If you want to get a head start on what features are coming in Orcas (the next version of Visual Studio), I highly recommend checking out Scott Guthrie's post. Scott recently returned from Europe where he delivered talks on many the new features (particularly those related to ASP.NET development) which he discusses in this post.

Below is a summary of the features that Scott covers.

  1. Multi targeting. You can create .NET Projects that target 2.0, 3.0 or 3.5. You can even upgrade existing projects.
  2. Rich HTML / CSS Designer. Orcas comes with a brand new (and greatly improved) HTML and ASP.NET designer that contains a boat load of enhancements.
  3. ASP.NET AJAX. Orcas comes fully integrated with ASP.NET AJAX out of the box including Javascript intellisense and richer debugging.
  4. LINQ. Orcas has built in LINQ (Language Integrated Query) support. Basically this means querying has become a full fledged member of the .NET Framework. No more writing manual sql queries and then having to bind the data yourself, LINQ does it all for you. And you get full intellisense!
  5. ORM. Orcas includes an ORM tool for mapping your domain objects to the database.

In his post you can also find several links to presentations, videos and other posts that delve further into each of the topics.

Don't miss this!