Substantial .NET, Visual Studio 2008 update in Service Pack 1

Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie has announced .NET 3.5 SP1 and Visual Studio 2008 SP1 beta. Some of the things which caught my eye:

  • Performance: up to 40% faster startup for desktop .NET apps, up to 10% faster ASP.NET.
  • Smaller runtime in .NET “Client profile”. There is a new cut-down runtime for Windows Forms or WPF client apps, bringing the setup down to “only” 26MB. The key point here is the size of the file a user must download and run if she does not already have .NET installed in the right version. Tim Sneath has more details about the new client profile.

A bit of context: the .NET 2.0 runtime is only 22.4MB. This ballooned to 50.3MB for .NET 3.0, and 197MB for .NET 3.5 (check the size of the full package, not the 2.7MB bootstrapper which launches further downloads) – though there are ways to reduce the size of the 197MB monster, which actually includes several versions of the .NET Framework.

  • New vector shape, Printing, and DataRepeater controls for Windows Forms – echoes of old VB controls.
  • A datagrid for WPF – not actually in SP1, but promised shortly afterwards.
  • WPF interop with Direct3D
  • ADO.NET Data Services (formerly Astoria) and Entity Framework

The new SP offers compatibility with SQL Server 2008, and the database product itself is still expected “third quarter” as far as I’m aware. I guess it may go final at the same moment as SP1 for .NET and Visual Studio.

The smaller runtime for .NET desktop apps is welcome, but those in search of a lightweight .NET runtime should look at Silverlight 2.0, which is currently 4.38MB.