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Microsoft Foreshadows Visual Studio 7.0

ORLANDO – Today at TechEd, Microsoft Corp. hinted at some of the upcoming enhancements to the next version of Visual Studio.

During his keynote address, Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman and chief software architect, said that the overall theme of the suite will be Web services.

"We need to take the work we’ve done around Visual Studio and make it better," he says.

To that end, Microsoft is moving to a Web services platform based on XML. Gates said that the company plans to re-craft the Visual Studio suite of tools around XML.

Gates was joined on stage by Dave Mendlen, the Visual Studio product planner, to discuss some of the new features of the pending Visual Studio 7.0.

Mendlen demonstrated several new features, including Rapid Application Development (RAD) for the Server, Server Explorer, and a visual component designer.

Visual Studio RAD for the Server is designed to help Windows DNA 2000 developers build server-side applications and Web services.

"You can drag and drop and build Web applications the same way Visual Studio developers build Windows applications," Mendlen says.

Server Explorer enables users to view resources such as event logs, message queues, and performance counter.

Mendlen says the new tools will give Visual Studio 7.0 full object-oriented programming.

"Visual Studio will ship in alpha in the summer, beta in the fall, and we’ll ship [the final version] when it’s ready," Mendlen says. Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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