Microsoft & .NET.NETComing in 2004 - Microsoft Visual Studio .NET "Whidbey"

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From the July 29th Update newsletter.

Microsoft talked about the next release of Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework today. This version, codenamed “Whidbey”, will contain enhancements that include the following:

  • Support for the latest Web services specifications as well as supporting Web Services Enhancements (WSE) for Microsoft .NET.
  • Enhanced debugging
  • No-touch deployment
  • Edit and Continue
  • Support for 64-bit CPUs (without you needing to make any code changes)
  • New data and user interface controls for Windows Forms
  • New Web controls for data access and visual appearance
  • Deployment enhancements for simpler installations and versioning
  • Extended support for mobile development to the .NET Compact Framework
  • and much more!

The release of “Whidbey” is targeted at the same time frame as the next release of Microsoft SQL Server (“Yukon”). More specifically, it is being targeted at 2004. It is interesting to note that one of the key things Microsoft is doing with “Whidbey” is the exact opposite of what they did with the original release of Visual Studio .NET. Microsoft is not stating that they will focus on building upon the uniqueness of each of the programming languages. The concept of “the programming language just doesn’t matter” did not catch, so now the focus is back to tapping into the best of each language.

Visual Basic will move back towards being more visually oriented. Expect to be able do more with less code. Also expect Visual Basic to handle errors on its own as much as possible. Edit and Continue will return to Visual Basic and easier data access will be added. Although, Visual Basic will be pushed back towards its easier, visual predecessor, advanced features are not being lost. Serious developers will find that “Whidbey’s” Visual Basic adds advancements such as operator overloading, unsigned data types, inline XML-based code documentation, and partial types.

C# will see a number of enhancements in “Whidbey” as well. I’ve talked about a couple of these on the CodeGuru site already. Language enhancements include generics, iterators, anonymous methods, and partial types.

Visual C++ is also going to see a number of changes in the “Whidbey” release. I’ll talk about these more in a future newsletter. One thing that I will mention now is that MFC will be enhanced. “Whidbey’s” Visual C++ will include the ability to extend MFC-based applications so that they will support the .NET Framework.

This only scratches the surface of the changes that are coming in “Whidbey”. In 2005, you can expect the follow-up version, “Orcas”. That, however, is a topic for later as well.

Visual Studio Industry Partner Program

For those of you looking to build products that integrate with Microsoft Visual Studio .NET, you should note that Microsoft has renamed their Visual Studio Integration Partner (VSIP) program to the Visual Studio Industry Partner Program. This program offers an SDK that will allow you to integrate development tools, programming languages, and components with Visual Studio .NET. There are three tiers of membership for this program. The revamped program now provides a free level of membership (called an Affiliate). There is also an Alliance level for $3000 and a Premier level for $10,000. These are annual fees. The fees gain you access to a free copy of MSDN Universal, marketing support, logos, and more.


This article is pulled from the CodeGuru Update weekly e-newsletter from July 29th, 2003. You can subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here. This newsletter provides a weekly update on new articles posted to CodeGuru as well as providing a variety of other information.

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