As you've probably already heard, Visual Studio.net shipped on Feb. 13th, 2002. As part
of the launch process, Microsoft was putting on a number of "launch events"
to increase community awareness and to celebrate getting it out the door.
Here's the description from Microsoft's Events web site:
After four years in development, 25 programming languages supported, and 2.5
million betas distributed, the launch of Visual Studio .NET means that
developers and software architects like yourself will be able to take advantage
of the most sophisticated, productivity-enhancing development toolset ever
At this launch event, you'll hear firsthand how Visual Studio .NET will allow
you to leverage your existing skills to rapidly build applications and XML Web
services that target any device and integrate any platform.
Every event attendee will receive a FREE Microsoft Visual Studio .NET
trial edition DVD and other valuable giveaways!
Not being the type to pass up a day away from my desk (and the endless barage of email
that it inevitably includes), I hit up a co-worker to go with me and we decided to
check out the scene.
Now it had been a while, but I have been to some of these propaganda-fests before.
It's a free event and I was expecting a couple hundred people to show up for the free
lunch... you know... the ones that could convince their boss to give them the time
away from work. The first
thing that told me I might be a little mistaken was the multiple check-in lines and
the requirement that I show a photo id to get in. Now I naturally understand the
need for security, but it's a FREE event guys... how many people
are really gonna try and sneak in... and if they are willing to go to that length
to learn about the product, don't you want them there?
Anyway... when all was said and done, the crowd numbered somewhere around 2,000.
The Standard Bag of Goodies
As always there were lots of trial CDs from the sponsors of the event and tons of flyers
but they also were nice enough to include a 60-day trial of VS.net Pro and a
"Visual Basic.net Upgrade Guide" CD that contains all sorts of good
how-to videos and technical demos on the new .NET stuff. There was also an entry form
for a number of raffles held throughout the day with prizes ranging from software and books
to an Xbox and a nice development machine.
[For those of you who care... I didn't win anything. :( ]
Oh and I almost forgot... they also included a Visual Studio.net T-shirt. A nice touch...
that makes one more day before I have to do laundry.
Keynote & Sessions
They had a number of people, including Scott Guthrie, collaborate on the keynote
and even included a video from Bill Gates. The other sessions included: "Best Practices
for Upgrading VB6 Projects to VB.NET", "COM Interoperability and Enterprise Services
in .NET", and "Architecting Enterprise Systems." I don't have the
time to cover everything they did, but the slides are supposed to be available soon
(I'll link to them if I ever find them) and suffice it to say, all the talks
were pretty good and the demos all made it look like VS.net was doing all the work and all you had
to do was tell it what to do!
The Bottom Line
Maybe I'm just easily influenced or maybe Microsoft has got their brainwashing
perfected, but by the end of the day I wanted to go home and develop using
Visual Studio.net. Based on the turn out at the show, the number of people that
stayed for the whole thing, and the response the speakers got from the audience,
I don't think I was the only one either. There seems to be a lot of interest
in the development community over Visual Studio.net and as far as I can tell it's
for good reason. If you're not conviced, check out
the Visual Studio.net home page
or get a copy of the trial
and try it for yourself... I think you'll be pleasently surprised.
Note: It looks like the 60 day trial isn't shipping yet, but it
does exist and we've got the scans to prove it: