MS Delivers Soup-to-Nuts Development Platform

At TechEd, Microsoft executives discuss moves targeting the developer community.

DALLAS—Microsoft Corp.s theme of the potential of IT was not lost on the developer.

Paul Flessner, Microsofts senior vice president of the Windows Server System division, laid out a vision of the companys role in the enterprise IT space, noting that the Windows Server 2003 server operating system is the foundation for the Windows Server System, which delivers the core programming model through the .Net Framework.

Marie Huwe, general manager of Microsofts .Net developer product management group, said, "By delivering a system of servers with .Net connectedness, the power of Web services and the corresponding programming model … and the ability to integrate seamlessly with Visual Studio .Net, were delivering for developers a soup-to-nuts development platform." And, added Huwe, "they can do that all within Visual Studio .Net, and they can write managed code to target all of those [Microsoft] servers."

Indeed, Visual Studio .Net 2003 just launched in April, yet Microsoft is engaged in "a serious amount of work, both around Office and around Whidbey, and were gearing up for more," Huwe said. Whidbey, the code name for the next major version of Visual Studio .Net, is expected next year, while Orcas, the code name for the version following that, is expected in 2005, according to a slide Flessner displayed during his keynote speech at here.

At Microsofts Professional Developer Conference this October in Los Angeles, Microsoft will talk a lot more about Longhorn, a major upgrade of the Windows platform due in 2005, and more on Orcas—the version of Visual Studio .Net to coincide with the Longhorn release, Huwe said.

Prashant Sridharan, product manager and product planner for Visual Studio .Net at Microsoft, said Whidbey will be a "very significant product for developers" in that it will include a lot of developer-driven features.

"It will be the most customer-driven product our developer division has ever shipped," he said.

Sridharan said Microsoft learned a lot of what developers are looking for from projects like the Microsoft Web Matrix Web development tool, which enjoyed more than 500,000 downloads.

In addition, the new product will include new features that bring the developer community closer to the overall development experience, including community search capabilities and other features, he said.