Roughly a couple months after Vista was first unleashed to commercial customers, Microsoft Corp has released a service pack that updates Visual Studio 2005 for the new OS.
In essence, this means support for the .NET Framework 3.0 has been added. Formerly referred to as the WinFX programming model, .NET 3.0 does not replace .NET 2.0. It simply adds several new programming frameworks from Vista that are meant to integrate presentation, communications, workflow, and identity management.
They include the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), which covers the new Aero look and feel; Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), which provides the services fabric for Vista; Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), that adds a standard workflow engine; and finally, Windows CardSpace (WCS, formerly InfoCard).
In all, Microsoft estimates there are roughly 7,000 new APIs in Vista that Visual Studio Service Pack 1 supports. And it means support of new Vista security features in the programming model. An example is the ClickOnce feature, which simplifies deployment of Windows Forms by making them the equivalent of self-contained web pages.
Service Pack 1 also adds new compiler options to help deal with potential security problems, such as pesky memory pointers, that you get with C++.
As for Microsoft’s next Visual Studio Act, code-named Orcas, a new community technology preview was just released at the end of February. There’s no word on when Orcas will enter general availability, but Microsoft says that several more CTPs and beta releases will be out in the next few months.