Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Moves A Step Closer To Final Release

Microsoft said Tuesday that subscribers to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) could download the release candidates for Visual Studio 2010 and .Net Framework 4 immediately and that the RCs would be available to the general public on Wednesday.

Release candidate versions of new Microsoft applications are generally complete with all their features designed, coded and tested. The idea is to put the software into the hands of as many testers as possible to detect any problems before the final "release to manufacturing" version is shipped.

"We've still got more work to do here, but are making great progress," said Jason Zanders, general manager of the Visual Studio development team, in a blog posting.

The RC version, which can be downloaded here, also includes a go-live license for organizations that want to deploy the toolset within their production environment.

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Microsoft extended the beta 2 period of an earlier iteration of Visual Studio 2010 in December after developers testing the software pointed out areas of performance where the product was "not at parity with VS2008," Zanders said in his blog. The feedback pinpointed areas in general user-interface responsiveness, editing, software design tools, memory usage, debugging and solution/project load capabilities that needed work, he said.

"The goal of this RC is to get more feedback from you and ensure we've addressed the performance issues in the product," said S. Somasegar, senior vice president of Microsoft's develop division, in a blog. "We have made significant performance improvements specifically as it relates to loading solutions, typing, building and debugging."

Visual Studio 2010 will include technology that helps programmers bridge the .Net and Java worlds, and Azure templates for moving code between cloud and on-premise applications with less hassle.