I am in the middle of a vacation to sunny, hot and humid North Carolina, but I had to take a break from it to make note of the impressive set of new bits there are to play with... 

 

Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5

image Most importantly, we released VS 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 release Beta 2.   This is a MAJOR step toward shipping.   We'd love you to try out the products and give us your feedback... it is much cheaper for all of us if we can fix any issues you run into now before RTM.  You can download the Visual Studio 2008 product here.  You can alternatively download the smaller VS 2008 Express Editions here.  For production environments, you can download just the .NET Framework 3.5 Beta2 runtime here.
Note, I strongly suggest you follow the Installation Notes on Scott's post...

A few ideas of areas I am personally involved in where we'd love your feedback:

1. Try the out project migration... Try out your biggest, most complicated VS 2005 project.   Just open a copy of it in VS 2008 and make sure you are targeting .NET Framework 3.5.  Everything should be working on your app... we'd love to hear about any issues you run into there. 

 

2. Try out Multi-targeting... This is the first release we have offered a multitargeting story.  You should be able to work on a project that targets .NET Framework 2.0, .NET Framework 3.0 (what ships with Vista) or .NET Framework 3.5 from VS 2008.  I'd love if you could give that a try.  Does everything work as you'd expect?  Can you deploy from VS2008 to a hoster running .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.0?  

 

3. ASP.NET AJAX support...  I know there is a huge number of ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 users out there and we want to make sure you have the most seamless experience possible.  I think you are going to get a kick out of the new CSS support, new Web Designer, and nested master page support, not to mention the kick new kick butt JavaScript Intellisense and JavaScript debugging.  Give all of those a try and let us know what you think.  Also it would be great to get feedback on project migration (from ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 in VS 2005 to .NET Framework 3.5 in VS 2008.   You should also be able to use ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 in VS 2008 via the multi targeting support (with this one little fix) ..

 

4. Linq, Linq, Linq everywhere... Linq is truly a headliner feature for .NET Framework 3.5 and VS 2008... if you have not already, try porting some of your ADO.NET or XQuery code over to Linq... Also be sure to try out the new LinqDataSource in ASP.NET..

 

5. Application Services... Try out building a client application (WinForms or WPF) that leverage Authentication, Profiles and role management services from ASP.NET... We are exposing them as web services so that anyone can access the from any application.  The idea is that once you have an ASP.NET site up and going, make a client app that shares the same back end is easy.    See my blog post for more information.

6. "Go Live"... We'd love for you to test out, then deploy .NET Framework 3.5 based applications on some limited production machines.  Now is the time for us to get any feed back about how .NET Framework 3.5 works in production environments.  We are already working with major internal Microsoft partners on some "go-live" with these bits and we'd love to see other sites go live as well. If you do go-live with a .NET Framework 3.5 based site or application send me mail, i'd love to blog about it here! 

 

Silverlightimage

As if that is not enough, we also r eleased the RC of Silverlight 1.0 and a refresh of Silverlight 1.1 to keep current.  We are close to locking down the 1.0 release, so any feedback you can give us would be great.  Tim Sneath has some great information about it here... One of the important elements of this is that it has a go-live license so you can start to deploy real production solutions... If you have those, send me a link and I will blog as many as I can! 

 

ASP.NET Futures

To co-inside with the Silverlight and VS 2008 updates we are also releasing an update to our ASP.NET Futures release which includes direct support in ASP.NET for Silverlight (asp:Media and asp:Xaml). 

While this release is just a refresh to keep up with Silverlight and VS 2008,  we want to share with you information about some of the changesimage in the new release:

- ASP.NET Media  and Xaml controls:

  • The client-side JavaScript types “Sys.Preview.UI.Xaml.Control” and “Sys.Preview.UI.Xaml.Media.Player” have undergone changes to simplify the models and remove where possible any unnecessary wrapping of the Silverlight host APIs.
  • New scenarios have been introduced for the (XAML) Media skins and their client-side JavaScript:
    New buffering support and feedback has been added in all relevant Media skins
    Download progress support has been improved.
    Client-side playlist with the .asx file type support.
    Support for live streaming in the Media skins
  • Bug fixes

- AJAX History and the ASP.NET History control:

  • Support has been added for the Apple Safari browser.
  • Support has been added for the encoding and encrypting of the server-side state.
  • Support has been added to enable history without the requirement for a server-side ASP.NET History control.
  • Support has been added to enable you to specify history “titles”.

- AJAX CSS Selectors:

  • Members have been renamed to match the W3C recommendation.
  • Bug fixes

- AJAX Script Resource Extraction tool:

  • A new tool has been added that lets you extract script resources that are embedded in assemblies. The resulting script files are stored on disk in a folder structure that is understood by the ScriptPath property on the ASP.NET ScriptManager control.

- Quickstarts and Documentation:

  • The quickstarts have been updated
  • More complete reference and new samples have been included.

You can download the latest bits here. The quickstarts are located here.

 

Thanks for all your time... I have been shipping software at Microsoft for 10 years now and I can say with certain that there is no way we could deliver software without the excellent support we get from our early adopters.  You spend your time and effort to make the product better for the 100-fold that follow you.  Thank you.    Please use Microsoft Connect to report any issues, or to suggest improvements.  You are also welcome to comment here or send me an email directly if you'd like.

 

Thanks!