Microsoft Developer Tools as a Service?

Now THIS is newsworthy. eWeek reports that Microsoft " investigating how to apply its software-as-a-service strategy to developers' needs." I'd like to proudly call out the fact that practically the entire story is based on a pair of blog posts from two very senior level Microsoft managers: Soma Somasegar and John Montgomery!

"John Montgomery said his new role [in our Developer Division] is to "help define what a 'Live' version of Visual Studio might look like. If you think about Office Live and Windows Live, you can see that 'Live' is coming together to mean 'software that is smarter when it's online and back-ended by a set of services.' I think most developers get this concept intuitively—that software can (and should) be better when it's online." Why, why, why can't eWeek put links in their articles to the blogs they cite. Infuriating. Here's a link th John Montgomery's post: Not "Visual Studio Live": Call It "Tuscany".

John reports up to Microsoft VP, Soma Somasegar who recently wrote, "Now, what do these services mean for the developer community?  As always, developers within and outside Microsoft will remain Microsoft’s core constituency.  There are 2 things that I think about in this context:

  • A set of services that we want to provide which will make it easy for developers to develop applications and services using VS.  We took some baby steps with VS 2005 in terms of community integrated search for sample code, starter kits, help information and the like.  There is a lot more that we can and need to do here.
  • Support for features in Visual Studio that makes it a great set of development tools for developers to be able to build and consume services. Again, you can do that with VS 2005 today (creating and consuming Web Services) and with subsequent versions of VS, you will see a lot more here. "

What sorts of development tools would you like to consume as a service? .NET Intellisense for Notepad? 😉 A T-SQL debugger for SQL Server's latest release? ...?

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