Scott Hanselman

Visual Studio 2010 Released

April 12, 2010 Comment on this post [114] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET MVC | Learning .NET | Microsoft | MSDN | Spotlight | VS2010 | Windows Client | WPF
Sponsored By

It's a big day at Microsoft today as Visual Studio 2010 officially releases. There's a lot going on with this release and I thought I'd do a big rollup post with lots of details and context to help you find your way to the information and downloads you're looking for.

Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4

Download Visual Studio 2010

First, if you want it, go download Visual Studio 2010 now. If you're an MSDN Subscriber or WebSiteSpark/BizSpark member, you can download the final release now. If not, you can download a free trial or one of the free Express editions.

I'm running the free Visual Web Developer 2010 Express on my netbook. You can install ASP.NET 4, ASP.NET MVC 2, and Visual Web Developer 2010 Express really quickly with the Web Platform Installer.

There's an excellent page on MSDN that's cherry-picked and categorized the best VS2010 content, but I've included my own list below.

What's new in Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4?

Buttloads. Here's the things I'm digging most.

Also, there's a FREE e-Book called "Moving to Visual Studio 2010" that you might want to check out. It's an excerpt of a larger book that'll be coming from MSPress later this summer. It takes a interesting approach as it has three parts, moving from VS2003, moving from VS2005, and moving from VS2008. It's clever, actually. You start in the book on the version that you're currently on. If you're not familiar with versions like VS2008, you start at the beginning. Otherwise, you jump ahead. When you're done, you're ready to move to VS2010.

MSDN and Visual Studio 2010

When a new product launches, MSDN launches with updates and new features of its own. Here's a few things the folks at MSDN have been doing to support the launch.

  • Better MSDN Search - Most people likely use a search engine to search MSDN, but if you do search from within MSDN, there are a number of new improvements. You can refine by source, saying only search blogs, or only search the library. There's also an OpenSearch provider so you can search the MSDN Library directly from within Windows itself.
    XDocument - Search Results in MSDN
    MSDN Search also includes Metadata from the results to help you find right thing. For example, if a search turns up a CodePlex project, I can see type-specific details within search results:
    MSDN Search
  • MSDN Subscriber Downloads Improvements - There's been lots of UX improvements including as-you-type filtering as well as filtering by platform (x64, etc) and language. I will very likely not need to download Quechua Windows, so now I don't need to see it.
  • MSDN Library in Lightweight and ScriptFree - You can choose between three flavors of MSDN Library, Classic (the one with the treeview on the side), Lightweight (what I use) or ScriptFree. ScriptFree is great for mobile devices, and it's lightning fast anywhere. Lightweight is the new default and I like it because it features community annotations made to the library prominently on the left side as well as a tabbed interface for code sample languages. I blogged a preview of this work last year and included some charts and graphs showing the improvements in speed worldwide.
    XmlNode Class (System.Xml) - Windows Internet Explorer
  • Integration of all VS sites - There were too many developer "centers" on MSDN and folks were getting lost. Many centers have been conflated into a clearer, more logical layout. The Visual Studio, Team System, and VS Extensibility Centers were merged into the single Visual Studio Center. There's a lot more focus on discoverability in the Visual Studio Center.
  • Video Improvements - There's thousands of How Do I? videos on MSDN and they tell me they are improving the backend, the player and the metadata around them. The player is larger now, you can share videos from MSDN on your favorite social networking site, rate them, leave comments, and explore related videos.
  • Profile Activities - User Profiles are integrated between sites and you can see your activity and points as you move through the system. For example, here's Arnie Rowland's profile. You can see his activity in the forums and galleries as well as his ranking and points as a community contributor.

Other Cool Stuff Happening Today

I'd hate to have this little nugget get buried in the deluge of VS2010 goodness.

  • Microsoft Surface Logo The Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch BETA goes out today. Check out under Technical Resources and the Surface Blog for more details. This toolkit is a set of controls and sample code that let WPF developers create cool multi-touch enabled experiences with the cool "Surfacey" controls that the only folks with Big Ass Tables have been able to use. This is exceedingly cool because it not only makes it WPF devs can make better multi-touch apps for Windows Touch PCs but it acts as a jump-start for the next version of Microsoft Surface. It will integrate with Visual Studi0 2010 and give you new project and item templates and a dozen new controls like the ScatterView and SurfaceInkCanvas. This is a cool thing, so I'll be talking about it soon, as will Pete Brown.

Lots of great stuff going on today. Have fun!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Hosting By
Hosted in an Azure App Service
April 12, 2010 21:28
Is there x64 version available to MSDN subscribers as well?
April 12, 2010 22:13
Visual Studio 2010 can create both x64 and x86 projects, so there's just one download. I run it on Win7 x64 myself.
April 12, 2010 22:19
Why is the .NET Framework 4 not supported on a server core?
April 12, 2010 22:42
is it recommended to uninstall the RC and then install RTM?
April 12, 2010 22:51
Congrats on going RTM :-)

Love the new MSDN lightweight view, but why do the code syntax/example tabs default to VB? That sucks. Really wish the tabs were ordered alphabetically i.e. C#, C++, F#, JScript, VB.
April 12, 2010 23:05
This is happy day for me and everyone else i guess , congrats and thanks alot MSDN & Microsoft for making such amazing tool, Multi screen support is my fav feature so far working on 4 LCD i just AMAZING and save time
April 12, 2010 23:08
Visual Studio 2010 Professional Edition just went up at, so if you are student get it there for free.
April 13, 2010 0:16

You said VS 2010 can run .NET 2 and .NET 3.x projects, but it also run VS 8 and VS 9 project and solution files without upgrading / updating them to VS 10 (2010)?
April 13, 2010 0:18
Jason - You have to upgrade the project files to the new format, but you can set the project properties to target any framework. I usually keep two files, so foo.2010.csproj and foo.2008.csproj, for example. It's lame, but it works.
April 13, 2010 0:18
Will I be able to debug/develop Classic ASP pages like VS 2008 can? Some things aren't going away for me.
April 13, 2010 0:26
Hi all, In order to upgrade #VS2010 RC to RTM, I've createad How To steps on My blog: Enjoy!
April 13, 2010 1:21
Hi Scott,

Thanks for your blog posts on vs2010. I know it's been announced that SL4 will RTW by end of the week - but just wondering in the meantime (and post this date) what to expect for Silverlight + WinPhone 7 dev.

