Over here in Developer Solutions land, we're working hard on delivering the community power toys, solutions (and great Developer Forums!) that focus mainly on Visual Studio 2005, but the rest of the division has been hard at work on both VS2005 SP1 and the next version of Visual Studio, codenamed "Orcas".  Last night I received an email saying that our public September CTP of Orcas has just been released--as a Virtual PC image.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find any blog articles from the team that's working on this, but here's the thinking in a nutshell:

  • Installing CTPs on your machine is a pain--it's pre-release software, and might not be stable.
  • People loved trying out the Whidbey CTPs, but, well, they got sick of flattening their boxes everytime they wanted to install a new build (or get back to even)
  • It was never clear which CTP of Visual Studio would work with which CTP of SQL Server, and that was very, very frustrating.

Want the bits?  Want to know what's in this CTP that's new?  Here's the link to the goods:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=82243606-d16d-445c-8949-9ee8c10cda2e&DisplayLang=en

Be warned...it's a 3,700 MB download (!), and you'll need Virtual PC to run the image.  Virtual PC can be found here:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=6d58729d-dfa8-40bf-afaf-20bcb7f01cd1&DisplayLang=en