If you create software development tools, you’ll want to consider building on the Visual Studio 2008 Shell, a streamlined Visual Studio development environment that provides the core foundation so you can focus on building your tool’s unique features. Created in response to requests from our partners, the Visual Studio Shell gives you the option of integrating your tools with Visual Studio or creating an isolated, custom-branded application.
If you are building on the new features in the .NET Framework 3.0, such as Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), and Windows CardSpace, you’ll want to preview the The .NET Framework 3.5 Beta 1 release, which will ship with Visual Studio 2008. .NET Framework 3.5 adds several new features, including integration of Language Integrated Query (LINQ); ASP.NET AJAX; new Web protocol support for building WCF services including AJAX, JSON, REST, POX, RSS, and ATOM; full tooling support for WF, WCF, and WPF; and new classes in the base class library (BCL).
Speaking of ASP.NET, MSDN is now offering the ASP.NET "How Do I" video series, with dozens of videos designed for all ASP.NET developers, from the novice to the professional. If you are new to ASP.NET, you can learn the basics of how to create dynamic Web applications with ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition, using either Visual Basic or C#. If you have a bit of development experience, you will learn how to employ some of the great new features introduced in ASP.NET 2.0. New videos are added every week, so check back often.
And here’s a learning tip that comes with free stuff. Register to attend an MSDN Event near you from August through September in one of dozens of U.S. locations, and you’ll receive a copy of the MSDN Events Technical Resource Kit, which includes access to the latest builds of new technologies, including Visual Studio 2008, a sample Silverlight application (with source code), free trials of Microsoft Expression suite products, Visual Web Developer 2005, and more.