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Better Together: RDN Merges with Visual Studio Magazine

If you've done any business with Microsoft the last few years, you've no doubt heard the phrase "better together." It's become a mantra of sorts in Redmond as Microsoft has worked to create value not just in the applications it develops, but in the interactions they enable. We've seen the strategy employed in everything from Windows Server and Exchange to Windows 7 and Live.

There's a bit of "better together" going on in the halls of Redmond Developer News (RDN) and Visual Studio Magazine (VSM) today. We just announced that RDN, the twice-monthly publication for development managers, will be integrating its print operations into VSM.

The publication we launched in November 2006 with a cover feature trumpeting the arrival of .NET Framework 3.0 is hardly going away. In fact, you'll see a lot of RDN content in future issues of VSM. RDN Senior Editor Kathleen Richards ( will be in charge of running the RDN Web site, Tuned to the needs of software development managers, RDN online will continue to offer a unique blend of news, opinion and technology guidance. I expect good things out of that site in the weeks and months to come.

In a sense, RDN and VSM have been two sides of the same, shiny coin. RDN gives developers fair warning of what is coming, be it new technologies or newly discovered challenges, and VSM shows them how to deal with it.

VSM, of course, is the leading publication for enterprise-oriented professional developers. The publication actually dates clear back to 1991, when it was launched as Basic Pro Magazine and later became Visual Basic Programmers Journal. Today, VSM delivers practical, proven and unbiased how-to articles and insight for enterprise development professionals working with Microsoft tools and technologies. VSM and RDN have been sibling publications since 2007, after 1105 Media purchased VSM's parent company, FTP.

The decision to combine RDN with the VSM print publication reflects the fact that developers need context. They need to know about the tools they are mastering so they can make better decisions on how to use them. To that end, future issues of VSM will deliver the kind of in-depth features, timely technology and product news, and expert insight that you've seen in RDN since 2006.

The transition also brings significant changes to the VSM staff. I'm moving over from RDN to serve as VSM's editor in chief, while Kathleen Richards comes on board as executive editor. Jeffrey Schwartz (, who has been executive editor at RDN since 2007, also joins the VSM team as the news editor. He's in charge of driving much of the front-of-the-book content in the updated magazine.

Jeff is also stepping up to serve as editor of, where he is working to reinvigorate the Web site dedicated to covering cross-platform enterprise application development issues and technology. Also known as Application Development Trends, the site enjoys a strong following -- so strong, in fact, that we've decided to invest some of our best people into its success. At RDN Jeff has shown himself to be an outstanding leader and manager. Now he'll bring those talents to his own site.

As for VSM, the new staff reflects an expanding mission for the 18-year-old publication. The magazine will continue to publish cutting-edge tutorial and how-to content. But our coverage will expand to include issue-oriented features, timely news analysis and incisive commentary. Developers working with tooling as expansive and as powerful as Visual Studio don't work in a vacuum, and VSM will reflect that.

Finally, those of you who are VSM readers are likely familiar with outgoing Editor in Chief Patrick Meader and Managing Editor Guy Wright. It's been my pleasure to work on occasion with Patrick over the past two years, and I've respected him deeply for his intelligence, composure and commitment to principle. Patrick is as dedicated and forthright a person as I've ever run across in my 16 years in IT publishing, and his success over the years at VSM is testament to that.

I want to emphasize that Visual Studio Magazine, Redmond Developer News and are here to serve you. With so many big and exciting changes afoot, we're more anxious than ever to hear the opinions and input of developers and dev managers. What can we do to improve VSM? How can we make our Web sites better? What kinds of stories, content, tutorials and interaction are you looking for? And how can these things be tuned to help you do your jobs better? E-mail me at

Posted by Michael Desmond on 01/30/2009 at 1:15 PM

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