Currently I have some SL3 projects (which I'm happy to upgrade to SL4 final) - and currently use VS2008 in conjunction with Blend 3.

So first question is - whats the news with Expression v4 (as I really want Blend as UI editor for my SL dev - even though VS2010 will offer some basic editing stuff)? I can't seem to find any information on when this will RTM - is this coordinated with the SL4 RTW release this week?

Also - I've finished downloading the VS2010 release and want to install it side by side on my machine (which has VS2008, SL3, .NET 3.5).

What version of SL gets installed with this ? Does it include updated SL 3 SDK, SL 4 beta - or no SL at all (and other addins to be released later this week will fill that gap?).

Additionally - what is the intended plans with the WindowsPhone 7 tools (as these rely on SL4 I assume) - are they part of this release build - or a seperate addin tool to be launched (with SL4?).

And a last question - can I assume my VS2008/ASP 3.5/.NET 3.5 Projects will not be upset at all (and continue to run) - as my client's projects are still all in this environment.


April 13, 2010 1:42
i'm really excited for this release. Time to nuke my VS 2005 and VS 2008 out of my box to make room for my PC's new master. Yey!
April 13, 2010 2:11

Let me help with some answers...

Expression Blend 4 -- at the time of Silverlight 4 release availability we will have a compatible set of tools: Visual Studio, Toolkit, Expression Blend. Some will be final, some will be RC, but you'll have a complete set that will work with the release version of Silverlight 4.

VS2010 and Silverlight installed -- Silverlight 3 developer tools are 'in-box' with VS2010 RTM. There is no Silverlight 4 tools/sdk/etc. installed with VS2010. In fact, the RC of Silverlight 4 Tools won't work on the VS2010RTM. Stay tuned to tomorrow for availability.

Windows Phone tools -- see my post that I just did right now on this issue...we're working on it. Details:

Hope this helps,
April 13, 2010 2:29
Here's hoping that:

1. It's faster
2. The UI doesn't have a "flicker fit" whenever a panel is moved
3. The wasteful toolbar UI metaphor is ditched
4. There are fewer modal dialogs
5. Scaffolding creation is a snap
6. The screen redraws correctly better than 50% of the time when a panel is resized
7. The number of menu items is reduced by half
8. The setting dialogs have been over the desk of a usability expert
9. File renames are case-sensitive
10. Solution tree manipulation doesn't suck
11. Attempting a code change whilst in debug mode does something sensible
12. Installation doesn't take half a day

Unfortunately I think I know the answer to many of these already. I mean what other major software product in 2010 has 2 years between major releases of a piece of software and then will not work seamlessly with existing projects created in the previous version?
April 13, 2010 2:58
Ben, it sounds like you're not happy. I know you'll consider me a shill, but let me ask a few questions.

1. I'm running in on my Acer Aspire 1420 netbook and it's as fast as 2008.
2. I don't see that on any of my 6 machines. What kind of video card and video driver do you have?
3. You can turn off the toolbar if you like and turn off even more stuff if you select the "Web Development" profile. It'll remove toolbars, panels, etc and just give you the editor.
4. What model dialogs are you thinking of? Most are not model, like the Projects Properties, etc.
5. Sure, note the use of T4 in ASP.NET MVC. I've done posts and videos on how to extend scaffolding. Dynamic Data does even more. EF and L2S include T4 support as well to customize scaffolds.
6. Again, this really sounds like a video card problem, possibly with the DirectX drivers?
7. About the same number. If you don't want toolbars and you don't want menus, where do you want to put most commands?
8. Tools|Options? or Projects|Properties?
9. Yes, file renames are case-sensitive.
10. Ctrl- and Shift-dragging work in the Tree. What sucks most?
11. You mean edit and continue? Yes, it's supported on x86.
12. I installed 2010 on my slowest machine from local disk in about 45 minutes.
April 13, 2010 3:21
Why did Silverlight 4 not release? There were several blog posts which stated that Silverlight 4 and VS2010 would release together on the 12th, yet when you go to silverlight site to download it is still only RC. Why?
April 13, 2010 3:28
Ok, thanks for the answer! I don't think that's lame.
April 13, 2010 3:39
You should probably warn WP7 (phone) developers not to install it.
April 13, 2010 4:05
Awesome news! However, I downloaded the RC1 just the other day, so downloading the RTM will be a small hassle if it's at all avoidable. Is there an easy way of 'upgrading' from the RC1 to the RTM? Or does it have to be a fresh install? Should we be uninstalling RC1 before installing the RTM?

April 13, 2010 4:13
When will the smartphone projects be available for those of us who do Windows Mobile development, not the Zune Phone (Windows Phone 7) stuff?
April 13, 2010 4:19
Spyper - Yes, just uninstall VS from Add/Remove programs and it will automatically uninstall what it needs to, then you can install RTM right over that. I've done just that on several machines.

Andy - A few weeks. Tim Heuer just posted Windows Phone 7 support.

John - Hang back just a few days and I'll have SL details.
April 13, 2010 7:12
Our dev team usually waits until SP1s to upgrade, but since this release allows framework targeting AND gives the IDE and language upgrade benefits, we are considering adopting it early. Yet I have two questions regarding WinForms (we don't use WPF btw) and databound forms (which is a subject that has give us headaches in past upgrades):

1) Creating a data-bound form was a complete overhaul from vs2005 to vs2008. Newer dataset objects and binding contols made us had to learn the new ways. Our VS solution is a huge monster (mostly in VB) that contains around 30 projects and most forms have the vs2005 kind of datasets though the newest forms have the vs2008 kind of dataset & bindingsource. When creating a dataset object in VS 2010, does it maintain the same tableadapter/datatable combination that vs2008 works and builds upon, or has something changed?

