Visual Studio 2008 SP1 Beta is posted

Get it here.

Discuss amongst yourselves at the forum.

Don't miss Guy Burstein's guided tour.

Here's the official word:

Visual Studio 2008

  • With Visual Studio 2008, developers and development organizations have the tools that enable them to be more productive, take advantage of all the latest platform advances on Windows, Office and the Web, and collaborate more effectively throughout the software lifecycle.
  • Visual Studio 2008 offers more than 250 new features and improvements to existing features, providing developers of all skills sets – from the hobbyist to the small development shop to enterprise development organizations – the tools they need to build great applications.
  • Microsoft is committed to helping developers be successful and provides community resources, reference material, software, add-ins, and more to guide construction of Software+Services applications, data-driven solutions, and compelling user experiences.
  • Visual Studio 2008 SP1 beta introduces improvements and new functionality in several areas including:
    • Full support for SQL Server 2008.
    • Improved functionality and performance in the WPF designers.
    • Additional components and tools for Visual Basic & Visual C++ including an MFC-based Office 2007 Ribbon and various stability improvements.
    • Richer JavaScript features.
    • Improved Web development and site deployment.
    • Performance improvements for the IDE.
    • Improvements to TFS to respond to customer feedback on version control usability and performance, improved email integration with work item tracking.  In addition, TFS now provides full support for hosting on SQL 2008 and Windows Server 2008.

.NET Framework 3.5

  • With the .NET Framework 3.5 Microsoft is extending the capabilities in the framework with new support for Internet protocols, peer-to-peer communication, device programmability, and data handling. The .NET Framework provides a single, common programming model supporting the broadest set of applications.
  • Microsoft is committed to delivering enhanced capabilities and increased productivity for developers in the .NET Framework 3.5.
  • Expanded and improved offerings in the .NET Framework and tooling support in Visual Studio 2008 gives developers enhanced capabilities to build S+S, SOA and Web 2.0 applications.
  • The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 beta introduces improvements and new functionality in several areas including:
    • More controls, streamlined setup, improved start-up performance, powerful new graphics features for client development and rich data scaffolding, and improved AJAX support.
    • Introduces the ADO.NET Entity Framework and ADO.NET Data Services, simplifying data access code in applications by providing an extensible, conceptual model for data from any data source and enabling this model to closely reflect business requirements.