Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Visual Studio 2010 Beta

2nd December, 2009

Following on from my recent post on Office 2010, I thought I’d get on and try the latest piece of beta software that Microsoft has unleashed upon its users.

Visual Studio 2010 is the latest version of Microsoft’s application development workhorse; with it comes version 4 of the .NET Framework, and a whole raft of improvements that developers have long been calling out for.

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First of all, this post is about my very very first impressions using Visual Studio 2010 - I haven’t been doing any of this fancy Azure stuff, or even writing that much code - I borrowed a community template (more on that in a bit) to get me started and just so I could see what’s going on.

If you want in-depth information on what’s new in Visual Studio 2010, head over to MSDN. They also have a what’s new in .NET 4, if you’re interested.

Installation

Installation is always long in Visual Studio. Interestingly this beta required me to restart half way through the installation process… But it wasn’t that bad at all really.

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Interestingly there’s a couple more default environment options - “Project Management Settings” is one I’ve never seen before.

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If you’re from the University of Reading you’ll recognise that one - Visual Studio 2008 insists on doing it for 5 minutes every time you switch computer on the internal network…

Starting A Project

As I mentioned, Visual Studio has had a bit of a UI overhaul (and it needed it, let’s be honest). Kicking off a project looks nicer, and works a bit better.

There’s an extra feature that I’m incredibly intrigued by; I nearly missed it first time round as the button was fairly small, but you can grab project templates off the internet and use them to start a project. Very cool!

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I decided to go for a Community Template, just to see what we had here with the new interface.

Interface

Generally the UI has had a good cleanup, and while it doesn’t differ significantly, things are laid out in a slightly clearer and easier to use way. Personally I like it, and I don’t think it will take long for experienced Visual Studio 2008 users to get into using it.

Here’s a quick look around:

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Conclusions

Well it would be pretty foolish to draw any conclusions already, but one thing is for certain - I’m a sucker for nice shiny new interfaces.

From what I’ve heard from my code-monkey friends who spend all day working with this kind of thing, Visual Studio 2010 is pretty cool. Hopefully I will sink my teeth into a few projects in .NET 4 and Silverlight 4 in the near future, and I can give it a proper workout!