While we've seen several community related projects released last month based on the VS 2008 Shell, just released is the first commercial product based on our free VS 2008 Shell: Ruby In Steel Text Edition by SaphireSteel Software, $49. There are many cool screenshots on the page. You'll see from their requirements at the bottom of the product page that a license copy of VS is not required, an example of how a product can be sold or given away based on the powerful VS 2008 Shell IDE without any VS licensing costs.

Minimum Requirements: Windows XP (service pack 2) or Vista. Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition or above is optional - if you don’t own Visual Studio 2008, Ruby In Steel will install a standalone Ruby-language edition of Visual Studio 2008.

Check out the Ruby In Steel feature list page. Many of the product features are included in the free VS 2008 Shell. This shows how powerful VS 2008 is as a development platform for products and applications based on the free VS 2008 Shell runtime, and why a great 2008 new year's resolution for many developers is to spend more time learning the power of extending VS using the VS SDK. :)

A few excerpts from the InfoWorld article: Ruby on Rails IDE geared to Visual Studio 2008 users:

"We put all our support into Visual Studio so the end-user gets a Ruby-flavored edition of Visual Studio," with its attendant capabilities, Collingbourne said.

Use of the Visual Studio Shell gives SapphireSteel a chance to compete with Eclipse-based IDEs, such as CodeGear's 3rdRail, which also is billed as a Rails IDE, SapphireSteel said.