Microsoft Maps Out VS .Net s Future

Software maker will synchronize Visual Studio .Net and .Net Framework, code-named Everett, with .Net Server.

Microsoft Corp. Thursday formally outlined the road map for future versions of its Visual Studio .Net development tool and the .Net Framework, including ones that take advantage of Windows .Net Server and the next version of SQL Server, code-named Yukon.

Officials said the Redmond, Wash., software company plans to synchronize the next version of Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework, code-named Everett, with Windows .Net Server, which incorporates the .Net Framework into the Windows platform infrastructure. Microsoft said Visual Studio "Everett," an incremental release, will focus on delivering enhanced reliability, stability, security and performance for enterprise organizations. In addition, Microsofts Visual J# .Net will be included with the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) along with Visual Basic .Net, Visual C++ .Net and Visual C .Net. Visual J# .Net was previously available as a download and began shipping with Visual Studio .Net in July.

"Developers are the software industrys most important asset and constantly have their eyes on the future," Eric Rudder, senior vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft, said in a statement. "By providing the road map for Visual Studio, our mission is to continue to give developers the clarity they need to be successful on the Microsoft platform."

In addition, the company said as mobile development becomes more mainstream in the enterprise, Microsoft will integrate the .Net Compact Framework and Smart Device Extensions into Visual Studio "Everett," enabling developers using Visual Studio to use existing skills to build applications for "smart" mobile devices, such as the Pocket PC 2002 and other devices based on Windows CE .Net. The .Net Compact Framework is Microsofts mobile application platform technology that harnesses the power of XML Web services on mobile devices.

Microsoft said Visual Studio "Everett" will support more than 20 programming languages and enhance language productivity by integrating each of the Microsoft programming languages with visual design support. And Visual Studio for "Yukon" will build upon these improvements to deepen the synergies between the tool and the language, as well as provide additional support for the latest XML Web services standards and specifications, the company said.

The company announced that for a limited time registered users of Visual Studio .Net who do not have rights to the next version under annuity licenses or Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscriptions will be able to acquire Everett for $29, which includes the cost of materials, shipping and handling. Full pricing and availability for Visual Studio "Everett" have not yet been determined, Microsoft said. Full details will be announced at a later date. Microsofts road map for its development products will be available Aug. 26 at