Microsoft unveils new betas

This article was originally published in VSJ, which is now part of Developer Fusion.
Microsoft has been busy releasing betas and community previews of lots of new products and versions. The haul includes:
  • Silverlight 1.0 Release Candidate is the last step before the final code ships and enables designers and developers to build interactive applications for the web. Silverlight capabilities include delivery of high-quality audio and video to all major browsers including Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.
  • Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 includes support for ASP.NET AJAX and the Silverlight add-in for Visual Studio 2008. Together with the NET Framework 3.5, the Beta 2 release includes full project template and tools support for many of the .NET Framework 3.0 capabilities previously introduced. The Silverlight add-in for Visual Studio 2008 (CTP) enables developers to start building Silverlight 1.0 applications from within the Visual Studio 2008 environment, and work with their designer counterparts using Expression Blend 2 August Preview. Additionally, a ‘Go Live’ Licence is available for developers to build and deploy solutions today using Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2, the .NET Framework 3.5 Beta 2, and Silverlight 1.0 Release Candidate.

Also new is the Community Technology Preview 1 of “Acropolis”. This is a set of components and tools that make it easier for developers to build and manage modular, business focused, client .NET applications. It is intended to be the next generation platform for building the kinds of applications that are currently built with CAB. It is also part of Microsoft’s new “.NET Client Futures” wave of releases.

Meanwhile for those who are still using VB 6.0, Microsoft’s Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0 allows developers to incorporate VB.NET Forms and Controls into their VB6 applications, and thus provides a good way to extend existing VB 6.0 applications without migrating VB 6.0 code to VB.NET.

Finally, Microsoft has also announced a new suite of products called Software Licensing and Protection Services (SLP Services), a set of tools designed to help developers protect their intellectual property (IP), create and license product versions, track product and feature usage, and integrate into backend business processes.

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