven’t made the switch yet may get the final boost of confidence when it ships," he wrote.

New Feature Packs and a LightSwitch Beta
Somasegar unveiled other Visual Studio-related updates at the Tech-Ed event in Dubai, including two new Visual Studio Feature Packs and an updated beta of the Visual Studio LightSwitch tooling for business application development. The Feature Packs are available to users of Visual Studio Ultimate Edition.

TFS-Project Server Integration Feature Pack enables teams to "work more effectively together using Visual Studio, Project, and SharePoint" and coordinate development, Somesegar wrote. The Feature Pack improves collaboration among teams using different methodologies. The download for MSDN subscribers can be found here.

The Visual Studio Load Test Feature Pack lets developers stress test their applications using an unlimited number of virtual users, without requiring Visual Studio Load Test Virtual User Pack 2010 licenses. More information can be found on the Visual Studio Load Test Virtual User Pack 2010 page.

Finally, Somasegar announced the coming release of Beta 2 of the Visual Studio LightSwitch development environment for business power users and analysts. The fresh beta, expected "in the coming weeks," according to Somasegar, extends LightSwitch support for Windows Azure- and SQL Azure-based application development.

About the Author

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

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