Yes: The long-awaited Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 is now available! It's alive, and available for download!
Before getting started:
Please be sure to read all of the readme's and look for specific instructions near the download links for these products. Especially if you have installed any editions of Express or Visual Studio 2005 prior to beta 2, there are very explicit uninstallation steps which need to be followed in order or else you'll be unhappy with your experience (installation failures, other random stuff breaking, etc.). I don't mean to scare anybody by this disclaimer - as long as you follow the uninstallation order, you should be in great shape. The instructions aren't hard to follow as long as you take a few moments to read them. But it is important, since several of us in marketing encountered these issues this week on our own test machines. Lots of late nights and long days this week trying to figure out where we went wrong... so learn from our mistakes and look for those disclaimers! For Visual Studio uninstallation steps, click here. For Express uninstallation steps, click here.
Places to get started:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/Express: Download Beta 2 of the Express products! If you haven't yet kicked the tires of Express, I think you're going to love them. The Express products are streamlined, easy to use, easy to learn editions of their Visual Studio big brothers, designed for students, hobbyists, and novice developers. But even professional developers should check out Express if they want to "kick the tires" of the 2005 line of Visual Studio product. Full descriptions of each Express product, along with download links, are available here.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/Coding4Fun: We just launched this new developer center which is all about coding for fun. So kick back and relax this weekend, and play with some of the really cool projects highlighted in the article series. We have a lot of really great new content coming online over the next few weeks as well - so keep checking back often! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback or ideas you have for new content!
"Go Live!" - Beta 2 is a high-quality release. Normally, you can't run pre-release betas in production. But with the Go Live license you are permitted to deploy and distribute applications based on Beta 2! Visit the Go Live page for full details.
MSDN Forums: These new forums are intended to eventually replace the newsgroups - I love the new forum format and I think you will, too! If you're having trouble with Beta 2, or if you want to respond to some posts to help your fellow coders, spend some time checking out the forums. I'll be there several times this week as will many of us from the Developer Division.
MSDN Subscriptions Server: Subscribers can log in and download Visual Studio Team System 2005 Beta 2 and more.
Ship. Shower. Shave. I'm literally headed off to do the latter two after hitting "Post"... It's been a long week. After that, I'm coming back to install Express and have some fun Coding4Fun. Happy Coding! Enjoy Beta 2.