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Microsoft Gets Busy

Last week Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1), adding a host of sought-after new features to VS2010, which shipped originally in April 2010. Dave Mendlen, senior director of Developer Marketing at Microsoft, said developers were particularly keen on IntelliTrace support for SharePoint and 64-bit development, as well as the new Silverlight performance optimizer. He also singled out SP1's added support for unit testing in .NET Framework 3.5. Microsoft at the same time released a pair of Feature Packs for Visual Studio.

"We get a lot of input and feedback on service packs and rarely do we do more than fix bugs. And when we do add features it's usually finishing stuff we didn't get done in the original version of the product," Mendlen told me in a phone interview. He also talked about extending IntelliTrace support in the SP1.

"The 64-bit thing was a big problem for a lot of customers. SharePoint was another one, where we heard a lot of people asking about does this work with SharePoint. That was a big problem because we've been selling a lot of SharePoint and people were talking about it," Mendlen said.

LightSwitch and IE9

Earlier today, Microsoft released Visual Studio LightSwitch Beta 2, an updated pre-release version of its wizard-driven rapid business application development tool for business analysts and power users. The new beta adds support for Windows Azure application deployment and extensibility features. Mendlen said the final version of LightSwitch will ship "later this year."

Finally, last night Microsoft dropped the release-to-Web (RTW) version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), which aggressively supports the emerging HTML5 standard and boasts a streamlined interface and a number of updates for improving performance.

It's been a busy week or so in Redmond by almost any measure. And no doubt developers will be busy assessing and mastering the new tooling and resources. What are your observations about the new iterations of Visual Studio, LightSwitch and Internet Explorer? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 03/15/2011


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