2) We also work on MVC (1 & 2) proyects, and have usually used the L2S method for data access. Yet we've read a lot regarding EF4 and its many advantages, and how its supposedly getting to be the preferred path to data manipulation in redmond... My question is: Is there an automated/easy way in vs2010 to use EF4 as basis for databound WinForms as an alternative to the traditional dataset/tableadapter ways? Or are datasets still the way to go when creating data WinForms?
April 13, 2010 7:25
Oh sorry, and a third and VERY important question... We use Visual SourceSafe with our projects, so if we upgrade our vs2008 projects to work with vs2010, will SourceSafe still work seamlessly, or must we run some special patch or is this configuration (vs2008 sourcesafed projects upgraded to vs2010) not supported?

April 13, 2010 7:47
Scott - So I have a brand new image of Win 7 x 64 bit edition, sreeecccchhhhing halt!!!!! Wait I thought Office 2010 and VS2010 were both being released today and that I could perform a nice fresh install..... Nope May 12th, hmmm? Would you install Office 2007 or Office 2010 Beta or install no Office at all and wait till May 12th before installing Office 2010? Would it be Stupid or in anyway hinder your ability to develop VSTO 2010 Solutions in future if you installed Office 2010 after SQL2008x64 + VS2010 Later like in another month? Would you install SQL 2008 x 64 Standard Prior to the VS 2010 install? Thanks, Rick Humphrey
April 13, 2010 11:01

I signed into MSDN and download the web installer for Ultimate (seems my subscription was upgraded to that...which was nice!). I checked MSDN for a product key, but it just says it was pre-PID'd (which is the norm) - but now the install has finished it seems to think it's a trial version with 29 days remaining! :(

I'm guessing this wasn't the expected behaviour? Anyway to get my product key and register it within VS? Or do I just download the ISO and reinstall the whole thing?


April 13, 2010 11:11
Why Scott did you not mention what are the improvements in WPF and XAML and the designer ? Is it still the same shit ? With all the red boxes one has to put up with ? What about WPF man?
April 13, 2010 11:32
Two quick questions:

What changes from RC to the definitive version?

When will be the localized versions available? (I am looking specifically for the spanish version)
April 13, 2010 12:51
Hi Scott
We have tried to download versions of VS 2010 RTM today via our MSDN subcription but at the very end of each 4 hour download we get problems with the integrity check after the download. We then tried the web installer versions which installed successfully however each version that we have installed shows "for evaluation purposes only, 29 days remaining.

Have you heard anything about this or if this can be resolved?

April 13, 2010 12:57
Scott -

I want to say that I really appreciate all of the effort that has gone into the final version of VS2010. There are so many features that I'm excited about: Code Contracts, F#, Task Parallel Library, the new WPF based editor and more. That's why I'm staying up late and downloading/installing on the day it was released.

I also hate to be the guy to bitch about something when you guys have invested so much in VS2010, but there's one thing that's a complete miss. Actually it's not just a complete miss, for me it's a step backward in productivity. The new help system just sucks. I can't say it any other way. I understand why some of the decisions were made, but those decisions took away features that I rely on every single day.

Decoupling the help system from the IDE just makes it more difficult to see basic help info side by side with code. My basic setup that I've used since VS2005 is to have VS maximized and have a bunch of secondary windows on my secondary monitor. If I wanted to see an example in the help system side by side with code I would drag the help window out of the text editor to that secondary monitor and dock it there. Now with entirely browser based help and no option to integrate it into the IDE my maximized browser window now overlays my maximized VS window. If I drag my browser to the secondary monitor so that I can see the code window and the help side by side it means that when I want to use my browser for something other than help, you know, like for browsing the internet, it's tucked over on the side rather than maximized where I normally keep it. Aaarrgh! I've managed to sort of get around the problem by making my default browser Chrome and using that for help and using my regular maximized Firefox for normal browsing but it's a workaround and not a solution. Help needs to be integrated into the IDE.

Messing with my preferred browser and window setup is a big annoyance but I'll probably learn to deal with it after a lot of complaining. However the lack of a Help Index is going to be a bigger issue. Two of those secondary windows that I kept docked on the second monitor were the Help Index and the Index Results. I relied on just starting to type something in the "Look for:" field and seeing the filtered options appearing as I typed. I know the new mantra is "just search for it" but if I sort of remember what I'm looking for but not exactly it can take longer to search for something than to scan the filtered index. Lack of a true index is a killer. I found a blog post with a quote that "We realize the importance of delivering a keyword index, but we were unable to deliver it in our first release." I'm sorry but that just doesn't cut it - if you can't deliver an index then it means that you're not done with the product, not that you deliver and hope people don't notice or complain to loudly.

I'm truly sorry to bitch and moan on the day that the VS team wants to celebrate their success and I know that there's not a lot to be done about it at the moment. You guys have really managed to deliver some powerful improvements to a tool that I use 8+ hours a day. But the flaws in the help system detract from some of the huge gains you've made. I wish it were otherwise.

Mike H.
April 13, 2010 13:05
Hi Scott,

When can we expect to get Visual Studio 2010 Pro on Volume License/Select in the UK?

I was hoping the answer was April 12th, but have been told by one supplier that it won't be until May?


April 13, 2010 14:11
I am with the 'can the trial be converted to a regular msdn version' crowd. I used the above web install (I guess I should have known better, maybe clearly state before installation it's a trial) and now I got 29 days of evalution left.

Installation was very smooth though, no complaints there !
April 13, 2010 15:54
Eric, I agree that some indication that this was trialware would have saved a lot of frustration and bandwidth, In fact over the years I have never known of trial software on the subscribers downloads, so it never crossed my mind that this is what we would get. It is also worth noting that using the FTM to download the framework etc was trouble free, however we have not had any success with the Akamai download manager except consumption of bandwith and wasted effort for the whole day trying to get the full versions. With the trial issue we would not attempt any more until we know if the other versions are not trialware.

April 13, 2010 17:25
I appreciate all the hard work by Microsoft in releasing Visual Studio 2010! Bravo!

