Just today some higher ups in my company wanted to know when support for our current products ran out. I did some research on the Microsoft site and found that we were good with Visual Studio 2005 until April 2011. Then the big shots asked me what we should replace our current tools with. I told them if we were to do an upgrade right now, they could purchase Visual Studio 2008. However in a year or two, I would be recommending a move to Visual Studio 2010.
Visual Studio Magazine has written about the work done and plans for Visual Studio 2010. It is to be put into Beta this month (March 2009). The Beta 2 is scheduled for later this year (December 2009).
Microsoft plans to remodel the IDE for Visual Studio 2010. They also are preparing a new code editor for developers. I hear that it is built upon Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). If WPF is good enough for the Visual Studio developers, it might be time to be getting familiar with it myself.
The goal of the new version of Visual Studio is to make application look modern and more intuitive for the users. They did not employ the Ribbon user interface as they did with Office 2007. They instead have focused on Windows 7. There is one change that I am very glad to hear about. Microsoft is bringing back the MFC class wizard. I miss that in Visual Studio 2005. Having spent the better part of a decade using it with Visual Studio 6, this will help my productivity.
MFC may be an old framework. You are not going to get any developer credit by using MFC. However if you know MFC, then you will be productive. And it is good when Microsoft updates and pays attention to the tools and frameworks you need to be productive.
A Little Bit of Crypto - I have been trying to figure out to "collision resistant" some of these standard hash functions are. It is a tough concept to get my head around. I figure...