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Microsoft has released a new version of its Visual Studio toolset for Windows Vista development.

On March 6, the Redmond, Wash., software giant released the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 SP1 (Service Pack 1) Update for Windows Vista, so that developers building applications on Microsoft’s new operating system platform can enjoy an improved user experience that builds on the enhancements Microsoft provided with the release of Visual Studio 2005 SP1 in December, the company said.

With the release of the new Vista-focused toolset, Microsoft also released an interview with S. “Soma” Somasegar, the corporate vice president of the company’s Developer Division.

“Windows Vista gives developers a whole new canvas for creating cutting edge applications, and we are already seeing a lot of exciting third-party solutions coming to life, including ultra-realistic 3-D programs, novel mini-applications called “gadgets,” engaging high-definition, animated programs and Web sites, and innovative applications from new-media, retail and education companies,” Somasegar said in the interview posted on the Microsoft site.

In addition, Somasegar said: “We also took developer concerns to heart, and have built the most secure and reliable version of Windows ever. Windows Vista was built from the ground up with secure development in mind.

“It has new features like User Account Control, which prompts end-users when an application performs an action that requires administrative privileges. From a developer’s point of view, it not only helps prevent malware from gaining control of a user’s PC, but also gives users more direct control over how their PCs are being used.”

The code for the new updated release can be found here.

Jay Roxe, group product manager for Visual Studio, said Microsoft advised developers that it would be updating its toolset to address the Windows Vista release specifically, even though developers have already been able to create applications for Vista using both Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1.

However, the new Visual Studio 2005 “Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista” adds a few features that will help developers create applications that take better advantage of the Vista operating system.

“It’s not a large release in terms of things it addresses,” Roxe said. “This addresses things like getting a better IIS [Internet Information Services] experience on Vista. We also worked on making sure error messages are more concise and clear on Vista. And we worked on improving the overall developer experience.”

Click here to read more about Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2005 update for Windows Vista.

Roxe noted that when Microsoft released the beta for the Visual 2005 Service Pack 1 release the company asked the beta testers whether they wanted Microsoft to ship Service Pack 1 first as an upgrade before Vista shipped en masse or whether the company should wait until afterward. Roxe said the customer base responded that they wanted an upgrade immediately and then another refresh after Vista became broadly available.

The enhancements, bug fixes and improvements in Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 Update for Windows Vista are the result of Microsoft’s own internal use of the product and input from users who checked in through the MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) Feedback Center, Roxe said.

Service Pack 1 of the development platform shipped in mid-December and included more than 70 improvements for common development scenarios, including new processor support for code generation and profiling, as well as performance and scale improvements in Microsoft’s TFS (team foundation server).

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