But the installation is still painful if I have an older copy of VS 2010 installed. I know that we are supposed to install on VPC but Microsoft should really invest in smart uninstaller which should simply ask me that "hey you got VS2010 RC installed do you want me to remove everything associated with VS 2010 RC?". I think this would be a nice feature which will be used by many developers.
April 13, 2010 18:13
You should introduce profiler as well, which I think is one of the coolest features in vs2010
April 13, 2010 19:15
I got bitten by the "trial version on MSDN" as well. I went back to double-check whether or not there is something there to indicate what it really is (I was installing this stuff at 2am, so I figured I missed it), but even after some sleep, I'm not seeing it, at least prior to download.
Right now, I'm assuming I have to do an(other) uninstall, having blown an hour uninstalling the RC and a couple more installing the trial, but I'm extremely hesitant to spend any more time trying to download another version unless I know definitely that it's *not* a trial version.
April 13, 2010 19:36
The top 10 VS2010 features at a glance:
April 13, 2010 19:44
Maybe someone can shed some light on this issue:

I just downloaded VS 2010 X86 Web Platform and for some reason it has not registered my product. The installation went fine but now it says 29 days left. I am MSDN subscriber and I thought I will get the full version.

If I try to find the key online it says pre-pidded.
April 13, 2010 22:11
First, thanks for the great review of VS2010 -- a good look at what's new under the hood!

When you mentioned installing Web Developer Express on your netbook, I thought "hey, that's a good idea -- let's go with slim & trim for the netbook", and proceeded to install it on my netbook as well. I install it, fire it up, and "huh??" -- what is up with the "For Evaluation Purposes only - Use of this software should be limited to evaluation purposes only" on the splash screen and the "29 days remaining" under Help/About? I realize that the Express Editions are limited and are encouraged for learning/testing/etc., but has the actual license changed so that legally we CAN'T create "real" (i.e. commercial) stuff with the Express Editions? Furthur, what will happen after 29 days??! :)
April 13, 2010 22:21
I noticed MSDN now has a Preferences link that lets you pick your default style. That's important; thank you.

But when will it also support setting your default language (C#, VB, C++, etc.) instead of always defaulting to VB?
April 13, 2010 22:32
Mystery solved. Actually, this was probably the process for prior Express Editions and I simply forgot. You must go under Help menu and REGISTER the Express Edition to get a key -- then the "Evaluation Only" splash screen goes away (as well as the "nn days remaining" warning). Sorry for the "Chicken Little" moment! :) Cheers!
April 13, 2010 22:37
Hi Scott,

I have tried quite unseccessfully to install VS2010 on my work desktop and laptop. I have a MSDN subscription and thus tried to download the Professional installer from the MSDN site. On both of my machines the Akamai DM gets stuck at 99%. I even left my dekstop at that point overnight just to see if there was just some part of the download taking a ridiculously long amount of time. Still no luck. So I tried the web installer on both, also with no luck. In the web installation scenario both machines get stuck downloading "Microsoft Visual Studio Macro Tools". I've rebooted both, restarted downloading and the web installation all to no avail. Got any words of wisdom for me?
April 14, 2010 0:30
I installed VS2010 yesterday, and so far I've only found three minor problems to bitch about:

1. MSDN Subscriber Downloads only works in IE. In Firefox, clicking the "Download" link does nothing.

2. When I upgrade a project that's under source control (SourceGear Vault Enhanced Client), I have to manually check-out the solution and project files first. Failing to do so results in an "Access Denied" error from the conversion wizard.

3. When I close a solution, the Visual Studio window very often displays a garbled mess which looks like a mixture of some of the windows I had previously opened and closed. Switching to another window and then back to VS seems to clear it.

Other than that, and a few initial performance problems accessing the Fonts & Colors page of the options dialog, it seems to be behaving quite well. Now I just need to convince my boss to let me re-write everything in .NET 4.0! ;o)
April 14, 2010 0:32
When downloading VS 2010 make sure to download the ISO since the Web Installer simply installs the trial version.
April 14, 2010 0:38
azamsharp: How much time did you spend on that one? I personally lost about 4 hours dealing with that #*$*%*! trial version so far (and I haven't even uninstalled/redownloaded yet), including a long and very frustrating phone call with MSDN - who was apparently completely unaware of the situation.
April 14, 2010 0:41
Scott- Hope you got some sleep..... was hoping you could help me get a good installl:

So I have a brand new image of Win 7 x 64 bit edition, thought Office 2010 and VS2010 were both being released today and that I could perform a nice fresh install..... Nope May 12th, hmmm?

Choices what to do A.) Install Office 2007 b.) Install Office 2010 Beta c.)hold off till May 5th before installing Office 2010? If I pick C) Will Visual Studio and all the VSTO stuff get installed correctly even though there is no Office on the box? Is there a Document somewhere that shows a clean install order of all this stuff, I'm a little overwhelmed what with: .NET Framework 4 Full (x86 and x64) - (English) 4/12/2010 View View Download; .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Web Installer (x86 and x64) - (English) 4/12/2010;Visual Studio 2010 Professional (x86) - DVD (English)
4/12/2010 View View Download 2,242 (MB) Visual Studio 2010 Professional Web Installer (x86) - (English) ;Visual Studio 2010 Tools for the Office System 4.0 Runtime (x64) - (English) 4/12/2010 View View Download;

Very Confused isn't VSTO included in VS2010 Pro? What is a Client Profile Web Installer and do I need it? What is VS2010 Pro Web Installer(x86) and do I need that? Where is VS2010 (x64) does it not really existor merely install appropriately based on the OS it sees in my case Win 7 x64 Ultimate?

I'd really appreciate you or somebodies Help in Listing Line by Line what to install on top of a Clean Win 7 x64 bit install to make everything happy from IIS to SQL to Reporting Services to Office to VSTO to SharePoint...etc

Thanks so much, again be gentle as I'm a newbie, but am really looking forward to diving in here.....
Rick Humphrey
April 14, 2010 0:57
Its hard to be a Microsoft fanboy without broadband.

Although I live only ten miles from the center of the Internet, here in Northern Virginia, the only high-speed connection I can get at my house is via satellite.

To get around this limitation, I've been an MSDN subscriber since day 1, relying on my subscription to provide timely access to the library and tools.

Then MSDN changed the mailing schedule from monthly to quarterly (without any announcement, as far as I recall). It became clear that download was the preferred method, and DVD was something of an afterthought.

However, with my satellite connection, not only do I have a relatively slow connection, but I am extremely limited on the total number of bytes that I can download in a day. With the notable exception of downloads between 3 AM and 7 AM (the so-called "download hours") which don't count against the total.

To take advantage of the download hours, Hughesnet provides a utility that captures browser download activities and reschedules them for 3 AM.

