Well, you heard it right! Visual Studio "Orcas" the next version of Visual Studio is getting ready and stated for release later this year. Visual Studio "Orcas" presents unlimited capabilities and compelling features which can make a developer's life, more productive.
Lets have a peek into the list of features
.NET Framework 3.5 (includes support for 3.0, 2.0 versions) - You can write applications which target any of these versions and Visual Studio would automatically filter intellisense, toolbox controls, and add reference dialog items (among other things) to only show those features supported within that specific version of the framework. You can then compile against each of these different framework releases, as well as get full debugging support for each.
Extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation (Currently this can be downloaded separately for Visual Studio 2005 from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5D61409E-1FA3-48CF-8023-E8F38E709BA6&displaylang=en)
Windows SDK and .NET 3.0 Runtime Components (Currently this can be downloaded separately from Some of the other features worth mentioning are
Extensions for WCF, WPF (Currently this can be downloaded separately from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=F54F5537-CC86-4BF5-AE44-F5A1E805680D&displaylang=en)
ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 (Again, can be downloaded currently from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=ca9d90fa-e8c9-42e3-aa19-08e2c027f5d6&displaylang=en)
All of the above, improved and with much more features and capabilties. One of the main things, I didnt mention is the support for LINQ. Will talk about it in a later post, but, it would definitely take programming languages to the next level of capabilities, what, with the support for querying Collections, Database and XML - all in the same way we are used to - SQL.
Check Scott Guthrie's post on some of these features at http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/02/08/my-first-look-at-orcas-presentation.aspx
Support for Expression - Expression Blend is specifically designed for this
Split View of Design and Code
Rich support for CSS .... and much much more.
My next series of articles would focus on "Orcas" and a preview of the new features coming out with it.
The "Orcas" March CTP can be downloaded from http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa700831.aspx It comes out it two forms, a pre-configured VPC as well as an individual tool download.
It can work side by side with Visual Studio 2005. So go ahead and download the March CTP and try your hands first on Visual Studio "Orcas"