Microsoft (Quote) is addressing two developer issues simultaneously.
Tomorrow at noon EST, the company will release a service pack (SP1) to address recurring issues associated with Visual Studio 2005. It will also release a temporary patch to SP1 to address a Vista-related problem.
Prashant Sridharan, group product manager of Visual Studio, explained that a particular feature of Visual Studio 2005 actually triggers a security alarm that is an inherent component of Vista.
The problematic Visual Studio feature is a debugging process, which developers have to run at the same as they are running Visual Studio. The Visual Studio process needs to connect with the debugging process, which is the same behavior associated with viruses, thus setting off ultra-sensitive alarms in Vista.
In most cases, said Sridharan, the interaction between the two processes simply causes Vista to throw up a dialog box requesting administrative permission from the user.
But, he admitted, "there are a few fringe cases that people will hit that will cause Visual Studio to crash."
The patch will allow developers to run both Visual Studio and the debugging tool simultaneously without crashing Visual Studio.
A final version of the patch will be released after Windows Vista becomes available to consumers sometime in the second quarter of 2007. Customers will have to have installed SP1 before implementing the patch, Sridharan said.
SP1, which will also be released tomorrow, addresses issues that were found through a combination of feedback via the MSDN Product Feedback Center and by reading through Watson logs (the dialog boxes that pop up after a Microsoft application crashes, offering users the choice of sending information to Microsoft).
According to Sridharan, some of the improvements were made to help developers get the most out of more powerful chips released during the year.
"For a C++ developer, it's important to be as close to the kernel as possible, so we improved the compiler to let them take advantage of things like the dual core processor," he said.
Another fix will let developers take greater advantage of mobile applications.
SP1 includes more than 70 other improvements for common development scenarios, including new processor support for code generation and profiling, performance and scale improvements in Team Foundation Server and additional support for project file-based Web applications.