Visual Studio 2005 may not ship until 2006 | InfoWorld | News | 2005-06-06 | By Paul Krill:

From what Borland hears from Microsoft, the Visual Studio 2005 suite will ship either at the end of this year or at the  beginning of 2006, Brown said.

My first reaction was just to chuckle.  Next, I thought about other products that they’ve let slip (I *thought* Windows Server 2003 came out late, but it seems that it was launched in April 2003), but then I realized, if *they* can’t get their products out the door on time, what hope do third parties that rely on their software have?

Everything I’ve heard (perhaps anecdotally) about .Net points to a hodge-podge of technologies, all glommed together under the umbrella of an arguably cohesive name (the .Net moniker was applied to all kinds of their technology — remember MSN Messenger w/ the .Net version?).  There doesn’t seem to be a single, driving story behind what .Net’s supposed to be, other than Yet Another Cash Cow (YACC).

There are moments in your life when you make life-altering career decisions — given the information I had at the time, I’m SO glad I chose to stay away from Microsoft.

Update:  here’s the top 10 list of changes (emphasis, comments and numbering added)
Original Article

  1. The user-driven, top-10 improvement list begins with the ability to deploy updated and new icon sets. This feature enables  access to icons that can be distributed with applications. This makes it easier for developers to focus on code, said Brian  Keller, a Microsoft product manager on the Visual Studio team. (You sure you wanna lead off w/ “deploy updated … icon sets??  I mean, you ARE Microsoft…. can’t you come up w/ something a *little* more impressive than that?)
  2. Adding Edit and Continue support for Visual C#, meanwhile, means developers can change code during debugging without having  to run a full compile, Keller said.  (Okay, now *this* is worthy of praise.  Apple’s XCode has this, too — fantastic tool for developers)
  3. Edit and Continue is “extremely useful,? said Mike Gilpin, vice president and research director at Forrester Research. “It  allows you to maintain your train of thought when you’re finding errors and correcting them rather than interrupt your debugging  session,? Gilpin said.  (This isn’t an improvement, but the original article had it broken into a paragraph, so I left it that way.  Note that this list has 11 items in it — minus this one comment, that’s 10 improvements)
  4. The third improvement comes in a Component Tray feature for working with nongraphical components such as performance counters.  Microsoft addressed the lack of a Component Tray by adding a Component Designer tab to Visual Studio 2005. (I’ll admit it — I have no idea what he’s talking about.  At least he cleared up the issue that #3, above wasn’t being counted as a feature.)
  5. The fourth improvement boosts the tray icon support. Developers want a managed interface for adding balloon-type messages  to icons in the system tray, Keller said. This is implemented as an API.  (Great — one of the things I can’t stand about XP is now accessible by third parties… thanks, guys.  I can’t stand seeing the “You’ve got unused icons on your desktop? bubble, which is followed by “Network cable unplugged?.  I KNOW it’s unplugged… I pulled it out of the jack!  You don’t need to tell me.)
  6. Additionally, developers will be able to download Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition and install it offline, as opposed to  having to install it while connected to the Internet.  (Uhh…. this is a nice feature, but how long could this take to implement?  Is this holding up the release?)
  7. Users also will get ASP.Net Web Forms templates that do not use obsolete HTML. (While I applaud them for using proper HTML, why did it take this being one of the top-10 requested developer fixes for it to be included?  How long have they known what the HTML standards were?  Why didn’t they fix them when the standards changed?  They just don’t care about the standards — that’s what the problem is.  They’re so big that they set their own standards — this type of arrogance is what the anti-monopoly laws are all about.)
  8. Yet another fix applies to building console-based applications that use a command-line interface. “When you build a command-line  application and compile and run that application from Visual Studio, sometimes the output window closes too quickly to see  the results of your program? during debug mode, Keller said. “Now when you run a command-line app from within Visual Studio,  the user will receive a ‘Press any key to continue’ prompt.?  (They should be ashamed.  This should not be news-worthy.)
  9. Microsoft is also fixing Visual Studio 2005’s Intellisense function, which tracks letters being typed and provides available  commands for a particular class based on keystrokes. That function will no longer select a method too quickly.  (This seems like a decent change — I can see where I’d like a little customization in the speed.  Some of the IDE’s I work in allow you to set how long a delay there is before the code hints pop-up.  I wonder if that’s what they’re building in…).
  10. The software giant also amended client-side validation to work with browsers other than just Microsoft’s IE. (No-brainer here — I congratulate them for being a little more understanding.  Nothing but praise on this issue.) 
  11. Lastly, an ASP.Net  run-time issue has been mended. The ASP.Net “Menu? control had only behaved properly in IE. This, too, has been fixed so it  will work with other browsers such as Firefox and Mozilla.  (More of the same — I compliment them on reaching out to the other browsers on the net.  I have no idea what the problem was, but if they’re working for cross-browser parity, I have to think it’s A Good Thing™.)