Performance problems delay Visual Studio 2010 release

Microsoft has pushed back the original March 2010 release date and is extending the beta period

Beset by performance issues, Microsoft has decided to extend the beta testing period for its upcoming Visual Studio 2010 software development platform and will postpone the planned March 22, 2010, launch date by a few weeks, a Microsoft executive said in a blog on Thursday.

Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 and a beta of the accompanying .Net Framework 4 programming platform both shipped in October.

[ The InfoWorld Test Center recently gave a thumbs-up to the second beta of Visual Studio 2010 ]

The reason for the delay: performance issues identified by beta testers, said S. Somasegar, senior vice president of the Microsoft developer division, in a blog entry: "You have ... given us feedback around performance issues, specifically in a few key scenarios including virtual memory usage. As you may have seen, we significantly improved performance between beta 1 and beta 2. Based on what we've heard, we clearly needed to do more work. Over the last couple of months, our engineering team has been doing a push to improve performance."

As a result, Microsoft has extended the beta period to include an additional interim checkpoint release, a release candidate that will be publicly available around the February 2010, Somasegar said. "The [Visual Studio] team will need some time to react to that feedback before creating the final release build. We are therefore moving the launch of Visual Studio 2010 and .Net Framework 4 back a few weeks," he said.

An industry analyst stressed the importance of Microsoft ensuring that its Visual Studio upgrade works properly, no matter how long that might take. "While delays are always disappointing, given Visual Studio's importance for much of the product lines in [the company's server and tools business] -- .Net, Silverlight, Azure development, and good old fashioned Web development -- it's worth biting the bullet and taking however long is needed to get it right," said analyst Michael Cote of RedMonk.

Another analyst said the delay was not a surprise.

"Visual Studio 2010 is an ambitious major release of the product and much of its new technology such as the move to a [Windows Presentation Foundation-based] IDE, requires a lot of system resources," said Rob SanFilippo, analyst with Directions on Microsoft. The delay, if only a few weeks, will not have much impact, SanFilippo said. "If there's a further slippage, my concern would grow," he said.

Visual Studio 2010 is set to serve as a lynchpin for developing Microsoft SharePoint-based collaborative applications. It also has boasted a slimmed-down SDK and interoperability between Visual Basic, C#, and dynamic languages. Other capabilities include historical debugging and Silverlight rich Internet application development.

The 2010 version of Visual Studio also is positioned as a platform to use for developing for Windows 7 and the Windows Azure cloud platform. It also supports software processes with Microsoft's Team Foundation Server application lifecycle management server. Multi-monitor support also has been touted for Visual Studio 2010. .Net Framework 4 was to feature SharePoint capabilities and a reduction in size.

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