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A delayed update to Microsoft's application development suite looks unlikely to fully work with Windows Vista.

Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack (SP) 1 beta has been kicked out the door with the knowledge taht a "few compatibility issues" exist with the current Windows Vista code base.

Due out in the first half of 2006, the service pack was delayed for the Visual Studio team to iron out the problems. Eventually, they gave up rather than incur further delay, S. Soma Somasegar, a veep at the developer division, wrote in his blog. SP1 is now slated for either December or January.

Says Somasegar: "We had a choice to make internally - hold up VS 2005 SP1 till we get the fixes in or decouple and ship VS 2005 SP1 as soon as possible knowing that we have to provide fixes for some of those Vista compatibility issues later. Based on your feedback of having SP1 for VS 2005 soon, we decided to separate the two."

The problem appears to revolve around support for the .NET Framework 3.0 in Visual Studio 2005. Microsoft's IDE, launched in November 2005, supports the .NET Framework 2.0 with add ins for the .NET Framework 3.0 that will ship with Windows Vista next January and be used in Office 2007.

Somasegar, meanwhile, also tried to clarify the situation for legacy Windows applications and legacy versions of the .NET Framework and Visual Studio running with Windows Vista.

Microsoft is testing to ensure .NET Framework 1.1 and 2.0 applications run on Windows Vista but Microsoft won't support Visual Studio .NET 2002 or 2003 as development environments for Windows Vista. Developers can use Visual Studio .NET 2002 and 2003 on Windows XP to build applications that will run on Windows Vista.

This is potentially good news for the Eclipse Foundation, as it seems Microsoft developers will need to run different versions of Windows to build applications for new Windows Vista systems plus the millions of PCs running Windows XP and Windows 2000.

The ability to run Windows applications on Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 2000 is a cause Eclipse is increasingly picking up on. Eclipse is trying to appeal to Windows developers by saying its Rich Client Platform (RCP), which uses runtime modules for applications to run on Windows, Linux and OS X, will give them a single environment for building applications that are capable of porting between Windows Vista and older versions of Windows.®

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