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The team and I were having a conversation about developers (we do that from time to time). It went something like:

  • “Isn’t it a shame that so many developers are stuck on Visual Studio 2005 when Visual Studio 2008 would be way better for them and Visual Studio 2010 is just around the corner”
  • “Why is that?”
  • “And… then there are all these myths that developers believe to be true which hold them back from adopting Visual Studio 2008. For instance many developers believe that …”
  • “OK. What can we do to help them?”

Well, after several iterations of ideas on how we could do our little bit to address this, we decided to go with collating:

  • All the key feature improvements from Visual Studio 2005 through to Visual Studio 2010 by focus area (web, data etc)
  • All the myths we heard in our meetings and events, plus some we made up to pad it out :-)

And then, with a little help from an agency, we created a Silverlight 3 application which presented the information in a way that developers will hopefully find rather useful and a little prettier than the whopping bit word document we created.

The final result is the Visual Studio Myth Busting Matrix.


This is a release candidate – both of the application and the content. The Visual Studio 2010 content is based on Beta 1 and will definitely be updated for Beta 2. We are really, really keen to get your feedback. We would love to know:

  • If you had any problems using it.
  • If you found it useful.
  • Any myths it busted for you.
  • Any answers to myths you disagree with.
  • Whether you think it is useful format vs more traditional approaches (For instance, we could do a version for your managers to help them see why you would be more productive using the latest tools)

And most importantly any features or myths you think we missed.

Feel free to contact me through my blog, through twitter or just tweet with the tag #dotnetmyth which we will be watching.


P.S. And it does have spinning balls. Which I know MikeT (See rant!) and MikeO particularly admire :-)

Using the Myth Buster

Hopefully all is reasonably obvious.

Select a version of Visual Studio (2005/2008/2010)


Choose your focus (Rich Client, Web, Data, IDE etc)


Expand Features


Click on “read more” to… read some more


Expand Myths



Optionally, tweet the myth out if you think it worthy (we are using #dotnetmyth as the tag)


Posted on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 3:56 PM .NET 3.5 , .NET 4.0 | Back to top

Comments on this post: Visual Studio Myths – busted wide open

# re: Visual Studio Myths – busted wide open
Requesting Gravatar...
I'm getting the following error under IE8/Windows 7:

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; OfficeLiveConnector.1.4; OfficeLivePatch.1.3)
Timestamp: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 17:06:57 UTC

Message: Unhandled Error in Silverlight Application
Code: 2103
Category: InitializeError
Message: Invalid or malformed application: Check manifest

Line: 55
Char: 13
Code: 0

Left by Kevin Watkins on Oct 21, 2009 6:08 PM

# re: Visual Studio Myths – busted wide open
Requesting Gravatar...
Eric, this is a great tool. I've used it already to discover a few things I didn't know. A version for managers would be great, particularly if it included information about the various upgrade/licensing options, as I think that is a major hurdle.

Most developers, given the choice, would always want to work with the latest tools, but often the decision is out of the developer's hand. For instance, I'm working with a client at the moment whose corporate infrastructure is Win XP , .Net FX 2.0 and IE6. I've just finished developing a web application for them using VS2008, but of course, there were some features (e.g. LINQ) that I couldn't use. I also encountered some unexpected bugs due to the different rendering engines between IE6 and IE7.

I think you'll see greater adoption of VS2008/VS2010 when large corporates start rolling out new kit.
Left by James Coulter on Oct 29, 2009 9:55 AM

# re: Visual Studio Myths – busted wide open
Requesting Gravatar...
What about a standard web page for those of us who refuse to install Silverlight? :-[
Left by Glyn Thomas on Apr 22, 2010 6:49 PM

# re: Visual Studio Myths – busted wide open
Requesting Gravatar...
If we had more time and budget then likely both.

But we felt SL was swiftest way to get a rich way of presenting this infor.

But... I'm curious. Why refuse to install SL? Seems odd. I understand some folks can not install for business reasons - but why refuse?
Left by Eric on Apr 22, 2010 11:17 PM

# re: Visual Studio Myths – busted wide open
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Don't need or want anymore bloat installed on my PC just because MS wants to do something different rather than use flash like the rest of the world.

But more relevant to the thread, having found an easier way to find out whats new in 2010, don't forget that there are thousands of programmers out there who dont use the web, the cloud, .net, SQl or mobile phones. They just need a decent C/C++ development system that gets the job done without lots of extra bloat installed that never gets used.
Left by Glyn Thomas on Apr 24, 2010 6:48 PM

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