Yesterday, we signed off on the release of the first CTP for our Rosario release of VSTS.  Rosario, as you may recall, is the code name for the release of VSTS that will follow the VS/VSTS 2008 (Orcas) release.  We have not (and will not soon) be announcing anticipated timelines for Rosario, so for now you'll have to be happy with getting your hands on the bits to play with :)

I believe this first CTP will actually be called CTP8 (that's what we call it internally).  That's because it's the CTP after the 8th iteration of development.  The next CTP will be after iteration 10 and will be in about 3 months.  The primary features in this CTP include new tools for the manual tester and work item linking and hierarchy support.  Over the next few days, I'll pull together a post with the details on what is in the CTP and lay out a more concrete roadmap for what's now finished in Orcas and what's coming in Rosario.

You might say it's odd that we are releasing CTPs of Rosario before we've even shipped Orcas.  You'd be right :)  Historically, we have managed our development cycles pretty serially.  We are trying something new this time.  We have been working on Rosario (to some degree or another) since Sept of last year.  Progress has been dampened by the fact that most of the team has been working on Orcas or the Database Professional release during that time but none-the-less we've made some great progress.  The outcome of this should be a shorter delta between Orcas and Rosario than we've seen between previous releases.  We'll see if that bears out :)

Yesterday, I attended a gathering of the Microsoft field (people who directly work with customers buying and adopting our products).  I spend 3 hours presenting a Rosario roadmap (yes, there's that much to talk about :)) and the response was overwhelming.  They can't wait to be able to talk to customers about this stuff because they find it so compelling.  It was really an energizer for me to see how excited people were about our plans.

Anyway, we'll be announcing CTP availability and a download URL here in the next week or so.  We'll be releasing VPCs for you to try out since we're nowhere near ready for this to be installed in your production environment and we want to make it easy for you to kick the tires.  The release of Orcas Beta 2 is also right around the corner - there's going to be a lot to blog about in the near future :)

I look forward to hearing your early feedback!

Brian