Microsoft exec: The world runs on software

Official highlights importance of developers in unveiling company's Visual Studio 2010 platform

Declaring that software runs the world and developers are the engine behind software, a high-level Microsoft official Monday unleashed the company's latest software development platform, Visual Studio 2010 and the accompanying .Net Framework 4.

The two technologies became available Monday after a long preview period for developers.

"There is no question that the world runs on software," said Bob Muglia, president of the server and tools business at Microsoft, in unveiling Visual Studio 2010 at an event in Las Vegas. "Just look around you. Look at everything, look at all the devices we use, the systems we interact with."

Everything is powered by software and "developers are the ones who make it all happen," Muglia said.

"As I said, software powers the world, so that means that developers are the engine behind what powers the world," he said.

Muglia and other Microsoft representatives onstage showed off capabilities of Visual Studio 2010. Later on this week, Microsoft is set to ship version 4 of its Silverlight rich Internet plug-in technology.

"There aren't a lot of surprises in terms of what Visual Studio 2010 does. It does what you asked us to do," Muglia said.

Muglia and company highlighted Visual Studio 2010's capabilities, including multiple-monitor support. "No one needs it more than the developer, who is working on so many things simultaneously," Muglia said.

Visual Studio 2010's Windows Presentation Foundation-based code editor, featuring refactoring and zoom capabilities, was also lauded. Officials noted Visual Studio 2010 can build applications leveraging capabilities of other Microsoft technologies, such as the SharePoint collaboration platform, Windows 7 OS, Silverlight, and the Windows Azure cloud platform.

"We see phenomenal opportunity" in the cloud environment, Muglia said. Developers can develop and test applications on their local machine via Visual Studio 2010 before deploying them to the cloud. Muglia called cloud computing a "major inflection point" in computing, on par with the advent of PCs and the Internet.

The Visual Studio 2010 IntelliTrace capability, for tracing development processes and debugging, was deemed useful by an event attendee.

"That looked like something we'd probably get some use out of for our QA team," said Mike Padgen, principal software architect at Navitaire, which builds airline software.

For Windows 7, developers can leverage gesturing capabilities. With SharePoint development capabilities, Visual Studio takes care of development issues that had been a problem before.

"Building SharePoint applications has been very, very challenging," Muglia said. It lacked an environment for developers, he said.

A Visual Web Parts capability, for instance, surface data from within SharePoint.

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