Vista will NOT support Developers

So first most of the meat was taken out of Vista, and the best of what remains (the poorly named .NET v3.0) runs on XP.  Now we find out that we can't use Vista for development, since VS 2003 (or 2002) won't be supported.  For that matter, even VS 2005 will require SP1 which is just now in beta, and even that we are told will have issues after its official release.  So (1) who actually wants, let alone needs, Vista, and (2) why does MS just keep screwing up and pushing out this stuff before its ready?  Don't get me wrong, as I like VS 2005 very much, but its no secret that MS made some bad decisions that still impacts a lot of people.  But even for those of us that do like VS 2005, most of us still have to continue to support VS 2003 also for some time.  And its not like this is the only thing that seems to not be ready with Vista, but this will pretty much guarantee developers won't move to Vista in large quantities.  So either MS should delay Vista until its really ready and useful for more than generating income, or we developers need to tell everyone to ignore Vista since its clearly not ready.  


  • I agree on every level.

    As someone who uses VS.NET 2002 and 2003 *still* I find it difficult to believe this decision has been made because of technical reasons and more to do with marketing reasons - pushing people into a new VS.NET.

  • for some purposes its neccessary to use win 2003 server as development OS, so for me its not a problem

  • 'We Developers' number an abject minority compared to the target audience for vista - like all software or hardware upgrades people choose to move to it when they feel it offers them benefit, for home users this may be sooner than developers. I don't see where you have a point.

  • I just don't get why you people continue to slavishly follow microsoft and subject yourselves to this kind of stuff. Vista "will not support developers" because it doesn't have to. You guys can sit around and bitch about it all you want but it doesn't matter because you have no alternative.

  • "We Developers' number an abject minority compared to the target audience for vista - like all software or hardware upgrades people choose to move to it when they feel it offers them benefit, for home users this may be sooner than developers. I don't see where you have a point."

    Explain to me how we can be expected to weed out platform dependencies if we can't use the platform we are developing for? How many man hours are going to be lost to the compile-deploy-test-fail-recompile cycle? If the freakin' IDE won't run on Vista, how can we be sure that the code it's spitting out will?

    Not to mention the headache that game developers will have. Got a working codebase under VS 2003? Better get started migrating it to 2005.

  • The IDE runs fine (at least 2005 does without any SP1). I think it's a matter of UAC prompts and whatnot which are a side-effect of hardened security.

    I've made a couple of small C# class libraries and Web Sites using Visual Studio 2005 and had no problems at all.

    Not being supported does not equal "wont-install". Considering the jumping-through-hoops many 3rd party libraries and tools give you i don't think developers will be having many problems with running 2005 on Vista, with or without SP1.

    Also, it was sort of given that a lot of things would break or bend with all the added security and changes MS has done to Vista.

  • I think you guys are overreacting a bit. Microsoft's not out to intentionally screw you guys. Seriously, that's pretty irrational.

  • Stephan: Its mostly VS 2003 that's the problem.

    Interscape: No one said MS was trying to screw us -- its more a case of MS screwing themselves.

  • I don't know if ScottGu will come back, but I'm afraid that I have a problem with this answer. I do mobile development. Virtual PC does not virtualise USB devices, and so ActiveSync running in a guest OS cannot synchronize with my devices. I need to be able to connect ActiveSync with a device and debug a .NET Compact Framework 1.0 application using Visual Studio .NET 2003. Yes, you can work on Compact Framework 1.0 applications in VS 2005, but it isn't possible to do this with no incompatible changes - editing a form causes its .resx files to be converted to a different format, which then won't load in 2003.

    VS 2003 is meant to be in mainstream support up until October 2008 according to the lifecycle policy. That means we expect you to make your best efforts to keep it compatible. That's what mainstream support should mean.

  • I think this is absolute madness... Surely Microsoft can't be this dumb?

  • If VS 2005 does not run in the operating system. Its a waste for me. Since I am working on the studio Most of the time

  • Richard: You need to learn how to read, since the main issue here by far is VS 2003, not VS 2005.

  • PaulWilson: So, that's why the title says, "Vista will NOT support Developers", eh? Come on.

  • Richard: if it doesn't affect your work, good for you. It does affect our work and a lot of other's work. VS.NET 2005 + sp1 also has problems on vista, but perhaps not that big, although I do expect to have UAC pop up when I debug.

