The beta release of Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 is now available for download. There are a ton of changes in this update. Some of the high-level changes include:
- Performance improvements for WPF-based applications (with no code changes)
- Improved designers for building WPF applications (can't wait to see this!)
- Full support for SQL Server 2008
- The introduction of the ADO.NET Entity Designer (very cool!)
- Improvements to Team Foundation Server
- Improvements for web development
- Improvements to the C# and VB.NET experience in the IDE
For example, one of the interesting improvements on the client side is the introduction of the ".NET Framework Client Profile". This option is set at the project level and allows the use of .NET Framework binaries that are commonly used by client-side applications (e.g. Windows Forms, WPF, and WCF). It does not include the ASP.NET binaries, for example. This option allows you to build client-side applications that can make use of the smaller .NET Framework Client, which is smaller, and therefore quicker to download and install.
There are also a ton of modifications relating to Team Foundation Server (which is where a lot of my personal interests are focused). One of the (many) changes include version control of unbound files. While this may not seem all that exciting to some, how many times have you opened a TFSBuild.proj file and stared typing only to realize that the file is not automatically checked out like other files that make up a solution? Although I haven't tried this beta out (yet) I would hope this feature would resolve this issue.
You can read Microsoft's official release regarding the beta release here.
The expected release date of the Visual Studio/.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is summer, 2008.