Microsoft offers uninstall tool for Visual Studio CTPs

A new tool from Microsoft developers cleans up preview versions of Visual Studio 2005 from developers machines.

A new tool created by a team of Microsoft developers simplifies the process of uninstalling outdated CTP (community technology preview) builds of Visual Studio 2005 from developer machines.

The VS 2005 Diagnostics and Uninstall tool automates the Visual Studio 2005 instructions and uninstalls all pre-release Visual Studio 2005 editions such as Visual Studio Express, Visual Studio Team System, Professional and Standard edition, according to a Web log of one of the developers who created the tool, Microsoft engineer Hong Gao.

A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed that the tool had been developed to uninstall CTPs of Visual Studio 2005, but said that it is not supported by Microsoft.

In an effort to make its product development process more transparent to its significant developer base, Microsoft in the past year has began offering more interim builds of the next version of Visual Studio than it previously had in the past. Microsoft recommends developers do not install these releases on production machines, according to the spokeswoman. But when developers do, it can lead to a clutter of preview Visual Studio code on a system.

Microsoft currently has six CTPs of Visual Studio 2005 available at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/vs2005/get/default.aspx for developers to download and test. The most recent is an August CTP of Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions, posted earlier this month.

Microsoft plans to launch Visual Studio 2005 alongside SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 at an event in San Francisco on Nov. 7. However, MSDN subscribers will have access to Visual Studio 2005 in mid-to-late October, ahead of the general release date, Microsoft announced earlier this week.

The company also said that another, more comprehensive Release Candidate for the forthcoming toolset also will be available around Sept. 12, just in time for Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference, which will be held that week in Los Angeles.

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