I'm happy to announce that the Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 Beta is now ready for download! MSDN subscribers may download the beta immediately with general availability on Thursday. Service Pack 1 Beta comes with a “go live” license which means you can start using the product for production related work (see the license agreement with the product for more details).

Since the launch of Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4 earlier this year and our subsequent Feature Packs, we have been concentrating on your feedback and worked hard on the issues you reported through Connect and our survey. I just recently blogged about the results from our recent survey and called out some of the latest improvements the team has delivered.  

Service Pack 1 (SP1) continues that momentum of focusing on improving the developer experience by addressing some of the most requested features like better help support, IntelliTrace support for 64bit and SharePoint, and including Silverlight 4 Tools in the box. Some of the additional highlights are:

  • Help Viewer -  The new local Help Viewer is a simple client application that re-introduces key productivity features including a fully-expandable table of contents and a keyword index.  For additional information about these improvements, check out Jeff Braaten’s post here.

 

  • Better platform support - Looking at support of platforms newly-available around Visual Studio 2010 release, we wanted to make small investments to upgrade our support for them. Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010 (with a few updates to RIA Services) is now included in the box along with Silverlight 3 support, underscoring our commitment to that quickly-evolving platform. We’ve also made a number of other targeted changes, including some additional Win7-specific MFC APIs to support use of Direct2D, DirectWrite, and Windows Animation Technologies. There were also a number of areas where you told us we could do better, so we went in and filled some holes:
    • Unit Testing on .NET 3.5 – today all unit tests are run under .NET 4. While acceptable for most users because of the compatibility work we did in .NET 4, this caused problems for some of you with .NET 3.5-specific dependencies.
    • IntelliTrace F5 for 64 bit and SharePoint projects – you’ve told us that IntelliTrace is great, but you want to use it on all the projects you’re working on.
    • Performance Wizard for Silverlight – Similarly, our performance profiling tools are very useful, but you want to use them for your Silverlight development as well. Silverlight projects are included in the Wizard just like your client projects today.
    • VB Compiler runtime switch – This switch will enable Visual Basic developers to target their apps and libraries at platforms where the full Visual Basic Runtime hasn’t traditionally been available.

As an engineering team, the goal for this Service Pack was to work hard on releasing a high quality beta with a focus on only fixing the top-set of important issues we heard about from our customers. Please download the beta and send us your feedback through our Visual Studio Connect site and/or submit your feedback via our Service Pack 1 Beta Survey.

Enjoy!

UPDATE

If you have “ASP.NET MVC 3 RC” installed, please be aware that installing Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta will break Razor IntelliSense.  There will be a new “ASP.NET MVC 3 RC2” installer released next Monday that you can upgrade to in-place. If you’ve already installed Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta, don’t uninstall the Beta Service Pack, just wait until Monday and upgrade your MVC installation.

If you have “Visual Studio Async CTP” installed, please be aware that installing Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta will break Visual Studio Async CTP. We are looking at options for an updated release that will make the Visual Studio Async CTP compatible with Visual Studio 2010 SP1. In the meanwhile if you need to work with the CTP you should stick with VS2010 RTM.