Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Using Ready-made Virtual PCs to try out the Visual Studio Async CTP

The Visual Studio Async CTP containing the preview of C# 5.0 which was all the talk at Microsoft PDC 2010 installs on top of Visual Studio 2010. If, like me, you’re wary of trashing your main development machine, you might like to try out the ready made Visual Studio Virtual Machines that Microsoft provide. They are a pretty hefty download (over 9 GB), but I set my download manager to work on the task just after sitting down at my desk this morning, and it was done by mid-afternoon.

Having a Windows Server 2008 Virtual Machine ready built with Visual Studio 2010 (and 2008), Team Foundation Server 2010, SQL Server 2008 and Microsoft Office is a huge time-saver. Though they are all time-limited versions, you can apparently use your MSDN product keys to activate them into perpetual mode.

They come in three flavours, one for Hyper-V, one for Virtual PC 2007, and one for Windows 7 Virtual PC. If you hop over to Brian Keller’s blog he has a some lists of URLs that you can paste into your download manager to make the download job pretty painless, and then some instructions to get you started. One thing to note, once you’ve booted the machine, is that all the user accounts have password “P2ssw0rd”.

Having booted into the Virtual PC, you will need to install the Silverlight 4 SDK and then, of course, the Visual Studio Async CTP itself. Both are pretty small downloads and quite quick to install.

Have fun!


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