I have blogged in the past on my views around innovation, and the effort that needs to go into such efforts. Some innovations take a very long time to get just right before we know that they will truly cause a shift in software development.
Today we are launching DevLabs – a site dedicated to these software innovations for the developer community. This is a portal where we can share not just some early thinking, but early bits, and let you play with them and help us determine the direction that these projects should eventually head. While many of these projects will come from teams within Developer Division, this is an outlet for all innovations coming from Microsoft focused on you, the developer.
The purpose of this site is not to get your feedback on the next release that we are working on – we already have opportunities to do that today through our CTP and Beta programs (and thank you for that feedback!). Most of these are projects that aren’t as solid in exact deliverables yet. Some of these projects will turn into features in our existing shipping products, some we will open-source for the community, others we will decide to not pursue. You are the ones that can help us determine what best suits your needs.
There are 3 projects that are available on the DevLabs site currently:
– Small Basic: Small Basic is a simplified programming language and environment to help teach programming to beginners.
– PEX: Pex (Program EXploration) is an intelligent assistant to the programmer. From a parameterized unit test, it automatically produces a traditional unit test suite with high code coverage. In addition, it suggests to the programmer how to fix the bugs.
– PopFly: Microsoft Popfly is the fun, easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, games, Web pages, and applications.
As we have new innovations to share with you, we will host them here. Sometimes there will be a few at once, sometimes it will be longer in between seeing new releases. I hope that you will keep coming back to see what is new and if there is an area we are looking into that interests you that you will give us feedback and input.
Experiment, evaluate, and then join us in the conversation – http://msdn.microsoft.com/DevLabs.