A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about some announcements we made at TechEd on the next version of Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management.  We did a pretty good overview demo and released a white paper that gave a pretty good overview of the work we are doing.  It was not, by any means, complete.  There’s a lot of stuff we are doing that didn’t get mentioned – because, quite honestly, there’s just too much to talk about in such a short period of time.

For example, one of the things we didn’t talk too much about at TechEd was our work on TFS on Azure.  I wrote a subsequent post talking a bit about some of the progress we’ve made.  But there’s a bunch of new features we haven’t talked about yet either.  Over the next few months, I’ll start to talk more and more about what’s coming and help you get ready for it.

This is going to be another big release for us, but in many ways very different from the 2010 release.  VS ALM has been a very ambitious undertaking.  The scope of it is mind boggling and in the first few releases, we had to work very hard to just cover the bases.  When you look at the 2010, half or more of the work that we did in TFS was transparent to end users.  We worked very hard to make it way easier to install, much more flexible to fit your data center policies (Sharepoint, SQL, network topologies, etc.), more scalable, more manageable, easier for an IT department to “host” it as a service and on and on.  We did some great end user feature work in 2010 too – like branch visualization, agile project work books, work item hierarchy, etc., but not nearly as much as we could have if we were fully focused on that.  We were working hard to remove adoption blockers.  We feel very good about what we accomplished on the infrastructure side in 2010.

As we look ahead to V.Next, we’ve made an explicit decision, other than work to support hosting, to spend most of our investment on direct end user features.  When we previewed our plans with our MVPs earlier this year, their reaction was “this is the best release you have ever done”.  It’s not actually because it has all that much more in it than previous releases but rather that so much more of what is in it directly affects people’s day to day lives.

Over the next few months, I’ll be writing a series of posts that both help explain some of the “why” behind the choices that we’ve made and give a bit more insights into what you might or might not like about it.

I’m also thinking about a post to help you prepare for the next release.  We’ll be making some changes in infrastructure requirements – topologies, supported OSes, Sharepoint versions, etc and I want you to know as far ahead of time as possible so that, as you are planning your infrastructure needs, you know what to plan for.

Brian