As part of a recent Visual Studio 2005 SP1 announcement, the Corp VP of Microsoft's Developer Division stated that Visual Studio.NET 2003 won't be supported under Windows Vista. Frans Bouma, Paul Wilson, and others have done a good job of raising the level of awareness on the issue. I agree that it's not, you know, a good thing, but I wanted to hear how big a problem it really is.
Does "not supported" mean it will blue screen your computer and set you on fire, or does it mean it'll mostly work with the occasional annoyance? It seems like it may be the latter.
Scott Hanselman, who has actually been using Vista, told me that "Some obscure things like autoregistration of COM Interop Assemblies doesn’t work. But it’s working fine for me."
Scott Guthrie left a comment on Paul Wilson's post saying that the problem is really with "advanced debugging", and it will "mostly work" under Vista:
The big technical challenge is with enabling scenarios like advanced debugging. Debuggers are incredibly invasive in a process, and so changes in how an OS handles memory layout can have big impacts on it. Vista did a lot of work in this release to tighten security and lock down process/memory usage - which is what is affecting both the VS debugger, as well as every other debugger out there. Since the VS debugger is particularly rich (multi-language, managed/native interop, COM + Jscript integration, etc) - it will need additional work to fully support all scenarios on Vista. That is also the reason we are releasing a special servicing release after VS 2005 SP1 specific to Vista - to make sure everything (and especially debugging and profiling) work in all scenarios. It is actually several man-months of work (we've had a team working on this for quite awhile). Note that the .NET 1.1 (and ASP.NET 1.1) is fully supported at runtime on Vista. VS 2003 will mostly work on Vista. What we are saying, though, is that there will be some scenarios where VS 2003 doesn't work (or work well) on Vista - hence the reason it isn't a supported scenario. Instead, we recommend using a VPC/VM image for VS 2003 development to ensure 100% compat.
I sure would have preferred it if that kind of detail - what won't work, and why not - had been more officially announced, and sooner. However, for now it looks like rather than dealing with complaints about it not completely working, Microsoft's positioning this as another "doesn't work by design - not a supported scenario" thing.
Kind of reminds me of the IE7 Standalone thing. Even though it is technically possible to do and works well enough for development purposes, the official answer is that we need to be developing inside a virtual machine.