VS2010 SP1 Beta: What’s in It for C++ Developers

Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta just shipped As announced two  days ago by S. Somasegar and Jason Zander, the Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 Beta is now ready for download! Service Pack 1 Beta comes with a “go live” license which means you can start using the product for production related work (see the license agreement with the product for more details).

  • The link for this SP1 Beta download is here

With this service pack we’re not only addressing product issues but also improving our underlying libraries and toolset. Specifically we’re enabling the following:

  • MFC-based GPU-accelerated graphics and animations. For those not familiar, Direct2D is a hardware-accelerated, immediate-mode, 2-D graphics API that provides high performance and high-quality rendering for 2-D geometry, bitmaps, and text. Likewise, Windows Animation Manager enables rich animation of user interface elements.
    Now these two technologies are enabled in MFC. The benefit for MFC developers is that they can take advantage of those underlying technologies without breaking the MFC programming model. You’ll find some demos in <Program Files>Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0Samples1033VC2010SP1Samples.zip. In the next few days we’ll publish this new MFC APIs documentation (we’ll update this post as well).
  • New AMD and Intel Instruction Set Support. AMD and Intel are working on new microprocessors to be released next year. Both processors come with extensions to the current x86 instructions. C++ developers get enablement to these extensions as intrinsic functions or just intrinsics, allowing highly efficient computing without the overhead of a function call. For further references, take a look to Intel AVX and AMD Bulldozer instruction sets.
  • Managed Incremental Build parity with Visual Studio 2008. Originally reported in KB982721.
  • Help Viewer. The new local Help Viewer is a simple client application that re-introduces key productivity features including a fully-expandable table of contents and a keyword index.  For additional information about these improvements, check out Jeff Braaten’s post here.
  • Addressing Customer Issues. The Service Pack addresses various issues reported by our customers or the community, covering areas like the IDE itself, library implementations (like MFC, STL) or the setup process.

Your feedback on this release will help us improve the final release.  Please report any issues you come across in the SP1 Beta to Visual Studio Connect.  Once you’ve had a chance to use Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1, please also give us your feedback by taking the Service Pack 1 Beta Survey.  The results from this survey inform our work so we build an even better SP1 RTM.

Enjoy!
The Visual C++ Team