I can't believe it's been over a month since my last blog entry. Things have been pretty crazy here. Our team merged with a bunch of great folks over the UK, including Stuart Kent, Gareth Jones and Steve Cook who work on the DSL Tools. Now they are formally known as the Ecosystem Cambridge team. We spent a lot of time over the past few weeks discussing how the newly combined team will work together, and how we can leverage the DSL Tools and the use of graphical models can make extending Visual Studio easier. It's really been quite exciting and overwhelming at the same time! Each member of the Cambridge team has significant experience in the modelling domain, it's really very exciting to have them join our team!

Later this afternoon, we will also be making Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 available to the public. This is a huge milestone! I got to play with it a little bit over the past couple of days and the quality is *much* better than Beta 1. Another piece of good news is that we will also be releasing the VS SDK right upon its heels over the next couple of days. The next release of the VS SDK is very significant, not only because it targets VS 2008 Beta 2, but also because it is the first SDK release that will support the development of Visual Studio Shell (isolated mode). That's right, for the first time, you will be able to use the VS SDK to create your very own custom tools environment, based on the same world-class, best-of-breed, environment that Visual Studio is built on. In fact, yesterday at TechReady5, Ken demo'd an instance of the isolated Shell that had a DSL model running inside of it. This is really very exciting stuff!

Over the next few weeks, other team members and I will be posting more technical information about the VS Shell. Stay tuned!