Amidst other news today, Microsoft announced the Release to Manufacture (RTM) of its Developer tools suite - Visual Studio 2008! People everywhere rejoiced and celebrated this announcement! :)

OK, I'll stop being high with joy...but, as most of you already know, we announced earlier this morning, Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 have been released!

Visual Studio 2008 provides over 200 new features, including…

    • Productivity: Improved language and data features that help developers gain greater productivity in creating modern software
    • Collaboration: Expanded and improved offerings for software development teams, including tools for database professionals and greater collaboration between development organizations and graphic designers
    • Platforms: Tools that speed creation of software and services on the latest platforms, including the Web, Windows Vista, Office 2007, and Windows Server 2008

The .NET Framework 3.5, based on proven technology, adds new features in several major technology areas including:

· Deep integration of Language Integrated Query (LINQ) and data awareness throughout the runtime, compiler, and class libraries. This new feature will let code written in LINQ-enabled languages to filter, enumerate, and create projections of several types of collections using the same syntax.

· Integrated support for Web 2.0 AJAX style applications and services in ASP.NET and Windows Communication Foundation. Providing customers with direct support of REST/POX and JSON support within in their ASP.NET applications.

· New workflow-enabled services technology provides customers with improved and long-running services by adding new Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation tools to simplify building workflow-enabled services.

· Additions to the base class library (BCL) to address some of the most common customer needs, including integration with Event Tracking for Windows and new add in hosting model for extensibility.

Here's more to help you get started:

Visual Studio 2008 Trial Downloads:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/products/aa700831.aspx 

Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit – Now Available!

I am pleased to announce that the Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit has been updated for the RTM and has been released on the Microsoft.com Download Center for anyone to download and use. 

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The Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit contains a full 5-days of technical content including 20 hands-on labs, 28 presentations, and 20 scripted demos.   The technologies covered in the kit include:  LINQ, C# 3.0, VB 9, WCF, WF, WPF, Windows CardSpace, Silverlight, ASP.NET Ajax, .NET Compact Framework 3.5, VSTO 3.0, Visual Studio Team System, and Team Foundation Server. 

Download Now:

You can download the entire training kit from the download center here:  http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=7602397.  The kit is just over 120MB compressed.   After downloading the kit, simply run the installation program to extract the contents to your local machine.  Once the installation process is complete, you will see an HTML page that allows you to navigate through the contents of the kit. 

New Visual Studio 2008 Virtual Lab

One of the hands-on labs from the Visual Studio 2008 Training Kit is now online and available as an MSDN Virtual Lab.   The “Building Web Applications with Visual Studio 2008” lab is available on MSDN Virtual Labs here.  Developers can now get started with VS 2008 in a minute and explore the new CSS and web designer support without having to install Visual Studio 2008 or the complete training kit. 

Visual Studio 2008 Training Workshop Recordings

In September, we recorded the sessions from a full 5-day Visual Studio 2008 Training Workshop.  These sessions were delivered by several of the Technical Evangelists on the Visual Studio Rhythm team and Program Managers from the product group. Today, we have released the recordings from Day #1 of the workshop on Channel9.   Day #1 includes the following topics:

We will be releasing the remaining recordings from the training workshop over the next four weeks. 

Let's get down and dirty with code!!!

-Mithun Dhar

 .Net 3.5, .Net framework