Ah, launch day... what else would have most of my colleagues sitting in their offices at 12:30 am in the morning on a Monday... and there isn't a single Halo game running!!

So, if you haven't heard... the official site for Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 is now up, featuring a ton of new MSDN features including personalization and the release of our new feedback system that allows you to submit bugs directly into our bug tracking systems, view the status of existing bugs, vote on the importance of bugs submitted by other folks, etc... very cool stuff. Of course, there is also another big announcement; the Express Editions of Visual Basic, C#, C++, J#, and ASP.NET are all now available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/express !! The Express Editions are targetted directly at my favorite audience, the enthusiast/hobbyist/student... which happens to line up perfectly with my column on MSDN, Coding 4 Fun. Just think, even if you aren't a MSDN subscriber, you can go over to http://msdn.microsoft.com/express/vbasic right now, download the beta of the Express Edition of VB and you can build a fully functioning Windows Forms application using the 2.0 version of the .NET Framework... using a full-blown, high-quality IDE... wow. As you can imagine, internally we've known about these Express Editions for a bit now, and I've just been bursting at the seams to talk about it... I think it really makes it easier for folks who want to get into .NET development to get started!

Anyway, check it out... download it... work with it (definitely try the C# and VB Starter Kits, they are very cool...) and let me know what you think!!!

Links of the moment:

Oh, and one other thing... some folks have complained in the past that MSDN is providing too much coverage of 'future' topics like Whidbey and Longhorn, and we certainly understand that concern... personally I've been watching the content on my two sites (/vbasic and /vcsharp) and we've been floating around 90% shipping products, 10% future... which is where I'd like to keep it... but this launch will throw all of MSDN ratios out of whack for a bit as we headline the ton of content that has been written targeting the Beta 1 bits and is all being released at the same time.... my apologies in advance if you are sick of hearing about Whidbey, but rest assured that at least VB and C# will be returning to a more reasonable balance of material in the near future.