Whidbey Hype vs. Content for Current Versions

Many customers have been complaining about the lack of new articles, samples and excitement around VS.NET 2003.  This http://windowsforms.net forums post is an example.  Great language skills aside, he makes a point.  A very significant portion of new MSDN articles, samples and overall buzz is around Whidbey and not the current version of VS.NET and the .NET Framework. 


I guess there are a few reasons for this.  Human nature leads us to be excited about things that are *new*.  Also, Whidbey is the product that everyone in Microsoft’s developer division has been working on for the last 2+ years.  We’ve poured our ideas and energy into this product and we want to tell the world about it. 


Think about what you were working on 2 and half years ago.  Would you rather discuss that project or what you’re working on now?


<update after 7 replies>


First off, I’d like to thank everyone for their insightful comments.  When you are working on a new version of a product, it can be easy to get caught up in the hype and overlook the thousands (millions?) of existing customers using the current version.  Thanks for helping me remember that.


There are lots of existing articles and code samples for VS.NET 2003.  A quick look on the windowsforms.net samples page shows controls and other code libraries that encapsulate functionality you can use right away and also show how things are done so you can learn and extend.  As far as articles, the windowsforms.net articles page has hunderds of articles only a few of which are about Whidbey.  Another great VS.NET 2003 sample that was added recently is the Windows Forms markup parser Joe Stegman wrote.


The Patterns and practices group are producing many great application code blocks which can be used to build robust functionality into your applications.


In general, there is quite a bit of information out there today about VS.NET 2003 and VS.NET 2002.  If you have specific Windows Forms sample or article requests, please let me know and I’ll pass them on to the team.

Comments (10)

  1. TacoBoy says:

    There’s nothing wrong with putting some energy to get everyone excited and prepared for the "next great thing", but there needs to be a balance. If no one ‘up there’ cares about the current technology, why should we (that’s what it feels like)? Maybe you guys are bored with the current generation of technology, but with endless blog lists of people who only talk about things that their paying customers can’t use yet end up adding to the frustration.

    The danger right now is this great mechanism for sharing infroamtion (blogging) is going to be looked at as a hype mediam and not what it could be.

  2. Robert Jeppesen says:

    I agree, and it’s not just blogging. Most new MSDN content is about Whidbey, Yukon and Longhorn. Longhorn is way too premature to be writing code examples and articles for. Who among developers who write code for a living is interested in this now?

  3. Michael,

    i simply stopped reading any msdn content that has yukon, whidbey or longorn in its title. (which means there’s not much left for me to read on msdn.)

    [obviously thats not true – just read you post, but … well i really don’t read much msdn stuff anymore…]

    while its nice to read about new and upcoming stuff from time to time – it simply doesn’t help with what i’m working on today.

    sure it’s gread theres template like thingies coming along with the next .net version – but from my day-2-day point of work: so what? i have to write code _today_.


    thomas woelfer

  4. J. Daniel Smith says:

    I’m all for being on the latest-and-greatest. And I’ll surely switch my own personal stuff to Whidbey as soon as it ships (maybe even when the beta is released).

    But much of world moves much (much) slower than that. I may be held back in my own switch because my ASP.NET hosting provider hasn’t switched. And I’m getting paid to still use VS 2002 (thankfully, I’m not stuck on VC++6.0).

    If Microsoft was forced to use more of the bits available to paying customers, they might try even harder to get things right the first time. Of course I realize there is a balance between getting things "right" and trying to ship *something*.

    I too love reading about all the neat stuff coming in Whidbey; but it doesn’t help me a whole lot in getting my job done today. And by the time I need it, it will be burried in some 6+-month old archive.

    One practical suggestion is to do things more along the lines of the recently released WSE 2.0. That is, focus on adding new stuff via libraries and make that available as it’s being developed. Major releases would be "roll ups" of a lot of little pieces.

  5. LarryT says:

    What they said! Consider that some people are just now getting around to VS 2003.

  6. Michael,

    > Would you rather discuss that project or what you’re working on now?

    That may be true, but I’m not selling a $1,000+ piece of software to 10 million people. I mean, I would *like* to, but I’m not. You are.

    I understand how these things work and I can’t blame you guys for getting all worked up about Whidbey and everything else, but it’s just darn difficult to get excited about something that is a year away when you have deadlines and problems and issues to solve *today* with the software you’re using *today*. You get paid to get worked up, I don’t =)

  7. Bob Riemersma says:

    For that matter some of us are still dealing with VS6-era products, IE DHTML, and so on.

    It is disturbing enough that there is little of use on the MSDN home page. But the online MSDN Library continues to decay as well. The search facility has been rendered nearly useless too due to all of the bogus .Net hits returned. Filtering these out means mucking around on every probe via "advanced search."

  8. Marc Bernard says:

    It’s pretty obvious that Whidbey is what "everyone in Microsoft’s developer division has been working on for the last 2+ years", as anyone who has had to put up with the many many bugs in VS.NET 2003 can attest to.

    I agree that progress is good, but throw me a bone here, and how about coughing out a service pack? The poor quality of the 2003 IDE makes me very leery of moving to Whidbey, at least not the first cut.