Microsoft has sent out a release candidate of the delayed Visual Studio 2010 developer tool suite, saying it has succeeded in ironing out many of the performance problems encountered in previous test versions.
The release candidate was made available to developers via the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) late on Monday, along with version 4.0 of the .Net Framework. General availability is scheduled for Wednesday, Microsoft said.
The product had been planned for launch in March. However, Microsoft announced in December it would distribute a release candidate in February, pushing the final launch back to April.
Microsoft developer division head S Somasegar said the goal of the release candidate is to get additional feedback from users and to ensure performance issues have been addressed.
"We have made significant performance improvements specifically as it relates to loading solutions, typing, building and debugging," Somasegar said in a blog post.
Testers had criticised the new tools for being below the performance standards of Visual Studio 2008, according to Jason Zander, general manager of Microsoft's developer division.
The performance problems affected features including general user interface responsiveness, editing, memory usage, debugging and build times, he said in a blog post on Monday.
"In addition to taking any final feedback from you, we are working closely with third-party companies that have popular Visual Studio add-ins (such as Resharper, CodeRush, Whole Tomato, etc) to make sure the environment works well," Zander wrote.
Bugs with the previous test version of Visual Studio 2010 included memory leaks and growing memory usage, according to Kirill Osenkov, a member of the Visual Studio Quality Assurance team.
"During Beta 1 and Beta 2 it became painfully obvious that the new VS had an obesity problem: it was slow, consumed a lot of memory and the worst thing, with enough modules loaded it stopped fitting into the 2GB address space on 32-bit machines," Osenkov wrote in a blog post. "Moreover, there were all kinds of memory leaks all over the place."
He said Microsoft believes it has now eliminated "all major known memory leaks", and that a user can keep Visual Studio open for days or weeks without having to restart it due to growing memory usage.
Among the features in Visual Studio 2010 is a TiVo-like recording capability called IntelliTrace. Other features new to the 2010 release include support for Windows 7 and Windows Azure, as well as tools for building on top of Microsoft's Sharepoint collaboration product.