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Jolt Product Excellence Award: Development Environments

Congratulations to Microsoft's Visual Studio 2010, winner of this year's Jolt Product Excellence Award in the Development Environment category.

Finally released earlier this year, Visual Studio 2010 has lived up to all of the hoopla surrounding its introduction. Not only does Visual Studio 2010 have lots of features, but they're features that are actually useful — and that work. Stuff like code contracts, static code analysis, improved Intellisense, multi-monitor support, tools for parallelism, built-in UML, the ability to multi-target applications, Silverlight 4 support, post-mortem debugging, support for F#, and more. Whew! Compiling a list of Visual Studio 2010 features sure accelerates the heart rate.

One reason Microsoft packed Visual Studio 2010 with all of these capabilities is that, instead of thinking of it as just another integrated development environment, Microsoft is pitching it as a full-fledged platform for developing all-things Windows — desktop, Web, mobile, enterprise, and everything in between. But being "full-fledged" requires tools and features, and lots of them.

The Jolt judges aren't alone in liking what they see with Visual Studio 2010. In the just completed Forrester-Dr. Dobb's Developer Technographics Survey, a study aimed at better understanding what's really going on in software development, we found that 52% of the 1000-plus developers polled rely upon Visual Studio 2010 as their primary IDE.

Visual Studio has come a long way since it was first rolled out with little fanfare and minimal features more than a decade ago. But the 1997 version of the IDE has little in common (other than the name) with Visual Studio 2010. It finally is the "full-fledged" IDE that it was set out to be.

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