Microsoft Widens Availability of Visual Studio 2008

Microsoft claims Visual Studio 2008, code-named Orcas, contains more than 250 new features and delivers significant enhancements in every edition.

Microsoft has moved to push out the next version of its developer tool set to the community at large.

The software giant on Jan. 29 moved to make Visual Studio 2008 more widely available, announcing Visual Studio 2008's availability for volume licensing, retail and download from the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network).

Microsoft initially RTM (released to manufacturing) Visual Studio 2008 on Nov. 19, 2007. At the time, active MSDN subscribers were able to download the product. Yet, "With its inclusion on the January 2008 volume licensing price list, the product is now available to sell and ship to your customers via Open, Select, Enterprise Agreement (EA), and Full Packaged Product (FPP)," said a post on the MSDN blogs page.

Company officials said Visual Studio 2008, code-named Orcas, contains more than 250 new features and delivers significant enhancements in every edition, including Visual Studio Express and Visual Studio Team System, to enable developers of all levels-from hobbyists to enterprise development teams-to build applications. The new development platform provides a consistent solution for developing applications for the latest platforms, including the Web, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, the 2007 Office system and more, Microsoft said.

Click here to read more about Microsoft's plans for the Orcas IDE.

Visual Studio 2008 also included LINQ (Language-Integrated Query), which enables developers do native queries without the use of specialized languages. Also, VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) is now included in Visual Studio 2008 Professional and Visual Studio Team System. And Visual Studio 2008 builds applications that work with .Net Versions 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5.