The first beta release of Service Pack 1 for both Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 are available. With Service Pack 1, Visual Studio 2008 introduces new features for targeting Windows, Office, and the Web.

Developers building .NET-based applications will enjoy improved performance in the WPF designer, new components for Visual Basic and Visual C , as well as an MFC-based Office 2007 Ribbon. Web developers will see continued improvement in the client-side script tooling including JavaScript IntelliSense. Additionally, full support for SQL Server 2008, the ADO.NET Entity Framework and performance improvements for the IDE make Service Pack 1 a great release across the board.

Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 includes:

  • Improved designers for building WPF applications
  • Full support for SQL Server 2008
  • The introduction of the ADO.NET Entity Designer
  • Visual Basic and Visual C components and tools (including an MFC-based Office 2007 style 'Ribbon')
  • Improvements to Team Foundation Server to respond to customer feedback on version control usability and performance, improved e-mail integration with work item tracking and full support for hosting on SQL Server 2008
  • Improvements for Web development including richer JavaScript support, enhanced AJAX and data tools, and Web site deployment

The .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 includes:

  • Performance increases between 20-45% for WPF-based applications - without having to change any code
  • WCF improvements that give developers more control over the way they access data and services
  • Streamlined installation experience for client applications
  • Improvements in the area of data platform, such as the ADO.NET Entity Framework, ADO.NET Data Services and support for SQL Server 2008's new features.

In addition, Service Pack 1 for the .NET Framework and Visual Studio 2008 includes a number of new features:

  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Visual Designer Changes
  • .NET Framework 3.5 Client Profile
  • New ADO.NET Data Features
  • Team Foundation Server Improvements

For more information and links to downloads, see the MSDN site Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 Beta Downloads. You’ll also find details about known compatibility issues in certain releases of Expression and Silverlight. For more information about what you'll see in the new releases, see Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 Beta.

Important: SP1 Beta Installation Notes

The SP1 beta released today is still in beta form - so you should be careful about installing it on critical machines.  There are a few important SP1 Beta installation notes to be aware of:

1) If you are running Windows Vista you should make sure you have Vista SP1 installed before trying to install .NET 3.5 SP1 Beta.  There are some setup issues with .NET 3.5 SP1 when running on the Vista RTM release.  These issues will be fixed for the final .NET 3.5 SP1 release - until then please make sure to have Vista SP1 installed before trying to install .NET 3.5 SP1 beta.

2) If you have installed the VS 2008 Tools for Silverlight 2 Beta1 package on your machine, you must uninstall it - as well as uninstall the KB949325 update for VS 2008 - before installing VS 2008 SP1 Beta (otherwise you will get a setup failure).  You can find more details on the exact steps to follow here (note: you must uninstall two separate things).  It is fine to have the Silverlight 2 runtime on your machine with .NET 3.5 SP1 - the component that needs to be uninstalled is the VS 2008 Tools for Silverlight 2 package.  We will release an updated VS 2008 Tools for Silverlight package in a few weeks that works with the VS 2008 SP1 beta.

3) There is a change in behavior in the .NET 3.5 SP1 beta that causes a problem with the shipping versions of Expression Blend.  This behavior change is being reverted for the final .NET 3.5 SP1 release, at which time all versions of Blend will have no problems running.  Until then, you need to download this recently updated version of Blend 2.5 to work around this issue.