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Microsoft has brought forward features for its Visual Studio 2005 developer suite, originally planned for a later edition, helping refine the delayed suite.

The next version of Microsoft's IDE will see “edit and continue” added for the Visual C# .NET language along with a set of new icons that provide general access to new features, according to corporate vice president Soma Somasegar.

"Edit and continue" was the single most requested feature by developers responding to the company's MSDN Product Feedback Center, Somasegar said. Changes should enable developers to update code whilst they are in the debugging phase, instead of needing to compile the code.

<pAlso, ASP.NET Web Forms templates have been updated so as not to use "obsolete" HTML - Microsoft has apparently adopted a more recent version of HTML for use in during drag-and-drop development of web pages.

Visual Studio's Intellisense feature, which acts as an auto-complete and pre-empts what the user is typing to speed development, will be less quick off the draw. Microsoft has tweaked Intellisense so it does not pick an option too quickly.

In his blog, Somasegar is eager to talk-up how far Microsoft is responding to feedback on the MSDN Product Feedback Center, but he does not indicate when Visual Studio 2005 will ship.

The IDE, part of Microsoft's debut application lifecycle management (ALM) suite Visual Studio 2005 Team System (VSTS), was due by the middle of this year - having been pushed back from second half of 2004.

But earlier this year Microsoft quietly pushed back that mid-2005 date to "the second half" of 2005, meaning the suite is running at least a year late. If Microsoft sticks to its current schedule, we could actually see improvements such as “edit and continue” for C# appear with Visual Studio in early 2006, around the time of Microsoft's VSLive! conference in San Francisco, California. ®

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