Then MSDN introduced the subscriber download manager for IE that broke my ability to schedule downloads (since I couldn't determine the actual URL of the download).

Fortunately, I could still use Firefox, where my utility was still able to capture the download and reschedule.

Now, MSDN has introduced a Java version of the subscriber manager, and I have lost the Firefox option.

So when Visual Studio 2010 was released yesterday, like all good fanboys I was looking forward to getting my subscriber's copy. But I can't download it, and when I asked Soma when it would be mailed to subscribers, I was told I had to wait until June for the next quarterly release.

I'm wondering if, in the future, you might speak up for the plight of the bandwidth-challenged when you entice us with your new tools.

For example, some way I can bypass the download management and get directly to the URL of the file I want to download?

Or, some way to send major releases of key tools like VS other than on the quarterly schedule?

In fact, if its really true that most people prefer download over media, why not only send media when someone requests a particular tool or platform (but be prepared to send it quickly, rather than in three months). MSDN might find this method to be cheaper than the mass mailings, and certainly greener.

I know this isn't your responsibility, but thanks for listening.
April 14, 2010 1:01
Hi Scott,

Thanks for the update. Is there a "Breaking CHanges" document for the whole release, not just ASP.NET?

Thanks again
April 14, 2010 1:36
Brian if you are in a pickle I'd be willing to download and burn them and send them to you, if this is leagal to do, I'm not sure I have MSDN Pro only so I could burn lets say VS2010 Pro + aspnet 4 and stuf like that to DVD and snail mail it to you, for like the price of Venti Latte to cover DVD cost and Mailing if you like, of course I could not do this all the time, perhaps there is a local Partner you could team up with to provide you this service, we all gotta download it any way so what's the big deal if we burn it to CD and our External Drives...? Just a thought
April 14, 2010 1:39
I lost pretty much the whole day. Installed two times then uninstalled two times then download ISO and then finally install the ISO.

April 14, 2010 1:39
I'm digging around and doing my best to get you all the answers you need.

Gareth, Keith, Azamsharp, and folks who installed from MSDN Subscriptions with the Web Installer. All the Web Installers are trials by default (by design) but your product keys will be up on MSDN in a few hours and you can just activate them. I'm sorry for the confusion and I'm talking to the MSDN team to find out what's up. I think it could have been a lot clearer in the text and they're working to fix that. Keith - Don't uninstall it, you just need to activate it.

Brian, I believe you can get at the download URLs directly from the top link on my blog here, and then use a tool like GetRight to do a long download with resume support. Then use your MSDN Subscriber key from downloads to activate the trial. Let me know if that helps.

GMC - Feel free to email me and I can see if I can help. Try clearing your browser cache?

Ravida - The most complete list of .NET 4 Changes is on MSDN.

Richard - Yes, the conversion wizard needs writable files, so you'd need stuff checked out. On the garbled thing, that sounds like a video driver thing. Try going to Tools|Options and turning off Hardware Acceleration of graphics. If that clears it up, perhaps upgrade your video drivers, or just run without acceleration.

Jon - I've been talking to the MSDN library people about a cookie to get them to set the default language in the library. I agree with you.

Michael - I'll take your help feedback (thanks for the detail!) directly to the folks who work on help. I would prefer the option to open help in the IDE as well. One workaround, though. Right click on the toolbar inside VS2010 and select "Web" and it'll bring up IE inside VS. Then you click websearch or anything that'll make the URL box pop up and you can navigate help inside VS2010. Kind of hacky, but I'm going to ask around and see if there's a better way.

RickH - With VS2010 and Office 2010 you can install in whatever order you want. The installers (and especially the uninstallers are WAY more friendly than before.) However, I'd install VS2010 and just do a full install (or remove C++ to save space). That'll install everything you need for Office dev, except Office. Then install Office 2010 RC. When Office releases you can uninstall it and then install the final version.

Also, everyone. From a CPU point of view, there is only one version of Visual Studio. You can make x64 or x86 apps with VS. The VS IDE is 32-bit but the tools are both. For more details, read Why is there no 64bit version of Visual Studio?.

Hope this helps.
April 14, 2010 7:26
Scott I´ve always wondered if the C# compiler is as sequential as it seems. It does not matter if the processor is faster (or you have more than one) or you have more memory, the difference is not that big. ¿Do you have some info on this? Do you have some tips on how to reduce build times?

So far I have changed project references to assembly references and worked on different disks to avoid other programs and Windows playing on the same disk as the compiler.

Any other ideas/tips on the subject? ¿Any improvement in VS 2010?

April 14, 2010 8:01
I have just downloaded and installed VS2010 Premium using the Web Installer available through my MSDN subscription. When I try to access product keys either under the DVD or web installer versions, I see that the keys are listed as "this product is pre-pidded". Yet when I launch the application, I get a message that I'm using an evaluation copy that will expire after 28 days. I am confused... How can I get a key to register my installation?
April 14, 2010 9:02
Arthur - I'm told that they are updating some text stuff on MSDN Subscriptions to make it clearer. As I understand, the Web Installer is a trial, and your keys will be up soon. You've got 30 days, so don't worry. However, the ISOs *are* pre-pidded, so *if you want* (you don't have to) you can download an ISO and run the setup. It'll have a new choice, "Activate" and won't need to run the whole thing and you'll be activated. Sorry for the confusion. I'm pushing them to clear it up as best I can.

Flaker - You could try using MSBuild in multi-processor if you have a large solution?
April 14, 2010 9:05
Scott -

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll definitely give it a try.

I do have to say that other than my complaint about the help system, this version of VS is a huge step forward. One of my main projects is a data analysis app where I'll be able to enable multi-threading support simply by replacing one for loop with Parallel.For. I can't wait to get elbows deep in all of the cool stuff that you guys have delivered.
April 14, 2010 9:08
Michael - If you're doing parallel stuff, be sure to read and drink in this epic whitepaper on "Patterns for Parallel Programming: Understanding and Applying Parallel Patterns with the .NET Framework 4." It's really extraordinary.
April 14, 2010 10:05
okay, so are you the new Scott Gu now? ;)
April 14, 2010 10:08
Murtaza - LOL! Only when ScottGu is out of town! ;)
April 14, 2010 11:15
Ben - If you want to hide the menu in Visual Studio, there's a lightweight add-in that'll do that: Hide Main Menu in VS2010
April 14, 2010 13:58
MSDN Subscriber Downloads now shows products keys for Visual Studio 2010 Professional and Premium but NOT for Ultimate or Team Foundation Server versions??

