Lots of big stuff happening this week. Today Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 is available to MSDN Subscribers and it'll be available for everyone on Wednesday.
I'm running Beta 2 on all my machines now and really digging it. It's much faster than Beta 1 and I'm doing all my work in it now. It's come a long way and I'm really impressed at the polish.
This is a big deal. This isn't ".NET 3.6" - there are a lot of improvements of .NET 4, and it's not just "pile on a bunch of features so you get overwhelmed." I've been working with and talking to many of the teams involved and even though it's a cheesy thing to say, this is a really customer-focused release.
Shouldn't every release be that way? Sure, and in this case there's a really clear focus on, as I like to say, "making the Legos the right size." This is as much about tightening screws as it is about adding new features.
There's more goodness that I can put in one post, but some personal favorite highlights are:
- Quicker to Install - A smaller Client Profile with a much smaller initial download (down to 0.8 megs from 2.8) for bootstrapping .NET client apps faster than ever)
- Side by Side - .NET 4 is a side-by-side release that doesn't auto-promote, meaning you won't break existing apps and you can have .NET 2.0, 3.5 and 4 apps on the same machine, happily.
- Side-by-side CLR support for managed add-ins inside of apps like Explorer or Outlook. Again, new and existing apps in the same process, chillin'.
- For more details on Application Compatibilty, check out the AppCompat Walkthrough for .NET 4 on MSDN.
- Dynamic Language Support - The DLR (Dynamic language runtime) ships built-in with .NET 4 so you can mix-and-match your solutions and pick the best language (or languages) amongst C# and VB.NET as well as F#, IronPython and IronRuby. This includes better support for COM (yes, COM! People do use COM and it's even easier with the new dynamic keyword in C# these days.)
- More Web Standards Support - Better support for WS-* and REST making interop easier. (I love ADO.NET Data Services, but you know that already, Dear Reader. I'm a bit of a RESTafarian, these days.)
- Plugins Galore - Visual Studio 2010 uses MEF and WPF to enable a whole new world of clean managed extensions as well as an Online Gallery (there's an extension for that!)
- Multi-Framework Multi-targeting - You can't really overestimate how useful this is, but a picture is worth a thousand words. You can code all your apps in all your organization's frameworks with the same IDE:
Keep an eye on the blogs this week as the various teams talk about their favorite features.
On the ASP.NET 4 side:
Oh, yes, one other thing…
You may notice a few things in the new Splash Screen above. There's a new Visual Studio logo that goes nicely as well as a new logo for MSDN. You probably heard that we launched a new MSDN this weekend and today we add the new logo and background. This new MSDN is the beginning of a more agile, community focused MSDN and you should expect to see and hear of cool stuff coming from the team, often, in the months to come. Of note will be the new MSDN Lightweight view, soon to be the default view for the library.
In the coming weeks I'll dig into more details on the these new things and how they work together:
- Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4
- Windows 7
- Microsoft Developer Network
Enjoy! Also, be sure to check out Soma's blog post and go get Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Beta 2 as soon as you can!