We just released a Community Tech Preview download of Visual Studio Orcas Express, the next version of Visual Studio Express. Kudos to Doug for arguably the coolest beta page on MSDN ever (pictured above)
We need your feedback
As John mentions in his post, the big things we need feedback on are the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) designer and the DLINQ designer. In addition we want feedback on meta questions
Meta Question - Compatibility vs Features for Express
Another big question I'd love feedback on is how we handle Express going forward. Express is all about simplicity and the more decisions you provide to users, the harder it is for them to understand what to do.
For the CTP of VB and C# Orcas Express, we chose the third option and support both WPF and Windows Forms. By supporting both, it's caused our download size to go up and the paradox of choice makes Express more complicated than previously when there was only once choice before. Our team has had a lot of debate and the options available are:
VWD Orcas has only one presentation technology so this isn't an issue and C++ does not support WPF so the choices here are just for VB and C#.
Similarly on the data side of VB and C# Orcas Express, we chose the third option
VWD Orcas has only one data technology choice, SQL Server Express, as SQL CE is built and designed for desktop apps while the C++ Express team has explicitly decided to only support SQL Server Express instead of SQL CE.