As widely reported on blogs far and wide, Visual Studio 2008 has been released to manufacturing (or shipped, available, ready to get, etc).  MSDN subscribers can do their part to degrade the global bandwidth supply and get in the download queue via the subscription center, trial editions are available here.  One can also simply get the updated version of the .NET Framework, .NET 3.5 here, and I'd strongly recommend the web setup to only get the bits you need on the machine, and not ones you may already have.

While you're waiting for those bits to get downloaded, you might find yourself with some free time watching the status bar slowly move in the direction of completion.  Maybe I can interest you in some quality work that has been done by my former team (more on that in the next day or two). 

First, I would grab the VS 2008 Training Kit, which consists of a metric boatload of labs, content, presentations and sample code to get you excited.  This is something my colleague, David Aiken, has been hard at work putting together.  In David's words:

The Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Training Kit includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. This content is designed to help you learn how to utilize the Visual Studio 2008 features and a variety of framework technologies including: LINQ, C# 3.0, Visual Basic 9, WCF, WF, WPF, ASP.NET AJAX, VSTO, CardSpace, SilverLight, Mobile and Application Lifecycle Management.

This content was developed over the last few months. As part of the development process, we presented many of the topics to real people we invited to Redmond. In September we recorded these sessions and are making these available on Channel 9. There will be several videos posted each Monday for the next few weeks. Today I posted:

 

 

The Channel9 videos are especially good, these are all various Microsoft folks from the product teams presenting about their individual area of expertise.  I especially recommend the What's new in VB9 and intro to LINQ talk.  There are some pretty cool things in VB9, and I think the XML support is something really cool.  For those of you from the WF world, inside the training kit is a presentation on the WF-WCF integration, as well as a set of labs and demos that walk through simple to complex use cases.

That should be enough to get you through a few hours of downloading :-)

Congrats to all the product teams involved in shipping, it's always incredible to me to see how we actually ship software out of this place (and to get to take part in bits and pieces of it).