October 13, 2006

Windows Vista as a Development Platform

As Windows Vista RC2 hit last week I've come across several mildly disturbing articles regarding the integrity of Vista as a development platform. First off was the announcement of SP1 Beta for Visual Studio 2005 on Somasegar's blog. Sounds like good news, right? Well, further down he also reveals that Vista will not support Visual Studio 2002 or Visual Studio 2003. In addition, he admits that Visual Studio 2005 will most likely suffer from compatibility issues beyond those addressed in SP1. In my mind this doesn't communicate strong support for what is supposed to be Microsoft's flagship development platform. I imagine this issue could easily stop most developers from trying Vista anytime soon due to the fact that they still need to continue supporting older applications via older versions of Visual Studio.

There have also been rumors going back and forth debating Java's ability to keep up with the new "Aero" look and feel in Vista. Thankfully, it appears as if this will only be an issue for older versions of Java.

On a positive note, IIS 7 in Vista will finally elevate PHP to a first class citizen. The newest version of Microsoft's webserver is on target to introduce a FastCGI host. Such a change will honor the single-process-per-request execution model of PHP, but do so much more efficiently than traditional CGI. For more information check out this blog entry by Mike Volodarsky (member of the IIS team).