InfoWorld review: Visual Studio 2010 delivers

A no-brainer upgrade for Microsoft-oriented developers, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 marks a major advance in functionality and ease

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Similarly, ease of development in Visual Studio 2010 rates a 9 out of 10 -- because, after all, it doesn't yet write the code for you. Visual Studio 2008 SP1 got the same 9 in its time, but now it would get an 8. How could we put up with the old IntelliSense? After using the new IntelliSense, I hate to go back to Visual Studio 2008.

There's more documentation in Visual Studio 2010, but it's describing more product. The new help engine is much better than the old one, but that just makes the old one look bad in retrospect. I hate going back and watching the local search grind on the hard disk for several minutes at a time. Now that I've used the new help, the old help would only get a 7.5.

Visual Studio 2010 performance is only slightly better than Visual Studio 2008 performance; the old one was about a 9.1, and the new one is a 9.3. With our convention that component scores must be integers, that difference doesn't show up in the scorecard.

The change in value is a different issue. Visual Studio 2010 has greatly expanded capabilities and a commensurate increase in price. Some of you will gasp at the new pricing. If you or your management falls among this group, try thinking about what your time is worth to your employer -- and don't forget to add health care and overhead costs. If your budget won't cover the upgrade you want, perhaps you'll have to settle for the upgrade you need, which might mean dropping down to a less expensive edition. But a calculation of the ROI for good development tools like Visual Studio 2010 often comes back with a justification for much higher prices than you're emotionally willing to pay.

My company has already decided to upgrade to Visual Studio 2010. We'll keep shipping our product compiled with an older version of Visual Studio until we come out with our own next major product version or we need a compelling feature we can only get from the new frameworks and libraries. But we'll still have the benefits of using Visual Studio 2010 for development. Most likely, your company will want to do the same.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Cost Standard Edition upgrade: $299 (until Oct. 12, 2010); Professional with MSDN Essentials: $799, $549 upgrade; Professional with MSDN: $1,199, $799 upgrade; Premium with MSDN: $5,469, $2,299 upgrade; Ultimate with MSDN: $11,899, $3,799 upgrade; Test Professional with MSDN: $2,169, $899 upgrade
Platforms 32- and 64-bit editions of Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP1), Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 (SP2), and Windows Server 2008 (SP2 or R2)

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