Visual Studio

Microsoft released Visual Studio 2008 this year. This release is also known as Visual Studio 9. Plans for the next version of Visual Studio have been shared with the public. This next version shall be Visual Studio 10. According to the InternetNews web site, there are 4 major “pushes” that come with this new version: experience, customer, platform, and architecture.

Visual Studio has grown to much more than just a code compiler. It includes tools to deal with new user interface models like Silverlight. As you may already know, Silverlight is a plugin for web browsers.

A specific change for the next version of Visual Studio is to improve the C++ performance. That is good news to me as I am a C++ programmer. However right now I am still using Visual Studio 2005 (Visual Studio 8). The next version of Visual Studio shall also have a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) editor.

Microsoft is also adding the Visual Studio Extensibility (VAX) to Visual Studio. This includes numerous concepts and components such as the Visual Studio SDK. You can extend the tool using add-ins and packages. Visual Studio will host functional units called packages.

There are some long range ideas for Visual Studio, which may not make it into the Visual Studio 10 release. The tool is to get a WPF look and feel. Instant messaging for users on a team is to be built into the tool. Finally there will be an updated Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA). It is an application customization toolkit based on .NET.