As you can read on Scott Guthrie's Blog the Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 Beta can be downloaded now. It has a amazing set of features and improvements and I highly recommend it, especially if you live on the bleeding edge :) I like the VS IDE and ASP.NET Routing Engine (previously part of the new ASP.NET MVC framework) the most.
David Hayden has summarized the list of changes (Scott's Blog posts are usually very long ^^):
- ASP.NET Dynamic Data - The wonderful ASP.NET RAD Data Scaffolding Support similar to what you get from Ruby on Rails.
- ASP.NET Routing Engine - The routing engine we have been enjoying in the ASP.NET MVC Framework and ASP.NET Dynamic Data.
- ASP.NET AJAX Back/Forward Button History Support - What you know and love from the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions
- ASP.NET AJAX Script Combining Support
- Haven't seen this one before. It allows you to declaratively define
multiple script references within a new custom tag.
- Visual Studio 2008 Performance Improvements HTML Designer and HTML Source Editor - Always good to see :)
- Visual Studio Refactoring Support for WCF Services in ASP.NET Projects
- Visual Studio Support for Classic ASP Intellisense and Debugging - Need this for ASP.NET MVC Framework Views.
- Visual Web Developer Express Edition support for Class Library and Web Application Projects
- SQL Server 2008 Support
- ADO.NET Entity Framework and LINQ to Entities - We expected this. Awesome!
- ADO.NET Data Services (formerly code-named "Astoria") - This is awesome, too!
- C# - The C# code editor now
identifies and displays red squiggle errors for many semantic code
issues that previously required an explicit compilation to identify.
Every little bit helps.
Read all this in more detail on Scott's blog or just download VS2008 SP1 Beta.
As you can read on the XNA Team Blog
the first CTP (kinda early beta/alpha) for XNA Game Studio 3.0 is available for download now
The major new features beside full VS 2008 (Express, Standard, Pro, etc., but not longer VS 2005) support you can now write and deploy games for the Zune. Luckily for me I own one (not many non-US people do since the Zune is ONLY available in the US). Please note that while the Zune is a powerful device it obviously will NOT support any advanced rendering techniques at all, but all the other parts of the XNA Framework are supported very well. This means 3D games or shader based games will be possible on the Zune and the display is just 320x240 pixel and there are other things you have to think about (controls and playing music), but other than that it should be pretty easy to start developing Zune games right away :)
While the new features are really cool and I definitely will check out the Zune development options (XNA MVPs already saw some cool samples and stuff at the MVP Summit about this ^^), the show stopper for me is the "no 64 bit support
" issue. All my PCs (work, home, laptop and even the servers) run on 64 bit vista/win2003/win2008, it will not be easy to play around with XNA 3.0 ("Hey, go away from that PC, I wanna test something").
Anyway, check out XNA Game Studio 3.0
, especially if you own a Zune and find this Zune-targeted game development cool. Other features worth checking out are better sound APIs in the new Media namespace, namely the SoundEffect and MediaPlayer APIs. They allow you to play sounds and music much easier and in more formats (yeah, mp3s).