April 2010

Volume 25 Number 04

Editor's Note - Scott Guthrie on Visual Studio 2010

By Scott Guthrie | April 2010

These are whirlwind days for Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie. A corporate 
vice president for the .NET developer platform, he oversees development of Visual Studio, the Microsoft .NET Framework, ASP.NET, Silverlight, CLR and more. Many of those products are in the “milestone” phase, with major new versions being released, or about to be released. That includes, of course, Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4, which take flight in April. Silverlight 4 is on the way, too.

And you thought your job was busy.

Because this issue covers the launch of Visual Studio 2010, it made sense to talk to the man most responsible for getting it out the door. And Guthrie had much to say.

Visual Studio 2010, he says, “is a pretty big release. From a feature set and capability set, it’s pretty ambitious.” The goal from the beginning, Guthrie explains, was not just to create new features, but to answer the question: “How do we make existing developers’ lives easier?” To that end, he says, Visual Studio 2010 includes “so many new features that don’t require you to learn a whole bunch of new things.”

Using multiple monitors is one example. It’s something that isn’t a knock-’em-dead upgrade, but can definitely enhance productivity. 
Guthrie explains why it excites him: “Most developers have a multimonitor setup at work. Visual Studio in the past didn’t let you leverage those monitors. In Visual Studio 2010, they can tear off any code-editing window and drop it into the second monitor. It makes navigating through large products a lot easier.”

There’s even more  stuffed into Visual Studio 2010. Silverlight, for instance, is fully supported for the first time—and Guthrie says Silverlight 4 will be as well, as soon as it ships. Visual Studio 2010 also marks the debut of F#, a new .NET Framework-based language for large-scale parallel programming, such as that done in scientific and financial settings.

It’s those kinds of enhancements that, when taken as a whole, will make developers more productive. Guthrie puts it this way: “[There are] a lot of things that people go ‘Finally! Yes, great, I’ve been asking for that!’”

Guthrie also notes that making sure Visual Studio 2010 was stable and fast out the door led to the month delay in shipping; as you may remember, it was originally scheduled to ship in March. User feedback on the beta resulted in the slippage, he says: “We got feedback that performance and stability weren’t where they should be. We moved the dates to make sure we had confidence that we were building the right product.”

Guthrie believes Microsoft succeeded. Visual Studio 2010, he says, “makes developers much more productive and writing code a lot more fun.”

Magazine Revisions

It’s not only Visual Studio 2010 and .NET that are getting upgraded this month. MSDN Magazine has experienced a number of changes. To begin with, we’ve incorporated the new Microsoft MSDN logo as the nameplate on the cover. The cover had not been updated in some time, and it’s always good to look at things in a new light. Plus, the “network wave” is way cool, I think. The more “artsy” readers may also notice that our color palette has been modified to align with the logo colors. It makes the magazine feel more cohesive.

A more subtle change on the cover is that we’ve increased the font size of the text. MSDN sports a text-heavy cover, and making it a little easier to read all that text is what we’re going for here.

Inside, the most immediate change you’ll notice is that we’ve added illustrations for our regular columnists like Charles Petzold, Dino Esposito, David Platt and others. These folks are our core contributors, and I hope that by seeing their images, you might feel a little more connected to them. After all, coders are people too!

If you’re using Visual Studio 2010, we’d love to hear from you on what you like—and don’t like—about it. We also want your feedback on the changes in the magazine—do they work for you? Should we have left well-enough alone? What other changes would you like to see? Send all comments to mmeditor@microsoft.com.