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If you are doing .NET development, you likely know that "Orcas" is the next full release of Visual Studio. This follows Visual Studio 2005, which was code-named "Whidbey/" As a bit of trivia, Whidbey and Orcas are both islands located off the northern cost of Washington state, and they are just Northwest of Seattle.
But, as a developer, you are more likely to be interested in "Orcas" as the next release of Visual Studio .NET rather than as an island. As of this week, Microsoft has released a new Community Technology Preview (CTP) of "Orcas." This January preview is available for download from the Microsoft site. As a nice touch, Microsoft is making this download available as a standard application or as a Virtual PC image.
If you check out the Microsoft site, you can find a list of the key features of Orcas. This includes:
- Support for the new programming language versions
- C# 3.0 including query expressions, object and collection initializers, extension methods, local variable type inference, anonymous types, Lambdas bound to delegates, and expression trees
- Visual Basic 9.0 including query expressions, object initializers, extension methods, local variable type inference, and anonymous methods
- ADO.NET Entity Framework
- LINQ support, including LINQ to Objects API
- Updates to ClickOnce including WPF application support, alternative browser support, and ISV branding
- The LINQ to Objects API
- Office 2007 support (Visual Studio Tools for Office is rolling into the other Visual Studio editions)
- Jscript Intellisense support
- Xlinq support
- Inclusion of SQL Server Compact Edition
- And a lot more
Be aware that if you want to run Orcas, you should have a 1.6 Ghz Pentium III+ or faster machine with a gigabyte of RAM.
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