Microsoft apps developers to get Vista relief

Upcoming Visual Studio platform is tuned for Vista OS, unlike current Visual Studio 2005 system

Help is on the way for developers struggling with using the Visual Studio 2005 development platform with Windows Vista, a Microsoft official stressed at the Microsoft SOA and Business Process Conference here on Tuesday.

During a question-and-answer panel session, an audience member characterized the experience of using Visual Studio 2005 with Vista as "miserable." He wondered if the upcoming Visual Studio 2008 upgrade would be an improvement.

"Is the '08 experience on Vista likely to be better?" the questioner asked. Also known as Orcas, Visual Studio 2008 is due by the end of this year.

"It unequivocally is better," responded Dino Chiesa, Microsoft director of the .Net Framework. He advised the audience member to download the Orcas beta release and see the difference.

"We tried to be transparent about that, that Orcas was the Visual Studio release that was built to target Vista," Chiesa said.

Other improvements also are awaited in Orcas, such as an improved build system in Visual Studio Team System for continuous integration.

"The performance and scalability of Team System is way enhanced," said Chiesa.

But another audience member took issue with the use of templates in Orcas, saying distribution of templates was ad hoc. Chiesa responded there are some improvements in the general release with regard to templates.

In a related issue raised during the session, Microsoft's J.R. Arredondo, senior product manager for Microsoft Office, said the company sees its Popfly technology, for quick creation of applications such as mashups and widgets, as a model for the future. The Office business application strategy at its core is about bringing simplicity and usability to the masses, Arredondo said.

Another audience member, apparently a Microsoft business partner, asked how he would be able to sell Microsoft's BizTalk Server integration software with the company making available related technologies in the operating system and .Net Framework such as Windows Communication Framework and Windows Workflow.

But Microsoft's Sam Guckenheimer, group product manager, countered that while he is passionate about capabilities for developers, users still would need a server platform for functions such as deploying an application across multiple farms.

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