The latestCommunity Technology preview of Visual Studio “Orcas” hasbeen released (see Rob Caron’s entry), coming in the form of a configured andready to run virtual machine (while normally VMWare Player andVMWare Virtual Server can import VirtualPC machines, that doesn’tseem to be the case for this release. I’ll probe further on that,though at least VirtualPC is free).
Note: you also need the base virtualmachine disk, which you can find here. Together it’s some 4.6GB ofdownloads — I wonder what Microsoft’s bandwidth bills are like –though apparently they’ll be using diffs from here on in.
Not overly noteworthy in itself, given that this is a productthat is so far out that it’s of little practical interest forprofessional developers (outside of saying “neat!”, or if you’re inthe Visual Studio add-in market and you need to develop for itconcurrently), however I mention it because I wrote an entry aboutthis form of delivery a while back, and I think it’s a neatdevelopment.
Obviously Microsoft has the luxury of releasing their ownproducts on their own virtualized platform without all of the legalissues that an external company would have doing the same. Perhapsat some point Microsoft will release a special appliance version oftheir server products, allowing 3rd parties to release products ona decked-out virtual appliance running, for instance, Windows 2003,and to do so legally and cost-effectively (they sort of do thiswith the Storage editions).
This segues to another topictopic that I recently touched upon, which is Joel and hisWasabi language, which is a really high levellanguage (so high that it generates code for really high levellanguages) that he created to generate builds targeting multipleplatforms (e.g. PHP on Apache on Linux, VBScript on IIS on Windows,etc). Joel might be better served simply setting up the platform heneeds, and then using all of the functionality and capabilities ofthe chosen technology stack, and then delivering a ready to runvirtual machine to his prospective clients.