Beta 2 of Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010, along with .NET Framework 4, is being readied for its second round of beta testing. Visual Studio is a development system which Microsoft touts as “a comprehensive suite of tools designed to help software developers create innovative, next-generation applications.” Visual Studio supports development for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Azure, SQL Server, Office 2010 and, in Beta 2, SharePoint 2010 making it, says Microsoft, “the perfect work environment for application developers.”
.NET Framework 4, which is being released at the same time, is said to be 81 percent smaller than earlier versions, allowing it to be downloaded more quickly, and be more easily installed. It adds support the the Microsoft Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR), giving programmers more language choices. And it is better suited for parallel-programming, workflow-centric and service-oriented application development.
Microsoft plans to put Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 into the hands of MSDN members on October 19. An open public beta is will be launched on October 21. The final version of Visual Studio 2010 is expected to be released in March, 2010.
It's almost here. After almost three years since the launch of Vista, we're gearing up for public release of Windows 7. And as far as launches go, this is going to be a big one. Microsoft is opening the first of their new retail stores in Arizona to celebrate, and we're hosting a special Windows-themed week here at Maximumpc.com. We'll be posting retrospective looks on the history of Windows, essential Windows 7 launch guides, and plenty of pro-tips to get you accustomed to the new OS. Windows XP and Vista users won't be left out, either. Just look for the Windows 7 Week banner on top on articles this week, or hit this link. And if you haven't read our review of Windows 7 yet, that should be your first destination!
Editor's Note: Windows 7 comes out this thursday, so we're re-posting our review in case you're still on the fence about upgrading.
For the Windows faithful, it’s been a tough eight years. With the launch of Windows XP in 2001, we thought we were poised on a brink of a new world of NT-based goodness—but two years and uncountable exploits later, the future of Windows was grim. Facing a never-ending torrent of new ‘sploits, worms, and trojans, Microsoft fired back with the single greatest operating system update of all time—Service Pack 2. In the single fell swoop of SP2, Windows XP went from Swiss cheese to secure, and once again we were poised to enter the promised land with… (wait for it)… Vista.
Of course, we all know how Vista turned out. Haunted by poor performance in everything from games to disk access to networking, Vista is widely considered to be Microsoft’s biggest failure. Nonetheless, Vista laid the groundwork for a host of new technologies, all absolutely vital to pushing Windows into the 21st century. Vista’s new, modern driver architecture was designed to move core functionality from the kernel (where any instability can bring down the whole system) to user space—an absolutely necessary development. Likewise, Vista’s proper enforcement of permissions for both users and applications enhanced security, even though UAC remains very annoying. And once vendors fixed their driver flaws and Microsoft squashed some underlying bugs, Vista morphed into an entirely workable operating system, even if we still wouldn’t describe it as “good.”
So, as 2009 draws to a close, we find ourselves testing another new Microsoft OS: Windows 7. Building on the now-mature technologies introduced with Vista, but with a renewed focus on performance and ease-of-use, Windows 7 seems poised to succeed where Vista couldn’t. We’ve finally received a final build of Win7, and have run it through the wringer in both the Lab and in the real-world. Here’s what we found.
It's been confirmed; the first Microsoft Store will open this Thursday in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will coincide with the launch of Windows 7.
An ad in the Arizona Republic newspaper urges residents to "Be early" (stores opens at 10AM), as the first 1,000 visitors will receive gift bags and concert tickets. The grand opening will also feature live music with Ashley Tisdale performing in the evening. Hey, at least it's not Miley Cyrus.
"From computers and software to games, music, and phones, once you've found what you're looking for, the Microsoft Store offers services like personal training, technical support, ongoing performance tune-ups -- even extended protection plans to help you get the most out of your experience," Microsoft states in its ad.