The January Customer Technology Preview of Visual Basic 9.0 (codename: Orcas) has been made available at the following linq (uh, I mean link): http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/future/.  For those of you who are well underway with Visual Studio 2005 and all of its great new features and are wondering where Microsoft is headed next, to improve your Software Development lives, then you're going to want to spin up a virtual machine and look at VB 9 and more specifically the LINQ technology.  For those who don't already know about LINQ (Language INtegrated Query), in brief it is: an upcoming technology to unify, or maybe simplify is a better word, the ways that we search for data with .Net applications, including: SQL Data Sources and XML Data Sources.  Those of you, who were lucky enough to attend the PDC last fall, have seen demonstrations of the technology already.  For those who have not, check out the MSDN TV show around VB9 features and LINQ at http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdntv/episode.aspx?xml=episodes/en/20060112vbasicas/manifest.xml.

~ Robert