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Microsoft To Update Visual Studio, .NET This Month

Visual Studio 2008 includes a new graphical designer to target XAML, a design language used by Windows Presentation Foundation.

Microsoft plans to release the next version of its Visual Studio software development application and an updated version of the .NET development framework by the end of this month, the company announced on Monday.

"Traditionally, organizations have been hard pressed to deliver the richer, more connected applications and services they need to boost productivity, drive revenue, and stay ahead of the competition," S. Somasegar, VP of Microsoft's developer division, said in a statement. "With Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5, it is easy for developers to use the skills they already have to build compelling applications that take advantage of the latest platforms."

Visual Studio 2008 includes a new graphical designer to target XAML, a design language used by Windows Presentation Foundation, the graphical subsystem of the .NET Framework. Unlike older versions, Visual Studio 2008 will allow developers to target older versions of the .NET Framework, rather than just the newest version. According to Microsoft, Visual Studio 2008 will also provide significant performance and scalability upgrades.

The .NET Framework 3.5 will be available later this month as a free, optional download via Microsoft Windows Update. One of the main new features of the .NET 3.5 Framework is integration with Language Integrated Query, or LINQ, which allows developers to much more easily create apps that refer to and interact with databases. The new version will also add more support for Ajax applications.

Along with Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5, Microsoft will by the end of November release new capability for consumers and developers to embed gadgets built with the company's Popfly mashup tool into their own Web sites. the company on Monday released the first test version of a new developer tool, the Microsoft Sync Framework.

The Sync Framework will allow developers to create applications that take advantage of online-offline synchronization and peer-to-peer collaboration in their applications. The Sync Framework "features technologies and tools that enable roaming, sharing, and taking data offline," the company said. It includes sync systems for files and data and a software component to store sync metadata.

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