Today Microsoft released Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Community Technology Preview March 2004. This is Whidbey in a pre-beta format.
While the public beta is still months away, people at the VSLive! conference in San Francisco received a DVD with this version of the Visual Studio bits. This is a pre-beta version of Visual Studio that is newer than those given out at the PDC last fall, but still not at a level to be called a beta. As usual, subscribers to Microsoft's MSDN Universal subscription also receive access to the bits today. People attending future Microsoft road shows may also receive this CD. It is not expected to be made publicly available beyond that at this time.
In Bill Gate's keynote yesterday, he stated that Microsoft was looking to release updates on a regular basis for Visual Studio 2005. More than one product manager indicated that Microsoft is looking to get feedback from developers so they can continue to evolve and improve this product. It was made clear that they were looking for more than just testers for the product. An interesting side note is that cautions on using this newest release came from at least one person wearing a tag saying Microsoft. They stated that if you do get the bits, you should remember they are pre-beta and subject to crash. A good caution!
Over the next week, I'll be sharing a few of the features and announcements that have been made at VSLive! in regard to Visual Studio 2005 and some of the other products from Microsoft. There are some interesting technologies coming that I believe you will find interesting. This includes Bill Gate's comments on Seamless computing, the launch of Microsoft Speech Server 2004, the unveiling of Windows Mobile 2004 Second Edition, and the release of MapPoint Location Server. Look for articles coming to CodeGuru on all of these including information on tapping into the SDKs and APIs.
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