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Microsoft released the beta version of the upgrade to its developer tools platform, Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1, on its Microsoft Connect Web site on Sept. 26.

In a blog post on the same day, S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s developer division, said the Service Pack is in direct response to customer feedback and addresses issues that were found through a combination of internal testing, customer reports and results from the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) Product Feedback Center.

Meanwhile, Somasegar addressed the issue of the service pack being released later than many developers might have expected or desired.

“I know that this Service Pack is a little late in coming,” Somasegar said in his post. “While I regret that it took longer, we wanted to be as thorough as possible about taking your feedback and decided to take the extra time.”

The final version of VS 2005 SP1 will be released at some point during the next three to four months, depending on customer feedback and how many changes Microsoft may have to make based on that feedback, Somasegar said.

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For his part, Somasegar said the Microsoft developer division will be working with the Windows Vista team to make the development experience smooth for those who will be migrating to the new platform.

“We are working with the Vista team to understand those [compatibility issues], to provide workarounds where possible and also work on providing you with a set of fixes beyond SP1,” Somasegar said in his blog. “We had a choice to make internally—hold up VS 2005 SP1 till we get the fixes in or decouple and ship VS 2005 SP1 as soon as possible knowing that we have to provide fixes for some of those Vista compatibility issues later.”

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In addition to the new beta of VS 2005 SP1, the Redmond, Wash., company also announced a bit of the servicing strategy for Visual Studio for Windows Vista.

Visual Studio 2005, with its support for the .Net Framework 2.0 and add-ins to support the .Net Framework 3.0, Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office system, offers a rich feature set for developers building modern applications, Somasegar said.

However, Visual Studio .Net 2002 and Visual Studio .Net 2003 will not be supported as development environments on Windows Vista, he said. Based on what Somasegar described as customer feedback regarding the manageability of upgrading from Visual Studio .Net 2003 to Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft will focus its efforts on ensuring that Visual Studio 2005 is a great development platform for Windows Vista, he said.

Meanwhile, an update to Visual Studio 2005 SP1 will be available shortly following “broad consumer availability” of Windows Vista that will enable developers to leverage the advances in the new operating system, Microsoft said.

Existing applications built on the .Net Framework 1.1 and 2.0 will also work on Windows Vista, the company said.

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