Today, I’m pleased to announce the availability of the beta of Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1.

Based on your feedback, Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 addresses issues that were found through a combination of customer reports, MSDN Product Feedback Center and internal testing.  I know that this Service Pack is a little late in coming.  While I regret that it took longer, we wanted to be as thorough as possible about taking your feedback and decided to take the extra time.  You can find a technical description of some of the fixes included in this service pack and download the beta by registering on the Microsoft Connect Site.  We’ll have the complete list of fixes posted when the service pack releases.  Pending feedback from you on this beta, our plan is to ship the final version in the next 3-4 months. 

The second thing that I’d like to discuss is our support for Windows Vista, which is due to release in the coming months.  Ensuring that VS2005 works well on Windows Vista is a core goal of ours.  Visual Studio 2005 SP1 will run on Vista but will likely have a few compatibility issues.  We are working with the Vista team to understand those, to provide workarounds where possible and also work on providing you with a set of fixes beyond SP1.  We had a choice to make internally – hold up VS 2005 SP1 till we get the fixes in or decouple and ship VS 2005 SP1 as soon as possible knowing that we have to provide fixes for some of those Vista compatibility issues later.  Based on your feedback of having SP1 for VS 2005 soon, we decided to separate the two.  Visual Studio 2005, with its support for the .NET Framework 2.0 and add-ins to support the .NET Framework 3.0, Windows Vista, and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, provides a first-class development experience for developers.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Windows Vista will ship with the .NET Framework 3.0 pre-installed.   We’re also testing to ensure that your .NET Framework 1.1 and 2.0 applications will work on Windows Vista so that your existing applications will continue to run as expected.  However, we will not support Visual Studio .NET 2002 or Visual Studio .NET 2003 as development environments on Windows Vista.  You can continue to use Visual Studio .NET 2002 or 2003 on Windows XP to develop applications that can run on Windows Vista.  Given the customer feedback that we’ve received since the launch of Visual Studio 2005 indicating the manageability of upgrading from Visual Studio .NET 2003 to Visual Studio 2005, we are focusing our efforts on ensuring VS 2005 is a great development platform for Vista.

Previously we announced our support for ensuring the Visual Basic 6.0 runtime and IDE on Windows Vista and we are on track for delivering that support.

Namaste!