In case you live on another planet and didn't heard yet (but you read my blog) here is the news: on 7th of November 2005 the brand new version of Visual Studio will be released.
I received my media kit from BetaExperience, and I installed Beta 2 release some time ago. Well, IT ROCKS. It is the first time that within a single IDE you can develop for all plaforms. Before this, for Windows CE, you had to install Embedded Visual Tools for native code, or VS 2003 for managed, different tools, different debuggers and so on.
When I started the first time, I was impressed about the new look. I am using the screen in 24 bit true color, and looks very nice, similar to Office. I installed it in a virtual machine (ok, ok, not a VPC one, but from VMWare), and I was a little bit disappointed about the speed, mainly because I've seen Beta1 and it worked pretty smoothly. Well, my virtual harddisk file (4.5 GB) had over 50000 segments. Defragmenting the disk get reducing the number of fragments to 2 or 3 greatly improved the speed. Now you can develop quite fast, and I haven't noticed performance degradation between VS2003 and Beta 2. The machine is a Athlon XP 1800+, and VMWare machine has 512MB.
Another interesting stuff is the ARM emulator. Now you can test the real software in emulator also, and not by disturbing the actual device, which a nice thing. Before a very limited number of software had binaries for Windows CE / X86. Actually I found only one software, which is the SmartMonitor plugin, if I remember correctly.
To my own disgrace, I haven't installed yet the Team Foundation Server, primarly due to lack of time, but I will test it, I promise.
A negative point is related to the new way of storing web projects. I had a serious problem when I converted the old solution, because I had some projects, which were excluded from build for historic reasons, but were included in the converted project. With the new way of storing projects, you will lose this capability of excluding files from build, or at least I haven't found how to do it.
Also, the resx files for aspx are getting dropped, I didn't understand yet, which was the reason to be added in the first place for this kind of files (ASPX/ASCX), so will unclutter your source control system.
A nice hack is that located here, and this gives you the ability to target the binary for an older framework. Still, when the web project is converted it will add partial attribute to all codebehind files, so you should go and remove the attribute in order to target 1.1 or 1.0 version. And when you have over 300 pages, is quite some work to do.
Update: June CTP for VS2005 is released: you can find here if it worths the update.