Visual Studio 2008 Professional Install-fests

So you may have seen the news already elsewhere as I've been on a bit of a blogging break the past month, but it is true.  My team here at Microsoft is hosting a series of Visual Studio 2008 "install-fests" at area user group meetings this month!

Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, you probably heard that Visual Studio 2008 was released to manufacturing in November just before Thanksgiving.  That's right, the toolset that gives you the ability to develop solutions in .NET 3.5 using ASP.NET AJAX, Silverlight, LINQ, and Astoria is now available!

To celebrate this, we want to give folks the opportunity to get their hands on the newest version of their favorite IDE right away.  What better way to do this than host some install-fests throughout the area with the help of our local user groups?!

If you belong to, or attend one of the area user groups this month, you have a pretty good shot at going home with your own free copy of Visual Studio 2008 Professional edition!

Here's how it works:

Several of the area developer groups will be hosting the install-fests.  The complete list for our area is below.  At the install-fests, you get a copy of the installation DVD at the beginning of the meeting.   Bring your laptop, and install away!  It's as simple as that! 

The install DVDs will have evaluation copies of Visual Studio 2008 Professional RTM on them (the finals aren't pressed yet).  Each DVD has a special code and URL on it where you can go to obtain the full product key.  The key can then be used to "unlock" the evaluation install later without you needing to re-install it.

Act Now, Supplies Are Limited:

Each user group hosting a install-fest has a limited number of copies of Visual Studio 2008 to give away.  Unfortunately, this means some folks who attend might not receive a copy of Visual Studio.  Most of the user groups will be handling things on a first come first served basis.  Check with each individual group on how to register and be sure not to be late to the meeting!

Where are the Visual Studio 2008 Install-Fests in the NY/NJ/CT/PA area?

Visual Studio 2008 LogoAll around...   check with each group's site for details.

For a list of Visual Studio 2008 install-fests going on throughout the rest of the US, see Tim's post here.

Are you running one of the beta versions of Visual Studio 2008 now?   

If so, see this post by Scott Guthrie on how to cleanse your machine of the beta bits before you attempt installing the final version.