Microsoft is making available this week a first beta of its Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack (SP) 1 release.
On December 7, Microsoft opened the download to subscribers to its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) service. The general public will be able to get the SP1 beta on December 9. The beta includes a "go live" license, meaning Microsoft endorses use of the SP1 beta in production environments.
SP1, which includes updates to both Visual Studio 2010 and .Net 4, features updated help support and IntelliTrace support for 64bit and SharePoint. SP1 will include Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010 (with a few updates to RIA Services) in the box along with Silverlight 3 support, "underscoring our commitment to that quickly-evolving platform," company officials said.
There are other updates and fixes in SP1, as well, including the addition of Windows 7-specific Microsoft Foundation Class programming interfaces to support Direct2D, DirectWrite and Windows Animation; unit testing updates; and the inclusion of Silverlight projects in the Performance Wizard.
I've asked for an update as to when users can expect the final release of Visual Studio 2010 SP1. No word back yet. The answer: First half of 2011.
Update: There also will be a new Release Candidate of Model View Controller (MVC) 3 Razor Tooling out on December 10, according to company officials, as the current one will be broken by SP1 Beta.