Microsoft kicked off a series of technical conferences this week by pledging to release Visual Studio 2008 by the end of November, making the developer IDE the first of three major Windows platform updates scheduled to ship within the next year.
Microsoft also announced two significant licensing changes around Visual Studio that will be a boon for partners. First, the company said it will soon initiate a shared-source licensing program for Visual Studio and make the IDE's source code available to ISV partners for debugging purposes. Microsoft also removed a licensing restriction that previously limited use of the Visual Studio software development kit (SDK) to development only around Microsoft's platforms: partners will now be free to create Visual Studio-based applications and extensions on Linux and other non-Windows platforms.
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