Microsoft starts rolling out several tool test releases

Microsoft tool testers will have lots of new builds to play with this week. Microsoft plans to make new builds of a variety of its next-gen developer products available for download on July 26 and 27.

Microsoft tool testers will have lots of new builds to play with this week.

Microsoft is expecting to deliver a public Visual Studio 2008 ("Orcas") Beta 2 for download on Friday, July 27, company officials said. It will roll out simultaneously Beta 2 of the .Net Framework 3.5.

Update on July 26: Looks like Microsoft posted the Beta 2 bits earlier than it told us it would. (Thanks to WinBeta.org folks for the tip.)

Microsoft is expecting to deliver the final versions of Visual Studio 2008 and .Net Framework 3.5 before the end of this year, officials said this week. (Microsoft had been wavering until today, claiming that the release to manufacturing of VS 2008 could potentially slip into early 2008.)

Today, July 26, Microsoft is expecting to post for download by testers the release candidate of SilverLight 1.0; a first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Silverlight 1.1; and a new preview release of Expression Blend Version 2.0, company officials said.

Microsoft also is putting early test builds of Rosario, the version of Visual Studio Team System that will follow the Orcas release, in testers' hands as well. Microsoft plans to make available "in the next week or so" the first CTP for Rosario, according to Softie Brian Harry. Harry blogged on July 25 about Microsoft's CTP plans for Rosario but said the company wasn't yet ready to provide a tentative ship date for VSTS Rosario.

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