The company also announced public betas of technologies such as ASP .Net Starter Kits, for assisting developers with building ASP applications, and a set of tools codenamed Visual Studio Tools for Office, for adding functionality to the upcoming Office 11 applications suite. The company also provided previews of upcoming versions of Visual Studio .Net, codenamed "Whidbey" and "Longhorn."
Visual Studio .Net 2003 will incorporate offerings such as the Java Language Conversion Assistant, for moving Java applications to .Net. Code protection in the form of obfuscation technology from Preemptive Technologies is included to prevent incidents such as reverse engineering of code.
The 2003 product also features increased productivity for Web services, including the ability to name a Web service. In addition, development for mobile applications, for the Web or for devices, is being enhanced so that it will be similar to development of desktop applications, according to Microsoft.
Debugging is improved via a feature called Intellisense. A UDDI directory server is integrated within Visual Studio .Net 2003.
Eric Rudder, senior vice president of the Microsoft Development Platform Evangelism Division, stressed the company's commitment to price-performance with its development platform.
"We know that the platform provides the best economics," Rudder said. "I'm confident that our platform offers the best price performance over any others," he added.
Visual Studio .Net 2003 is planned for shipment on April 24, when Microsoft ships the next version of Windows Server.
The Whidbey release of Visual Studio .Net is to feature integration with the "
"In Whidbey, we have a renewed focus on ensuring that Visual Basic developers are the most productive developers in the world, while at the same time ensuring that we do not sacrifice the power features that we received in Visual Studio .Net," said AriBixhon, Microsoft lead product manager for Visual Studio.
Beyond Whidbey, the Longhorn release of the development environment is to feature integration with the planned Longhorn version of the Windows OS: new UI tools, designers, and extensive managed interfaces, according to Microsoft.