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New Development Tools Scheduled for Interim Releases

The second beta for Microsoft's Visual Studio 2008 is due out today or tomorrow, heading the pack of a number of development-related product in various stages of life.

As reported earlier, VS 2008, formerly code-named "Orcas," is 99 percent feature-complete, according to a Microsoft manager.

Also scheduled to be released this week is beta 2 of the .NET Framework 3.5. Upgrades include Web service-based communications and workflow advances, according to a Microsoft press release.

The Silverlight 1.0 release candidate (RC) is also on tap for release. Silverlight is Microsoft's answer to Adobe's Flash media player. Microsoft said Silverlight will be compatible with all major browsers, including Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.

Silverlight is further along than the other products; an RC is typically the final step before release to manufacturing (RTM).

Silverlight's functionality will be enhanced with the Add-In for Visual Studio 2008, which is at the earlier Community Technology Preview (CTP) stage. The add-in "enables developers to start building Silverlight 1.0 applications from within the Visual Studio 2008 environment," according to the release.

The press announcement didn't state a specific day for the releases, but did say they would be out this week. As of late Thursday, beta 2 of VS 2008 hadn't been released. It will be available here.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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