Where’s The Interest In Microsoft’s Latest Dev Offerings?

I’ve been playing with Team Foundation Server, Whidbey (VisualStudio 2005), and Yukon (SQL Server 2005) since early in the betacycles. All three of them are remarkable products, withenormous advances over their predecessors (in the case ofTFS, I’m spuriously considering Visual SourceSafe the predecessor,although TFS is a elephant compared to the mouse of VSS), and allof them should be critical components for anyone developing in theMicrosoft camp.

All three of them also happen to be a little unpolished, withodd little quirks and errata, hilariously incomplete documentation,and a tendency towards resource hoggishness.

One thing I’ve found remarkable, however, given that the threeof them have been in final form for anywhere from two months toover half a year, is how little real information andfirst-hand accounts are available online. I’m continually hittingroadblocks where there are marginal functions or incompletedocumentation, and it’s surprizing to find zero referencesto the same problems or questions on any of the normal forums (e.g.Google Groups, online searches, etc). Among the developmentcommunity, outside of thedesperate-to-get-anointed-free-support-MVP crowd, they just don’thave the aura of excitement they probably deserve.

Given that there are literally millions of developers andtechnology hobbyists out there, it’s usually the case that anyproblems one faces are well trodden, and a quick search on thenewsgroup usually yields exactly the answer one needs, so thisdearth of time-travel support really is disconcerting.

The only conclusion I can draw is that there simply aren’t thatmany developers seriously using these technologies. Visual Studio2005 is of course seeing some use, but there are still hugearmies of developers sticking with 2003 (given the break between.NET 1.1 and 2.0). A lot of SQL shops are still taking await-and-see approach with 2005. Team Foundation Server, primarilybecause of the cost of the Team editions, and the cost of a TFSServer license if you grow past a 5-user team, seems to be fairlyrare.