Visual Studio SDK size reduced tenfold

Microsoft cites the faster installation and extensibility of the slimmed-down Visual Studio 2010 SDK due to be released in March

Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010 SDK has been reduced to 10MB, a tenfold reduction from the 100MB size of the predecessor Visual Studio 2008 SDK, a Microsoft official said on Wednesday.

In a blog entry, S. Somasegar, senior vice president of the Microsoft developer division, cited the streamlining of the SDK down to 10 MB as well as a dramatic reduction in the installation time.

[ Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 features tight linkage with Visual Studio 2010. ]

"We accomplished [the size reduction] by moving the documentation and samples online, which allows us to provide and update content continuously. The SDK's install time has also gone from 20 minutes to just over a minute," Somasegar said.

Currently in a beta release, Visual Studio 2010 is due to be released in March. A key goal of Visual Studio 2010 is extensibility, said Somasegar.

"A main focus for us in Visual Studio 2010 has been to improve not only our APIs, but also the general ecosystem that surrounds extension development. The goal is simple: We want to make the entire process easier, from creation to publishing to consumption," he said.

To build extensions, the SDK features project templates to assist with tasks ranging from adding visuals to the editor to offering menu commands and tool windows.

"The possibilities for extensions are endless," Somasegar said. "Would you like to integrate your team's social networking tools into the editor so you can share code straight from Visual Studio? Build an extension for it.  Want to embed architectural diagrams or TFS (Team Foundation Server) history into the code editor? You can do that.  Don't like the default styles for keyword coloring? Change it with a few lines of code.  With extensions, you can make Visual Studio into your own customized coding power tool."

Extensions are deployed via a VSIX file.

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