Microsoft is launching its Visual Studio LightSwitch 2011 tool for cloud and desktop development on July 26, according to the company's own LightSwitch Web page.
Visual Studio LightSwitch, codenamed “KittyHawk,” is a rapid-application-development (RAD) tool targeted at fledgling coders interested in building business applications. Microsoft released the first public beta of LightSwitch in August 2010 and a second beta in March 2011.
On the 26th, the final version of LighSwitch will be generally availabile, according to a July 4 blog post by Justin Anderson, a Software Development Engineer for the Visual Studio LightSwitch Team. (I've asked Microsoft officials if MSDN/TechNet subscribers will get the code on that date or before then, but have not received a response. I've also asked whether the launch will be Webcast, and for those details, once available.)
Update (July 6): Microsoft officials are saying LightSwitch will first be available to MSDN subscribers on July 26th, with general availability on July 28th. They declined to say more about the launch location or when/whether it will be Webcast. I'm hearing that execs may say more about this next week at the Microsoft partner conference.
Microsoft is positioning LightSwitch as a way to build business applications for the desktop, the Web and the cloud. It’s a tool that relies on pre-built templates to make building applications easier for non-professional programmers. It’s so easy, it’s like flipping a switch, the Softies have said when explaining the choice of final name for the product.
As of Beta 2, Microsoft added to LightSwitch capabilities for building line-of-business (LOB) applications that target Windows Azure and SQL Azure. The second beta also enabled professional developers to use Visual Studio Professional (or higher) to create application extensions, which Microsoft describes as reusable components such as themes, screen templates, shells, data sources, business types and controls.