Saturday, December 09, 2006

Orcas RTM to Slip from 2007 to 2008?

Will the proliferation of LINQ to Whatevers, Entity Framework/Data Model accoutrements, ASP.NET Ajax extensions, and other "hot new features" push Orcas's RTM date into 2008? Will Orcas become another Windows Vista? My May 15, 2006 Scott Guthrie on Orcas RTM Dates and LINQ with ASP.NET post quoted a May 14 ScottGu post:

We are looking to ship [Orcas] the second half of next year. We will start having full Orcas CTP drops (of all technologies) starting later this summer, and will also have a go-live license of Orcas before the final RTM date. So not too far off now when you can use the above [LINQ]techniques in production.

Scott gave Orcas another go for 2007 in his September 11, 2006 "Atlas" 1.0 Naming and Roadmap item:

Things will get even better next year with Visual Studio “Orcas” where we are adding rich JavaScript [I]ntellisense, debugging and WYSIWYG designer support for the ASP.NET AJAX Extensions within Visual Studio and many other great features to take advantage of.

But Mary Jo Foley contends in her recent "Foley on Microsoft" column for Redmond Magazine, "Microsoft Prognostications: What's Up in 2007?"...
Visual Studio "Orcas" will slip into 2008. While most developers and partners with whom I've spoken consider Visual Studio "Orcas" to be a 2007 deliverable, few Microsoft developer division officials have called the product "Visual Studio 2007." I'm hearing rumblings of an early 2008 product.

She calls the prognostication "On the 'relatively reasonable'" side in the Let the 2007 Microsoft prediction season officially begin post for her "All About Microsoft" ZDNet blog.

Following up in a December 7, 2006 in The Microsoft dating game post, Mary Jo wrote:

I Googled. I Live-Searched. I I couldn't find any proof that any Microsoft official actually said the words "Orcas will ship in 2007" — at least in an on-the-record form. (If anyone else can find such a statement, please do share!)

As I and other Microsoft watchers know quite well, Microsoft has been setting expectations since 2005 that it plans to ship the next version of Visual Studio in 2007. No one at Microsoft has sent me a nasty note when I've noted in countless articles and blog posts that Orcas is expected to be a 2007 deliverable. And if past behavior counts for anything, the Visual Studio team has been good about churning out new tool-suite releases every two years.

I'm not certain that ScottGu qualifies as a Microsoft official; he's not in the Microsoft Executives list. But he said at least twice that Orcas was scheduled for a 2007 RTM, and he certainly convinced me. On the other hand, Mary Jo has a great batting average for reportorial accuracy in my book. Type Foley in the text box and then click SEARCH BLOG to find my prior references to her articles.
Stay tuned.
Subsequent events (12/12/2006) It appears that the party line is the second half of 2007. Here's an outtake from a 12/12/2006 LINQ to SQL chat from Microsoft's Amanda Silver:

AmandaS [MSFT] (Expert): Q: [19] any estimated release date [for Orcas]? ... [I] am waiting for any offcial date...

A: We're aiming to ship in the second half of next year. We've already started having fully integrated CTPs (with features in all areas of the product.)

Amanda is Lead Product Manager for Visual Basic. Her statement and the earlier quote from Scott Guthrie are too similar to be coincidental. (The transcript for the C# LINQ to SQL chat is here.)

Technorati Tags: Orcas, LINQ, C# 3.0, VB 9.0, Atlas, Ajax