Microsoft's Visual Studio may be modularized

Microsoft's planned "Hawaii" release of its Visual Studio development platform may feature modularisation, a Microsoft business partner said. But Microsoft officials are remaining mostly tightlipped about the project.

Presenting at the Visual Studio Connections conference, chief architect at software design firm IDesign, Michele Leroux Bustamante, noted a modular inclination by Microsoft but added that little detail had been available about Hawaii.

"There's not really a lot of information about this yet, but what they are saying is they're planning to do a modular redesign of the architecture of [Visual] Studio," Bustamante said. This is probably related to making the platform more pluggable and extensible. A new foundation to replace the aging code base of Visual Studio also is anticipated, according to Bustamante.

Hawaii would follow the upcoming Visual Studio "Orcas" platform, which is expected to be released some time after the upcoming Windows Vista desktop platform. Vista is coming out later this year for businesses and early in 2007 for consumers.

Microsoft officials did not want to discuss the "Hawaii" project, but leader product manager in the developer division at Microsoft, Jay Roxe, acknowledged that the company has had internal discussions about what it would take to create a modular release of Visual Studio. "But that's not something that we're announcing or is clearly on the product road map at this point," Roxe said.

Modularisation could it make easier for partners to integrate with and boost the functionality of Visual Studio, Roxe said.

"Hawaii is a code name that's been applied to several different projects," but there is no particular project with that code name right now, Roxe said.

But general manager of the Microsoft developer division, Scott Guthrie, acknowledged Microsoft's Hawaii effort. "Orcas is what we're focusing on right now. Hawaii is some point in the future after Orcas," he said.

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