Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2

It's gone live. You can find here a complete breakdown on all the different editions the next Visual Studio will have, and which capabilities will each have. I'm happy to see that the Express editions, previously mentioned on this same blog, will have official editions beyond beta stage. And, of course, they also have Express editions for this Beta 2. If you download them (herer) be very careful and uninstall previously all the previous versions, Framework 2 included.

The Beta 2 edition of Visual Studio 2005 is avaliable for downloading if you are an MSDN subscriber, and free on a DVD edition if you ask for it nicely. If you're European of African, you'll have to wait till the 25th to ask for it.

I've just learned that the Express Editions have database connectivity only to SQL Server 2005 Beta (except for the Web Developer Express Edition). It seems to be an strategyt: by seriously handicapping the Express Editions Microsoft ensures they will only be used as learning tools. This is not a step in the right direction, for several reasons:

  • Going back
  • .- Beta 1 editions of the Express IDEs did have connectivity to several databases, including Access, MSDE and the full fledged SQL Server 2000. Removing functionality in the step from a Beta 1 to a Beta 2 is odd, to say the least.
  • Marketing
  • .- It's completely legitimate from Microsoft to try and make money selling their products. Nobody (at least nobody with a little sense) is going to complain about that. But, and this is a big but, I thought Express Editions were a great tool for us to legally develop applications independently. Most of us are employees of big firms, with the big bucks to pay for the full fledged Visual Studio editions, so that's what we use at work. For those of us who like to program also in our leisure time, for our little-to-no-profit (or just for fun) endeavors, the Express Editions would be a great tool. Now, we are again compelled by Microsoft to use P2P to download illegal versions of their software, if we want to use it at all.

Just plain wrong, and a step back. Same old, same old.


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