2005 was a truly exciting year for us here at MSDN Magazine. We launched a new magazine. We covered all sorts of amazing advances for the programmer, courtesy of Visual Studio 2005. We lost a couple of weeks, because of that dodgy falafel cart on 49th Street. (Who knew that health inspection certificates weren't normally written with a Sharpie on a piece of torn cardboard?) One could assume that our plates were full, right?

Wait, don't answer that just yet. We've been covering Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 since its early beta incarnations, and as with all intricate software, features and specifications tend to change somewhat before the final release. That's what betas and community previews are for: gathering information about what works well, what's not as important to users, and what needs a bit more polish.

In some instances, we covered technologies and techniques that later saw some modification before reaching the shrink-wrap stage. Some people might be a bit annoyed if this happened, but not us. Watching products improve and evolve is part of the thrill of getting your hands on an early version. Many readers found bugs that were fixed, benefiting thousands of your peers.

But all this change begs the question of how we keep MSDN Magazine readers updated with the most current information on the final release of Visual Studio 2005. That's where this special edition comes in. We decided that no matter how busy we are, our first priority should be to make sure you have the most timely information.  For that very purpose, we created a special issue of MSDN Magazine. This issue contains the best of our Visual Studio 2005 coverage from the past two years, updated for the final release.  If you're an MSDN Universal subscriber in the US and/or an MSDN Magazine subscriber, you should have received your copy of this special issue in the mail this week (or, if not, you should receive it shortly).  However, just like every issue of MSDN Magazine, we want to make sure that the content is available to all.  As such, it's accessible online as of today.  We also plan to have a PDF of the entire issue available for download shortly.

Enjoy!
Steve

ps Sorry about the big white box on the cover... for whatever reason, the powers that be decided to inkjet the mailing addresses onto the cover of the special issue, rather than polybagging the magazine like we normally do.  And for that, apparently we needed this huge blank space.  Oh well.  What's inside the magazine makes up for it ;)