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Microsoft Intros Academic Version of Visual Studio

The .NET generation of Visual Studio gained a third flavor this week with the introduction of Visual Studio .NET Academic.

Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates unveiled the new version at a Microsoft conference for about 300 computer science and engineering faculty in Redmond.

The new version, Visual Studio .NET Academic, is expected to ship around the end of the year at the same time as Visual Studio .NET Professional and Visual Studio .NET Architect. Both the academic version, and the previously announced Architect version, are new to the .NET release of Visual Studio.

The academic version will include all the features of the standard Visual Studio .NET Professional version along with added features tailored to academic environments. Those include documentation with walkthroughs for students on using the software as well as walkthroughs for instructors on how to deploy the software in a classroom lab. The version will also contain course management tools for professors and code samples common to academia.

Microsoft will include Visual Studio .NET Academic in its MSDN Academic Alliance subscription, which gives a university department complete access to all but Office software for unlimited academic deployment for $799.

Microsoft officials hope the version will encourage professors to include .NET instruction in their curriculums and consequently interest college students in the platform.

About the Author

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

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