All the Wood Behind the Visual Studio Arrow

Microsoft will emphasize the appeal of a common development platform at a trio of developer shows in San Francisco next week.

Microsoft will use next weeks VSLive/SpeechTek/Microsoft Mobile Devcon conferences in San Francisco to emphasize its message that Visual Studio is the single, unified development platform around which developers should rally.

The trio of conferences, which kick off Wednesday with a keynote address by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, will be a launchpad for a handful of new Microsoft products.

As part of the four-day shindig, Microsoft is expected to unveil yet another "Whidbey" Visual Studio alpha release; Microsoft Speech Server 1.0; its new MapPoint Location Server; and its "Laguna" version of SQL Server for Windows CE.


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Last week, Microsoft executives acknowledged that the delivery date for Visual Studio Whidbey—now officially christened Visual Studio 2005—has slipped to the first half of 2005. Until recently, Microsoft officials said the tool suite would ship by the end of this calendar year.

Ari Bixhorn, Microsofts Visual Studio Lead Product Manager, said that "priority one is to continue getting Whidbey bits into developers hands." "We released bits at PDC [Microsofts Professional Developers Conference last October], extremely early in the cycle, and feedback has been very, very positive."

In line with getting the toolset in developers hands, Bixhorn said, "In the VSLive time frame, were going to be fulfilling Tech[nical] Preview 2 of Whidbey to show the progress weve made since PDC."

Meanwhile, Beta 1 of Whidbey is slated for the first half of this year, most likely at Microsofts TechEd conference in San Diego in May. Beta 2 is scheduled for release by the end of the year, Bixhorn said.


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