Microsoft plans to deliver the Beta 2 bits of Visual Studio 2008 ("Orcas") later this week, according to Scott Guthrie, General Manager of Microsoft's Developer Division.
"You'll see Beta2 ship later this week - so only a few more days now," Guthrie posted, in response to a reader comment, on July 23. "VS 2008 and .NET 3.5 Beta2 (which will be out later this week) are pretty much feature complete. We'll do some small features additions/chanegs based on new feedback on Beta2, but 99% of the features are all there."
Visual Studio 2008 is Microsoft's latest family of development tools aimed at Windows Vista, Office 2007 and Windows Server 2008 developers. New features include the LINQ (Language Integrated Query) functionality; a Windows Presentation Foundation visual designer; and an updated version (3.5) of the .Net Framework.
Microsoft delivered Beta 1 of Visual Studio 2008 in April and has dropped a few Community Technology Preview (CTP) interim builds since then. Company officials have said they planned to launch Beta 2 sometime this summer and to release the tool suite to manufacturing in either very late 2007 or early 2008.
Microsoft plans a launch party for Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 on February 27, 2008, in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, on July 23, Microsoft rolled out a first "pre-alpha" build of its IronRuby dynamic language. Microsoft licensed some of the Ruby.Net source code, but makes use of Microsoft's Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) library, which the company announced at the Mix '07 conference in late April.
Jon Lam -- "the RubyCLR guy" -- joined Microsoft in January 2007. He has been working on the IronRuby project since that time.
Starting next month, IronRuby will be hosted on the RubyForge code-repository site and will have both Microsoft and non-Microsoft developers working on it. Guthrie noted in his blog post that "the (IronRuby) license also fully allows another group of developers to fork the code and maintain it themselves if they don't think they are doing a good job of it."
But "(w)e are definitely committed to making sure IronRuby is a first class Ruby implementation," Guthrie said.