We are now about 77 days from the November 7, 2005 launch of Visual Studio 2005, one of the most significant releases in the history of the Developer Division.  We have been releasing Community Technology Previews regularly since Beta 2 and will have one coming out in August as well.  I wanted to take a moment and update you on our progress towards shipping the final product.

 

In September, we will release another milestone in the lead up to launch with the delivery of the first Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate (“RC”).  Visual Studio 2005 RC1 offers significant enhancements and greater quality over our previous Beta releases.  This is when we go into “escrow mode”.  RC will be made available to our MSDN subscribers, early adopters, and beta customers.

 

To reiterate, Visual Studio 2005 enables what I call “personalized productivity”.  Visual Studio 2005 offers a host of productivity improvements that will ease the development of Windows, Web, Office, and mobile solutions while reaching out to a wider variety of roles and skill-sets. The Visual Studio Express Editions, for example, will enable hobbyists, enthusiasts, and students to learn how to program and code for fun.  In addition, Visual Studio Team System expands the Visual Studio product line with software lifecycle tools that enable teams to communicate and collaborate more effectively throughout the software development process.

 

Simultaneously with Visual Studio 2005 RC1, we will also release Beta 3 of Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server (TFS). TFS is Microsoft’s server-based product for team collaboration and is part of the Visual Studio 2005 wave of products. 

 

TFS Beta 3 will include a Go Live license along with technical support for Premier customers, enabling organizations to begin deployment of their Team System collaboration tools immediately.  The Go Live license will also enable us to solicit an additional round of feedback from customers prior to shipping.  We have received fantastic feedback from customers, partners, and our own internal use so far.  Over the next several months, I want to encourage you to exercise TFS under your real-world conditions and send us feedback via the MSDN Product Feedback Center.

 

At Visual Studio 2005 launch, we will continue supporting TFS Beta 3 with the rest of Visual Studio 2005.    Further, all data within TFS Beta 3 will migrate seamlessly and in-place to the final version of TFS.  We will ship TFS in the first quarter of 2006.

 

As I mentioned above, Visual Studio 2005 is slated to launch on November 7, 2005 in San Francisco.  Immediately following that main launch event, we will hold 90+ additional launch events around the world.  I encourage you to attend your local launch events, learn from Microsoft experts on-site, win some great prizes, and even get free copies of Visual Studio 2005.

 

This is going to be a fantastic launch with great support from our partners.  I want to thank you all very much for your support and advice throughout the release cycle for Visual Studio 2005.  We’re proud of the work we’ve done, and we sincerely hope you will be as well.

 

Namaste!