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Sneak Peek: Jason Zander on the Visual Studio 2010 Launch

DevConnections talks with Microsoft's Visual Studio GM about what's new in the milestone Visual Studio 2010 release. Look for the full interview in April on the DevConnections website.


Recently, Jason Zander, the Microsoft general manager for Visual Studio, met with Michael Otey, SQL Server Magazine's technical director, and Sheila Molnar, executive editor of DevConnections. In the following excerpts from that interview (full interview to be published in April 2010), Zander talks about the evolution of Visual Studio and highlights of the Visual Studio 2010 release.

DevConnections: What are the high points and low points of Visual Studio over the past 10 years? What trends do you see taking Visual Studio into the future?

Jason Zander: The last 10 years have been the formative lifetime of the product: the creation and shipping of the .NET Framework with Visual Studio as its primary support vehicle. The key thing is bringing the suite together to support all the different types of Microsoft platforms. In the previous decade, we had a tool for Visual Basic, for MFC, and C++: So creating one environment was a huge change for us. We introduced managed code—the ability to create rich but managed server applications and web applications. On the client side, a few big trends stick out: advances in HTML, the introduction of rich Internet applications (RIAs), multiple versions of Windows, and SharePoint as a collaboration platform. [And there are] two other trends: mobile and parallel computing.

DevConnections: What are some of the big enhancements in Visual Studio 2010?

JZ: This is our biggest release since 2005. Advances include a new version of the .NET Framework and a new CLR. It's the first CLR change since version 2, which was in 2005. We're also refreshing the entire IDE and pro tooling environment. Visual Studio is now a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application: We've added richer graphics, a new editor, and a bunch of new extensions. We support the Microsoft platforms. We've invested in SharePoint and made sure that we have first-class tools for it. That's clearly one of the biggest new advancements that we're making.

DevConnections: How is Visual Studio meeting the challenge of open source development?

JZ: My team owns several open source projects. I mentioned a couple already—Iron Ruby and Iron Python. We contribute that source code under licenses that are OSI compliant. In the case of Iron Ruby, we've actually hosted all of our code on RubyForge, which is the OSS community space. We have people who have written many, many open source extensions to Visual Studio itself. I think open source is a reality for a lot of developers, and we need to be sure we have great support for it. We're also trying to make an inviting environment for open source developers to come in to the .NET and Visual Studio space. Developers are handy. They are very good at finding tools that fill their needs wherever that happens to be.

Want more Visual Studio 2010 information? Check out VS 2010 articles on and the DevConnections Microsoft Visual Studio Launch Conference, April 12-14, 2010, at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.



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