Microsoft on Monday delivered its next generation software development suite, Visual Studio 2008, and the next version of its .NET platform, the .NET Framework 3.5, on Monday, beginning a 2008 wave of software releases that will also include Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, both due in the first half of 2008. The full versions of Visual Studio 2008 are currently available to MSDN subscribers, but anyone can download the free Express versions directly from the Microsoft Web site.
"Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 make it easy for development organizations and developers of all skill levels to build software and services on the latest platforms including the Web, Windows Vista, the 2007 Office system, and Windows Server 2008," says Microsoft corporate vice president S. "Soma" Somasegar. "Visual Studio 2008 delivers over 250 new features, makes improvements to existing features including performance work on many areas, and we've made significant enhancements to every version of Visual Studio 2008, from the Express Editions to Visual Studio Team System (VSTS)."
While Visual Studio has always been a successful development environment, Microsoft's decision to ship free Express versions of Visual Studio 2005 was particularly inspired: The software was downloaded over 17 million times, introducing untold numbers of budding developers to Microsoft's tools. With Visual Studio 2008, the Express editions are bolstered by a Beginner Developer Learning Center, the Coding4Fun Developer Toolkit, and new tools like Popfly and Silverlight.
Developers interested in Visual Studio 2008 can download trial versions of the Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite, Team Foundation Server, and Test Load Agent on the Microsoft Web site. The free Express versions of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 are also available.