Microsoft outlines .Net roadmap

Microsoft yesterday unveiled a road map detailing how it intends to evolve future versions of its .Net Framework and Visual Studio .Net development platform. The software giant claimed that the new 'Whidbey' versions of Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework will feature elements to speed up code development. Visual Studio .Net Whidbey will include enhanced debugging, "no-touch deployment" and features such as Edit and Continue.

The .Net Framework Whidbey will also be designed to allow existing .Net Framework 1.1 customers to support 64-bit CPUs with better security and administration, and offers performance and scalability improvements without any source code changes. Microsoft explained that web application development with ASP.Net will be improved with controls for data access and visual appearance that will reduce code complexity in some cases by 70 per cent.

The Whidbey releases also have improved mobile application development tools for the .Net Compact Framework to allow software to be developed for devices such as smartphones and Pocket PCs. Microsoft said that it will align the Whidbey versions of Visual Studio .Net and the .Net Framework with the next version of Microsoft SQL Server, code-named Yukon, expected around the end of 2004. The next release of the Windows operating system, code-named Longhorn and due in 2005, will be accompanied by a new release of Visual Studio .Net code-named Orcas.

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