Web installs also now shows product keys for activating the products from trial to non-trial versions.

April 14, 2010 14:06
Hi, still slightly confused about the trial version. I hope I'm not just repeating a previous question but I would like some clarity concering the evaluation edition. I believe people asking about the evaluation were referring to the Professional Edition? I've just downloaded 'Visual Studio 2010 Express. I'm wanting to use this for non-commercial use. Mainly to learn Framework 4. After I started it it said it was for evaluation use only and I had around 30 days left. I then registered the product but after entering the key I think it said something along the lines of 'This Product Key will not extend the trial period'. What's the story here? For the Express Edition I thought it was a free tool for non-commercial use. Like for hobbyists etc.

So basically what I'm asking is is there a free version of Visual Studio I can use for learning purposes?

An answer to this would be highly appreciated.


April 14, 2010 15:38
I just installed Visual Web Developer Express 2010 and when trying to install Silverlight 4 Tools give me an error:

"Visual Studio 2010 RC or Visual Web Developer Express 2010 RC or Visual Phone Developer Express 2010 that matches the language version of Silverlight Tools 4 must be installed before installation of Silverlight Tools can continue."

Where can I find Silverlight 4 Tools that work with VWD Express 2010?

April 14, 2010 16:24
I have MSDN Pro only so I could burn lets say VS2010 Pro + aspnet 4 and stuf like that to DVD and snail mail it to you, for like the price of Venti Latte to cover DVD cost and Mailing if you like, of course I could not do this all the time, perhaps there is a local Partner you could team up with to provide you this service,

If I wanted to see an example in the help system side by side with code I would drag the help window out of the text editor to that secondary monitor and dock it there. Now with entirely browser based help and no option to integrate it into the IDE my maximized browser window now overlays my maximized VS window. If I drag my browser to the secondary monitor so that I can see the code window and the help side by side it means that when I want to use my browser for something other than help, you know, like for browsing the internet, it's tucked over on the side rather than maximized where I normally keep it.
April 14, 2010 19:14
Oh! you are the man. And here I was expecting something new in VS2010 to use more cores during the build process. Thank you Scott.
April 14, 2010 19:50

No windows mobile support !?
Should go to Android or Apple....

Verry disapointed.
April 15, 2010 0:40
So I'm a Certified Partner with a Custom Development Competency. I believe I'm supposed to have access to the Premium download. But in the MSDN subscription download page, I only have access to the Professional Version. The Premium download say "unavailable." What gives?
April 15, 2010 4:41
Well, got the latest VS 2010 Pro. It looks nice and is a bit faster (when editing C++ code), but other than that, I'm not too pleased with it. First, I'm writing a compiler for my studies. I had spent 8 hours building custom build rules for VS 2008 pro, and they worked beautifully. So I upgraded my project to VS 2010, but it failed conversion because it didn't like the build rules. So I had to manually edit my project file and remove all references to the build rules, only to find that you completely removed the Custom Build Rules... interface in VS 2010. If you ask me, this is a HUGE step backwards. During installation, my Vista SP2 (fully updated) computer blue-screened twice. Now, Help doesn't work. Firefox is my default browser. I selected to use online help, but help is telling me "There is no default browser configured on this machine. Help cannot be displayed until a default browser is installed/configured." Can't you guys get your act together on the biggest flagship developer product ever??? I mean c'mon, IE is on every Windows system (in one form or another). In addition, I just checked my Firefox settings, and IT IS THE CURRENT BROWSER. So what's the problem here? I can't say that I'm as delighted as I thought I would be about VS 2010. At least it looks nice.
April 15, 2010 20:05
Wonder if theres a 64 bit version available?
April 15, 2010 21:13
(The good and the bad. first the good):

What an awesome product! Really, I love Visual Studio, and 2010 is the best release yet. I can't say enough good about. The exensibility, the user experience, the performance, dogfooding WPF and MEF. Wow!!

Now the bad:
What's up with the Help? the MSDN library stuff is major step backwards in my eyes. I used to use the local help -- the "index", with its incremental searching and filters (scope to c#, etc) was indispensible -- it was like intellisense for help!

The "replacement" IE based help falls flat, and it will do so until it has filtering and incremental searching. I used to be able to fly to the topic I needed, nowadays, I find that my best bet is to use G** (another leading search engine)**

There is a lot of feedback about this issue on teh MS Connect site. I hope that Microsoft is able to take corrective action. The connect entry is here:
April 15, 2010 21:34
Let's see:

1.) Install 2 hours and counting on VISTA 64 with 4 Core 2.8 GHZ Processor (3 restarts BTW)
2.) Noticed unselected options installed anyway

I am holding out hope that this is worth it....
April 15, 2010 21:47
Daily: Here is why there is No 64-bit Visual Studio.

JM: Ya, I agree the new Help is not doing it for me. I'm going to take all our Help-related feedback to the folk in charge. Feel free to email me details or opinions if you like.

DiscoveringCode: Email me and let's talk. Your build rules should have upgraded automatically, and while the UI is removed (lots was rewritten) they are easier to make by hand because of MSBuild. Email me and we'll work it out.
April 15, 2010 22:06
Hi Scott,

When will the the retail boxed versions be available to buy? I'm not an MSDN subscriber, and I have £700 burning a whole in my pocket. lists the release date as 31 May (US site lists it as mid June), is this correct?

April 15, 2010 23:50
Can you buy it from here?
April 16, 2010 0:33
FYI to everyone, all versions have keys on MSDN now.
April 16, 2010 1:14
Scott, that link you sent ( only has upgrade/renewal versions, and even those are pre-orders only.
April 16, 2010 4:25
Scott - New help system

I was going to comment negaitively about the new Help system as it did look like it was a huge step backwards as others have commented, however I have spent a bit of time using it and it does have a number of strengths compare to other versions.

