What's next for Microsoft's Visual Studio

The next version of Microsoft's Visual Studio development environment, known for now by its "Visual Studio (VS) 10" codename, is beginning to take shape.

The next version of Microsoft's Visual Studio development environment, known for now  by its "Visual Studio (VS) 10" codename, is beginning to take shape.

Microsoft employee Jeffrey Schlimmer blogged about some of the changes on tap for VS10, as outlined by Microsoft officials during this week's VSX developer conference in Redmond. (Thanks to Microsoft Architect Don Box for the pointer.)

Update: Looks like Schlimmer removed the original post. Here's the cached version.

Schlimmer also included notes on other changes coming "later" -- which I'm taking to mean either in VS11 or some kind of interim delivery vehicle.

Schlimmer said Microsoft has four "pushes" for VS10 (which, at one point, also was known by the codename "Hawaii.") The team wants to make VS "the developer's favorite application;" to focus especially on the needs of small- to mid-size business (SMB) users; to "ride the latest (2009) platform technologies;" and to improve the underlying infrastructure.

(At one point, Microsoft was referring to VS10 as one of the key pillars of its Oslo modeling strategy and platform, but more recently, Microsoft has reined in Oslo to refer specifically to the core tool, language and repository.)

Messaging aside, what's in the VS pipeline, according to Schlimmer?

For VS10:

  • A new Windows Presentation Foundation-based (WPF) text editor
  • More "modern," with more of a WPF look and feel throughout the suite
  • Smaller in size (in code and data) than Visual Studio 2008
  • More reliable and modular

For some time "later":

  • Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA) used for macros, plus other "end-user extensibility" improvements
  • The ability to create more add-ins in managed code
  • Full WPF shell
  • Extensive support for the parallel framework for multicore hardware

Like just about every Microsoft product these days, VS 10 is going to get the Software+Services treatment, Schlimmer continued. The VS10 release will see Help based on Live Search; integrate community ratings; and add support for multiple-machine synchronization via Live Mesh and Live ID. There are plans to add instant messaging some time later to facilitate small-team communication, as well as "multi-user editing" of shared source code.

Microsoft has not provided a public ship-date target for VS10 (that I know of... anyone else?). If the company sticks to its every-two- to three-year schedule, it's probably due in 2009 or 2010, as VS 2008 was released to manufacturing at the end of 2007.