Comdex 2001: Some developers will wait for Visual Studio.Net

Only paying subscribers to Microsoft's developer programme will receive the final version of its Visual Studio.Net developer...

Only paying subscribers to Microsoft's developer programme will receive the final version of its Visual Studio.Net developer software by the end of the year.

Several hundred thousand paying subscribers of the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) will receive the new software development tool next month, said David Lazar, the lead product manager for Microsoft's tools group.

But most MSDN members will have to wait until 13 February 2002 to get a copy, when the final version of the software will be widely released during the VS Live developer conference in San Francisco.

Anticipated as the set of tools that will facilitate Microsoft's plans to build applications and Web-based services using technology standards such as XML, the software has been tested by about 2.5 million developers since it was first released in beta last year.

"Of course they've submitted a lot of bugs," Lazar said. "And we've been in major bug-crunching mode."

But as many as 25 companies around the world have already begun deploying applications built with the beta versions of the software. Five companies - including Verizon Wireless and e-commerce company CafePress.com - have announced that they have completed major application deployments using the Beta 2 version of Visual Studio.Net.

"The beta is incredibly stable," Lazar said. He added that Microsoft for the first time offered a licence for its beta product that allowed companies to deploy applications with the tools.

Verizon used the beta tools to rebuild software that ran its circuits after much of its network was destroyed during the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. "When lower Manhattan got blown out they basically had to relocate all the circuits for that part of the city," Lazar said.

Working with software consulting company Infragistics, Verizon had relocated and rebuilt its downed circuits within six days of the attacks.

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