    I want an OS which supports the software that I need. If the OS is incapable of running the software I need, the OS is useless and meaningless, because the SOLE purpose of the OS is running applications and providing a layer for my software and me to work with the hardware. If it fails to do that, the OS can take a hike.

    You also might not realize this, but Developers are very important. If developers lag behind on accepting an OS, less software specifically written for that OS is released, delaying the OS' large acceptance.

  • Frans: The point of my complaint is that there are all these bloggers posting titles like "No Visual Studio support in Vista" and "Vista will NOT support developers" etc..., they don't say, "VS2002-2003 won't run on Vista" or "Vista won't have full VS compatibility at release!" or much more accurate, and less-eye-grabbing attention. So, I have to go into work and explain to my bosses that the headlines they read are wrong, and they shouldn't panic. That's my issue.

  • Richard: Yes, the titles are intentionally eye-grabbing, but the details are 100% correct.  Why do the titles need to be eye-grabbing?  I can think of two reasons right away.

    One is because too many other Microsoft followers, like yourself, only like to report the positive spin.  You may want to say VS 2005 SP1 is in Beta and Vista is gonna be great, but that's a very serious half-truth, unlike the full truth that is in the details I've posted.  So unfortunately it takes some of us posting eye-grabbing titles with the full truth to get heard over the many misleading posts that don't report the full truth and only say MS is great.

    The other reason for eye-grabbing titles is because you have to get attention focused on the negative aspects if we are to get Microsoft to change their mind.  They know they are not doing what is expected and hoped for, and yes they do have reasons for that which I can and do understand, but they hope to spin it in such a way that we won't care.  And if they don't get the proper feedback in time then we will be stuck with these poor decisions for some time.

    This is very much just like the debacle with the change in the web project system in 2005.  Microsoft wanted very much to make things easier for non-enterprise developers that were having a hard time, and that was a good thing to want to do on their part.  But they ignored the enterprise developers in the process and only after the fact worried about the former style of web projects.  Why were we ignored?  Because there weren't enough that spoke up about the issues, and therefore few realized the impact until it was too late.  I personally saw a lot of experts say nothing about the changes because they bought into the positive spin.

    Like it or not, you get change by speaking up and getting attention so that even more speak up -- that is the way the system works.  I like Microsoft's work for the most part, and I like the individuals on the ASP.NET team, most of which I have personally met several times in my trips to Microsoft.  But I would be doing a grave dis-service to myself and other enterprise developers that need proper support if I either remain silent or join your happy chorus.  No, I want Microsoft to reconsider their choice -- yes it will take work, and may delay things, or at least force a later SP to address the issue, but it is necessary if they expect Vista to be accepted in enterprises.

  • Hey man, go easy on em, and besides its just too easy to fire up a VPC with the old bits...

    The notion of extreme backward compatibility in Microsoft's Operating Systems has produced all of these security nightmares... having to support flawed interfaces for 10 years just doesn't make sense in the era of virtualization and emulation.

  • I'm using VS2005 on Vista RC1 (5600) pretty extensively... class libraries, Windows Forms, WPF apps and have not run into any problems that I am aware of, outside of an occasional failure to repaint the IDE. Am I missing something?

  • There does still seem to be some confusion regarding the basic facts here. Visual Studio 2005 will definitely be supported on Vista. The C# team is testing it extensively, and a service pack is already in beta. I've installed it on Vista, and tested it, and it runs quite smoothly. There are still issues to resolve, but they are relatively minor.

    - Charlie

  • Hmm. I've been using VC 2005 on Vista for a good while now and I haven't noticed any problems. Luckily, I saw this blog. If you hadn't told me it didn't work, I never would have known!

  • I have been working solidly all weekend on VS2005 (SP1 Beta)/Vista RC2. It runs *so* much quicker than XP I have returned to work where I have a higher spec PC and it feels 'broken' just because it is running XP!

    Some of the new features in Vista are compelling *especially* for developers. Try it - you'll see.

  • Vista MUST support VS2003.

  • >Dan: unfortunately VMWare Workstation is not free.

    But it's worth every cent (unlike Vista, it seems).

  • To set the record straight - or at least firmly crooked:
    VS 2005 w/ SP 1 WORKS ON VISTA - with some issues. Nothing I have seen is a showstopper though...

    VS 2003 SORT OF WORKS ON VISTA - ASP.NET Development will not work in the IDE - you can't install that feature because you can't install Frontpage Server Extensions.

    That's been my experience, and I'm pretty close to the source - I work at the MS Corp. Campus, and that's the consensus here...


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