Microsoft will offer the second beta of its upcoming Visual Studio 2010 software development platform and the accompanying .Net Framework 4 programming platform on Monday and unveil consolidated packaging options for the toolset.
The beta package will be available to MSDN subscribers on Monday and to everyone else on Wednesday. The official launch of Visual Studio 2010 and .Net Framework 4 is set for March 22, 2010, with the technology expected to ship around that time.
[ Microsoft is looking to move legacy users of the Visual SourceSafe version control system to the newer Team Foundation Server. ]
With Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft is enabling it to be used with platforms such as the upcoming Windows 7 OS a well as with the Windows Azure cloud platform. Team capabilities for application lifecycle management also are critical. Multi-monitor support is featured as well.
The second beta adds capabilities for developing applications for the company's SharePoint collaboration platform. Visual Studio features for SharePoint include the ability to build a new SharePoint project and build and deploy SharePoint Web site and the applications behind it.
"All that happens within Visual Studio," said Dave Mendlen, Microsoft senior director of developer marketing. Microsoft on Monday also will roll out the 2010 version of SharePoint at its SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, at which time company CEO Steve Ballmer also will announce the new beta release of Visual Studio 2010 and .Net Framework 4, Mendlen said.
.Net Framework 4 beta 2 also features SharePoint capabilities and reduces the size of the framework itself by 80 percent, Mendlen said. "The end users, the customers of these applications, will have to download a dramatically smaller runtime," resulting in an improved installation process and less time waiting to get an application running, said Mendlen.
SharePoint capabilities in Visual Studio 2010 should help boost SharePoint, an analyst said.
"SharePoint has grown like wildfire, but development of SharePoint applications has not been as easy because of the lack of tooling within Visual Studio," said Mike Gualtieri. senior analyst at Forrester. "Visual Studio 2010 includes tools for SharePoint development that will make it much more easy for developers to create and deploy SharePoint applications. Now Visual Studio developers can target SharePoint as a platform."
There are no plans for a third beta of Visual Studio 2010.
Also on Monday, Microsoft will elaborate on how its Visual Studio platform is being reduced from nine different packaging options to just three primary options.
"The feedback that we've heard from our customers was [nine options] was too complicated," said Mendlen. "There were too many packages to choose from."
The three primary packages, featuring MSDN subscriptions, include: