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If you create software development tools, you’ll want to consider building on the Visual Studio 2008 Shell. A streamlined Visual Studio development environment, the Visual Studio Shell provides the core foundation so you can focus on building your application’s unique features. Flexible customization options help you deliver optimized experiences for specific markets.
Top 10 reasons to use the Visual Studio Shell:
1. Accelerate time to market. The Visual Studio Shell can save you development time by providing the core infrastructure for your application.
2. Focus on what gives you competitive advantage. The Visual Studio Shell provides the basic foundation so you can focus on your unique application features.
3. Choose your level of integration with Visual Studio. The Visual Studio Shell gives you the option of building an isolated application or integrating with Visual Studio.
4. Gain branding flexibility. You can custom brand the Visual Studio Shell in the isolated mode or choose the integrated mode to provide developers a seamless Visual Studio experience.
5. Provide familiarity. The standardized user interface of Visual Studio speeds the learning curve for developers.
6. Leverage the ecosystem. There are over 10,000 commercial and community applications that integrate with Visual Studio and can be used to build out your application.
7. Use your existing skills. You build your extensions the same way for both Visual Studio and the Visual Studio 2008 Shell.
8. Choose your development tools. You can build your extensions using the .NET Framework, managed languages like C# and Visual Basic, or native languages like C/C++.
Contact your ISV AE for more information.
Don't forget the biggest benefit of being part of Microsoft's partner network: Constant risk of being sued by Microsoft. For those that haven't hear the story, have a look here:
Don't even bother anouncing stuff like that before you have not cleared up that mess. You guys are loosing the little remaining community support you ever got with actions like the one described in the link, you first need to get your act together.
I personally don’t want to comment on this issue as enough is said about this on the blogosphere – I just want to point to the response from the express team