Visual Studio 2008 Is Here

Microsoft has delivered to manufacturing Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5. Probably the biggest innovation in this release is Language-Integrated Query (LINQ), but there are also a number of additions to both the development environment and the framework.

Visual Studio 2008 is available to MSDN subscribers via download. However, it will likely be several weeks before it becomes generally available. Microsoft will host the global launch of Visual Studio 2008 on Feb. 27, 2008, along with Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.

Do you plan on immediately adopting any of these technologies? Tell me your plans at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Zune Sells Out?
Microsoft Zune, the erstwhile competitor to Apple's iPod that never got off the ground in version 1, seems like it might be having more success this time around. The 80GB Zune media player that launched last week is apparently sold out across the Web.

Amazon and Best Buy show no availability online. And while CompUSA shows some store availability, it wasn't in any of my local zip code searches. These retailers appear to have the 4GB and 8GB versions of these second-generation Zune media players in stock, but if you had your heart set on the 80GB device for Christmas, you may already be out of luck.

Have you looked at the new Zune yet? What's your take? Give me your feedback at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

WinHEC Pushed Back
The 2008 Microsoft Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) has been tentatively announced, and it'll take place about six months later this year than last year. While the company says the delay is in response to industry feedback, Microsoft usually has an internal reason for disrupting conference schedules.

Microsoft uses WinHEC to provide information to PC manufacturers, device engineers, systems developers and enterprises on new Windows initiatives and the future of Windows on the PC platform. I attended several WinHECs over the last decade, both as a journalist and as a vendor, and found them to be among the most dynamic and informative conferences around. However, there seems to be less hardware innovation than in the past.

What's your take on the future of PC hardware? Send me your thoughts at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Mainsoft Integrates SharePoint with WebSphere Portal
.NET-to-Java translation company Mainsoft yesterday announced the availability of its .NET Extensions for WebSphere Portal, a technology for enabling SharePoint applications and content to be exposed within the IBM enterprise-class Web server.

Mainsoft technology provides the ability to develop applications and content targeting SharePoint and then repurpose it for the security and accessibility of WebSphere, while still enabling future development through SharePoint. This announcement also mentioned a partnership with IBM, wherein Big Blue will resell the product.

Do you use both SharePoint and WebSphere in your organization? Tell me about your plans for content and application integration at pvarhol@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: How NOT To Improve Wireless Coverage
Doug reported yesterday on the United Nations' plan to allow wireless service providers use parts of the TV spectrum to help improve coverage. Count John among those who don't think this is a good idea:

As a longtime recipient of over-the-air analog TV, I think the idea stinks. I have two TV sets in the house, each one attached to a DVD/VCR unit. Very soon, all four pieces of electronic equipment (all four of which are working just fine) will be obsolete. I will be forced to buy all new, so that the current channels can be taken for other use. No, I am not happy. The current system wasn't broke, and it didn't need fixing.
-John

What do you think! Let us know by sending an e-mail to pvarhol@redmondmag.com, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Peter Varhol is the executive editor, reviews of Redmond magazine and has more than 20 years of experience as a software developer, software product manager and technology writer. He has graduate degrees in computer science and mathematics, and has taught both subjects at the university level.

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