Some initial impressions with VS2008
What a difference a couple of years makes. When Visual Studio 2005 was in the works and I was writing my book, I spent a lot of time following the development of the product in the year prior to its release. This time around, I really didn't. On one hand that kind of bums me out because I simply didn't have the time, but on the other hand, I was doing a lot of satisfying coding in my day job. Heck, just having a day job I liked was a great change of pace!
Anyway, I've played a little bit with Visual Studio 2008, and so far I like a lot of the changes. I hate that ReSharper hasn't quite caught up with it, but the kids at JetBrains say they're planning to get early access previews out in January. It's hard to go back without that plug-in.
I'll agree with the general anecdotal observations about it being generally snappier too. Not that 2005 was a dog under Parallels on my Mac Pro, but there is a certain amount of responsiveness that impresses me.
One thing that I am curious about is a matrix of assemblies and namespaces and versions. I noticed that many of the references when you build a project point to 2.0 or 3.0 assemblies, which makes sense to me, but sometimes it's just nice to know.
Overall, looks like a winning effort. The .Net framework is generally pretty solid and robust, and I'm glad to see the tools improving like this.