From within the Visual studio IDE, I have found that the new help is proving to be more acurate for context sensitive "F1" help, selecting an object then hitting "F1" is bringing up the correct help about that object. Compared to VS2008 help I have found this to be a big improvement.

I also like the updating features for local help that has been delivered, keeping the local help updated for offline use has improved significantly.

Starting help outside the IDE however and using the help system for general non-context sensitive help is frustrating and less than desirable, in fact so far I have not found anything that I have searched for, basicaly without filtering features the help system is not getting enough information from me to determine what I am looking for.

I probably need more time to evaluate the help system during development, however I do agree with others that filtering appears to be the weak point for general help queries.

April 16, 2010 10:29
Just wondering if it is possible to download the ISO's for the express editions e.g. Visual Web Developer 2010 Express? This would make it easier to install on multiple machines. When using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer I couldn't see an option to save an ISO or setup file. Thanks.
April 16, 2010 11:54
Rob - Sure, go to and select Offline Install.
April 16, 2010 14:50

Excellently detail info! Thanks.

One question - What is difference between .NET Framework 4 full and .NET Framework 4 client profile ? So when I need to deploy my VS2010 program on client machine, do I only require to install .NET Framework 4 client profile? Basically I m confuse ... :-)
April 16, 2010 21:56
One question - What is difference between .NET Framework 4 full and .NET Framework 4 client profile ? So when I need to deploy my VS2010 program on client machine, do I only require to install .NET Framework 4 client profile? Basically I m confuse ... :-)

The Client Profile is a smaller installation of .NET for running most desktop applications. Client Profile has limited developer tools and no server side only components for that you need .NET Framework 4 (aka Full). VS2010 requires the Full framework. For more information on Client see
April 17, 2010 1:06
Anyone now when the free MSDN library for VS2010 will be available?
April 17, 2010 9:41
Thanks a million Scott!!!! I'm up and running smooth as glass .... Wow my best image effort to date I consider this a real success, especially since I've got BETA Office2010..... Off we go new stuff, looks great so far lots of the authentication is taken care of right up front which is real sweet :) Thanks again, Rick

April 19, 2010 8:07
Thanks Aaron for info on .NET Framework 4 ... It will really help me.
April 19, 2010 23:49
Scott - Thanks for the tip on the video drivers.

Turning off hardware acceleration fixed the visual glitches, but seemed to cause ReSharper 5 to hang in various places.

I replaced the built-in Windows 7 driver with the Vista driver from Asus, and it looks like it works fine with acceleration turned on. It also increased my 3D-WEI from 2.0 to 4.5, so it must be doing something right!
April 20, 2010 3:57
Nice blog, Scott. I'll use this to show people when they ask what 2010 brings us :)
April 20, 2010 20:32

First many thanks to you and your efforts. I appreciate your dedication and many contributions to the community.

I'm hoping you can point many of in the right direction with regards to the new Help System in VS 2010. I am not able to see the wisdom of the change. I, and others like me it seems, rely heavily on the offline MSDN Library as viewed via the Microsoft Document Explorer. The absence of the offline MSDN Library with the VS 2010 release seems to be a huge oversight. It's like being at an all you can drink kegger without a tap, or even an ice-pick for that matter. Granted the Document Explorer was not the greatest of tools and had much room for improvement, but it does provide some useful functions which have become engrained in many of our daily workflows.

I know you strive for and reagard super ninja efficiency, so please tell us. What replaces the ability to run the MSDN Library for Visual Studio 200x and do things like Alt+I (Index), Alt+L (Look for), start typing the name of an assembly, and using the auto-lookup to get rapid access to member documentation, examples, etc. Even AJAX auto-complete on the MSDN website would help to fill the gaping hole left by the absence of this much used and widely downloaded product.

If you don't have a remedy, can you point us to someone who might?


Sean Woodward
April 20, 2010 23:36
Is it possible to use both VS2008 and VS2010 on the same project/solution at the same time? We have a small team here that is pretty eager to upgrade to 2010 but, we have a contractor that does some work with us and upgrading is a little cost-prohibitive for him. I noticed in one of your posts, you mention that you keep two project files "foo.2010.csproj and foo.2008.csproj". Does this allow for both versions of VS to work on the same project? If so, would you mind elaborating on the process a little?

April 21, 2010 0:47
Ken - yes, as long as you target 3.5 or below, you can share source, build 3.5 apps and just maintain two project files.
April 21, 2010 0:47
Sean - I'm looking into it.
April 22, 2010 9:04
What about SQL 2008 Business Intelligence Project Templates in VS 2010?
April 22, 2010 20:31
We are programming in Silverlight 3 and here is my experience with VS2010.
I am using a Dell Precision 690 with 4 GB Ram with an SSD Drive for my data.

The UI Editor is a good start. If the interface is fairly simple, I don't even have to use blend. The UI Editor is slower than Blend, but it works with Visual Source Safe and you don't loose your work because your forgot to do the saving game.

Error reporting for XAML problems is still vague. You have to look at the different errors reports in Visual Studio and Blend XAML designers to figure out what is going on. If it compiles and runs you have to look at the different errors when you run from a file location versus through IIS. These problems are a carry over from VS2008.

The ide is more stable, but slower than VS2008. The compiler for Silverlight is horribly slow for large projects. In the RC we were getting compile times that were twice as fast and were disapointed to see that the release is now slower than VS2008. We converted a large project from WinForms that compiled in 3 minutes to Silverlight that takes 20 minutes to compile. When we started using SSD Drives, our times went down to 7 minutes. We have looked at disabling the Virus Scanner, played with the VS options for the Build and Run, changed the process Priority to High, tried ReadyBoost, tried putting all of the output folders for the assemblies in the same directory and we are unable to increase our speed any further. When we run the system monitor nothing appears to be maxed out.

Visual Studio is a great product and is very powerful, but the speed has really hampered our productivity!

April 23, 2010 19:23
I am very disappointed that MS will not be supporting smart device projects. Developing for a phone is one thing, people update them all the time, but many smart devices are depreciated over 5+ years. My customers are using Symbol 9060 and 9090 handheld bar code devices. These devices are 3K+ at their config level and run WM 2003 or WM2005. They will not be moving off of them for many years to come. So, I cannot move my toolset, I need to keep yet another version of dev studio on my machine (I have VS 6.0, 2005, 2008 and now 2010!). Independent consultants have to support their customers, it would be awesome to be able to remove 2005+2008 from the mix here, and enjoy the new toolset.
April 27, 2010 19:26
I can't believe no one has written about the absolute, greatest, #1 feature of VS 2010.

