Visual Studio 2008 is finally here. It brings more enhancements and language features than any previous version of the Microsoft IDE. I will try to review some of these as time goes on. Today I will focus on some of my first and most obvious additions to features and the user interface of the IDE. Also I am including some screenshots to tempt all of you to download it and use it.
Find out more about purchasing Visual Studio 2008
First of all the traditional Microsoft splash screen – updated for this version:
The first thing you will notice once the IDE has finished loading is the new and slightly slicker menu and toolbars. The usual Recent Projects area and RSS news reader from MSDN are still there as well.
One of the greatest new features of Visual Studio 2008 is the ability to choose which version of the .NET Framework you wish to target your new project. Have a look at the highlighted drop down list in the New Project window. This new feature is very powerful. It will allow developers still working on legacy versions of the .NET Framework to still take advantage of the new IDE features.
One of my favourite new features is the new split view of web pages. The new view allows you to edit the source of page but still view the design of the page at the same time. This feature works well but the synchronisation of the content is not immediate. Most times for changes to appear in the design split view you need to save your code.
One of the final little helpful features I will show in this post, is the window switcher (ctrl + tab) inside the IDE. As you know using this combination allows to switch between documents in an MDI environment. Microsoft decided to add a bit of Vista magic to Visual Studio. Even though it is not as good as Flip 3D, using this feature now allows you to get a small preview of your window contents (like alt + tab in Vista)!
Hope this got your appetite going – more soon!