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Visual Studio 2008 and Silverlight 2 Beta 2 - Supported Versions

Pete Brown - 16 June 2008

In response to a question at last Friday's Silverlight TechFest event, I said that I believed Beta 2 was supported even on Visual Studio Express.

I was incorrect. XNA supports Visual Studio Express (and I had been reading about XNA the night before), but Silverlight requires at least Visual Studio Standard. Standard is pretty reasonably priced at well under $300, but it isn't free.

For now, if you want to experiment with Silverlight, I suggest any of the following:

  • Purchase Visual Studio Standard or better
  • Download and use the 90 day trial of Visual Studio Standard or Professional

In addition, I recommend that you use the free Expression Blend 2.5 June preview. You don't get a code editor (which is necessary for any real work), but Blend can open and compile Silverlight sample applications that you download. Combined with the purchased or trial version of Visual Studio, you get a well-rounded design and development environment.

Scott Guthrie had the following to say regarding the eventual tooling support for Silverlight (emphasis mine):

"Today's VS Tools for Silverlight download requires VS 2008 Standard or higher, and doesn't work with the free VS express editions.

"Visual Web Developer 2008 Express SP1, though, will enable support for class library and web application projects.  Once the final SP1 release occurs this summer we'll update the VS Tools for Silverlight download to work with it as well - which will provide you with free VS tool support for Silverlight development."

So there will be a free developer solution for Silverlight in the future. Given that Scott said SP1 will be out this summer, the free 90 day eval version should bridge most or all of that gap. Hope that helps clear up any confusion.

posted by Pete Brown on Monday, June 16, 2008
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19 comments for “Visual Studio 2008 and Silverlight 2 Beta 2 - Supported Versions”

  1. Nicole Charrasays:
    And what would you suggest to the people who have bought a French version of Visual Studio 2008 (Professional edition) and who cannot install the new Silverlight Tools Beta 2 because the KB950630 patch is for the ENU version only!
    Any suggestion to solve this (big) problem?
  2. Pete Brownsays:
    Good news! Some or all of the international versions just shipped today. Here's a link to the french version:


  3. charliesays:
    Just a reminder that Visual Studio 2008 Pro. is available for free for student as part of the dreamspark program, which I think is great!

  4. Scott Kingerysays:
    So, this probably isn't really the place to ask this but....
    I've done some vb programming in the past and I do lots of scripting type of work. Silverlight seems really exciting to me and I'd like to look into it from the development side. More for my own education than anything else at the moment.
    Anyway, I'm not really that familiar with .NET. I know you don't know my skill set but just, in general, can a non-.NET person have a chance at picking right up with Silverlight or should they go back a step and learn .NET first?
  5. Pete Brownsays:

    Learning .NET is definitely something you want to do. However, you can just as easily learn .NET by working in Silverlight as you can by building an ASP.NET site, or a windows forms or a wpf application. I say pick up a good book (Laurence Moroney just released his book on Silverlight 2) and have at it!

    When I moved from VB6 to .NET, I decided at the time to also switch to C#. I did it because C# was interesting, but more importantly, because I was changing syntax and I would be less likely to try and do things the old VB6 way. If you have any C/C++/Java/JavaScript in your background, you might consider the same. Otherwise, VB.NET is definitely a cool and fully functional language that you'll find pretty easy to understand.

    Have fun, and welcome to .NET!

  6. Michael Mitiaguinsays:
    This remark might be rhetorical, but breaking source code samples ( I mean various sources ) with each new version is disappointing. Probably 2 virtual Windows are needed to live with that. Ideally code authors are expected to update their source to be in sync with each new release<g>. Specifically I am interested http://www.cookingwithxaml.com/meals/financials/source/SilverlightinFinancialsSource.zip
  7. Pete Brownsays:

    It's a pretty tall order to update code samples from release to release. That's one reason why blogs are great: the content is dated. :)

    As to the silverlight financials demo, the app has been updated to beta 2, you can run it from here: http://www.cookingwithxaml.com/meals/financials/

    I'll check on the source code and when the updated version will be released.

  8. Marc Rousselsays:
    Heay good to knows that VS 2008 std is cheap but will Expression Blend 2.X will ?

    This is all about home programming and doing my own SilverLight web site at home. So Home I will not have to buy both at a cost which I hust want to do my stuff at home!

    And Sorry but I'm not a student any more but I'm not rich too !

    Thank you
  9. Montysays:
    Is there a place where I can find the latest source code of http://www.cookingwithxaml.com/meals/financials/ that's compatible with Silverlight 2 Beta 2?

    I've downloaded http://www.cookingwithxaml.com/meals/financials/source/SilverlightinFinancialsSource.zip but it doesn't build.
  10. Mike Crystalsays:
    MS has introduce a new technology to compete with Adobe Flash/Air called Silverlight 2.0/MFP. The only problem is, if you are a VB programmer, MS cares little about you jumping in at the onset of this technology for the sake of your livelihood. MS is only providing tutorials/webcasts/videos for C# programmers. This irratates me because it gives C# programmers an edge of VB in the marketplace. I have decided to quit MS and move over to Adobe and learn Action Script. I have long been fed up wit MS showing favortism to C# programmers and treating us VB programmers as bastard step-children
  11. Michael Mitiaguinsays:
    It would be nice to learn when new source will be posted for released Silverlight 2. http://www.cookingwithxaml.com/meals/financials/default.html is not working now with the latest Silverlight.
  12. Nutansays:
    Hey!!!!! Can Any One Tell Me Is Silverlight 2.0 Compatible with Visual Studio 2008 Professsional Edition -ENU?
    If Not Then How Can I Get Visual Studio 2008 SP1 From Internet? Pls Send me link to download complete Visual Studio 2008 that suits silverlight 2.0.......

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