Recent Projects, right click on project, 'Remove From List'.

This sure beats the other methods of removing the project folder, or editing the registry MRU!
April 28, 2010 8:34
Dave - Stay tuned. I'm talking to those guys trying to get some details on .NET CF and its the future.

April 28, 2010 23:37
Got a help system update coming end of this week that will help.
April 29, 2010 2:26
Compact Framework Support - I agree with Dave, that we have a number of projects that we need to support for customers that will hang around for a few years, this will not change as the customers have no desire to change devices and scanners. Because I have been able to convert all other VS projects to 2010, I will have to leave VS2008 installed only to support CF projects. While having both VS versions installed is not a showstopper, It would be significantly better to have the support in VS2010.

Gary identified a feature that I did not notice regarding clenaing up old solutions from the Start page: "Open Project", "Open Containing Folder" and "Remove From List" - a great improvement indeed!

Another big improvement is single line properties - public property Message as string - this is a huge productivity improvement for me - the only niggle is that intelisense does not pickup the hidden variable _Message.

May 01, 2010 0:22
Here's an update from the Help Team for folks who want to use a common network share for VS2010 help to save bandwidth. Much bigger and cooler Help updating coming on Tuesday.
May 04, 2010 18:37
Thanks for keeping us posted. Many of us are bemoaning the loss of the better, old MSDN. Really, what was the help team thinking?


Sean Woodward
May 12, 2010 4:49
Any chance you could get ROCKSCROLL working with 2010 or RELEASE THE SOURCE CODE PLEASE???
May 14, 2010 17:33
Why did the default colour theme for VS 2010 have to be so hideously ugly? Why put all that work into making the most advanced IDE ever, and then present it with a look that screams "we didn't care"?

VS 2008

VS 2010

On mere appearance, anyone would be prone to thinking 2010 was dug up out of yesteryear while 2008 was the newer example.
An official facelift patch would be nice, if just the 2008 look was applied to 2010.
May 14, 2010 21:54
David C: You can totally make your own theme with the Visual Studio 2010 Color Editor.
May 19, 2010 8:09
i've been using rockscroll ever since it came out, now visual studio 2010 feels incomplete without it! is there any chance of having it on visual studio? I tried Overview Margin but its not as nice/complete as rockscroll.
May 26, 2010 8:35
Quote from Scott - "WebForms now lets you create clean markup (no more tables) that's semantically correct and CSS-friendly, even for "legacy" controls and clientids that you control."

So far, I have only found that the asp:Menu webform control has the option to output not as a table. The other controls are all outputting as tables... such as the calendar, gridview etc.

Scott, do you know why nothing is output as div's?

Also, I was really hoping that the App_Themes css functionality would be updated because currently it is broken. In the Visual Studio 2010 Design View, the css style sheets are not applied. They are only applied when actually running the web page on the browser. If you manually put the references to the css files on the Master page, you do see the application of the css files but in the browser the css is duplicated when using Firebug etc. in Firefox. The real solution is to apply the style sheets in the App_Theme to the Design View.
June 09, 2010 22:01
As a programmer that writes cross platform open-source software that runs on all flavors of Windows as well as Linux and Mac, I was wondering if there is a discounted version of VS2010 that is for non-commercial use only. Kind of like a "VS2010 Open-Source Edition"? I'm currently running VS2003 and frankly don't want to pony up a lot of bucks since the code I write is all free stuff.
Kevin P
June 09, 2010 23:52
Kevin, sure, use the free Express versions of VS2010, they are free.
June 10, 2010 2:49
Hi Scott,

RE: fatal error C1083: Cannot open include file: 'afxwin.h': No such file or directory

Thanks for the tip on using the Express version. I went ahead and uninstalled VS2010 Beta and installed the Express version. Unfortunately now I can't compile any of my OS projects since it doesn't seem to have MFC & ATL included. Do you know of any way to have MFC & ATL with the Express version?

June 10, 2010 4:07
Kevin - I'm looking into this.
June 24, 2010 6:10
Hi: Could you please elaborate on how to maintain two VS solutions at the same time (foo.2010.csproj and foo.2008.csproj). Thanks.
July 02, 2010 2:28
I use visual studio to make my own them just like you recommended. Thank you
July 03, 2010 10:11
I use Visual Studio 2010 express and whenever I open the development enviroment, after about 15minutes it starts too lose focus. all windows lose focus actually, while writing this comment, I had to click in the window 2 times to be able to complete it.. what the heck is wrong with visual studio?
September 15, 2010 21:45
i want free MSDN for visual studio 2010.anyone tell .from where whom i download it.
October 06, 2010 2:58
Here's hoping that:

1. It's faster
2. The UI doesn't have a "flicker fit" whenever a panel is moved
3. The wasteful toolbar UI metaphor is ditched
4. There are fewer modal dialogs
5. Scaffolding creation is a snap
6. The screen redraws correctly better than 50% of the time when a panel is resized
7. The number of menu items is reduced by half
8. The setting dialogs have been over the desk of a usability expert
9. File renames are case-sensitive
10. Solution tree manipulation doesn't suck
11. Attempting a code change whilst in debug mode does something sensible
12. Installation doesn't take half a day

Unfortunately I think I know the answer to many of these already. I mean what other major software product in 2010 has 2 years between major releases of a piece of software and then will not work seamlessly with existing projects created in the previous version?
stop smoking help

December 21, 2010 8:24
Hi Scott,
I'm primarily a MS Office (Word/Excel and Powerpoint) developer, and realised the time has come to move most of my addins to compiled code. My releases span from Office 2000 through to 2010, and most of my customers are running Office 2003 and 2007.

Could you confirm, before I buy:
1. I can create applications with VS2010 for Office 2007 and Office 2010 applications. Do I need to choose .NET 3.5?
2. I need VS2008 to creates applications to run with Office 2003; and if this is so, where do I go to get it?

And if you can point me the direction of a good introduction site for VBA developers transitioning to VS that would be awesome.

Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.