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Yesterday Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate was available for MSDN subscribers and would be generally available on 10 February 2010 for the public.  This release represents a significant improvement in the overall Visual Studio product and a lot was based on beta tester feedback.

Of course, as a Silverlight developer you will be wondering: Can I still develop Silverlight 4 applications with the VS2010 RC?

Here’s the simplest form of a FAQ I could provide for you:

Q: What was released this week for Visual Studio 2010?
A: The Visual Studio team released Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Release Candidate builds.

Q: When can I download them?
A: If you are an MSDN subscriber, you can today (8 FEB).  Generally availability will be 10 FEB.

Q: Can I developer Silverlight applications?
A: Yes, you can develop Silverlight 3 applications with the release candidate of Visual Studio 2010.

Q: What about Silverlight 4 applications?
Q: Is there an updated Silverlight 4 Tools installer?
Q: Is there an updated
WCF RIA Services build for VS2010?
Q: Is there an updated
Silverlight Toolkit build for VS2010/Silverlight 4?
Q: Is there an updated Blend for .NET 4 Preview build?

A: At this time, VS2010 RC does not support developing Silverlight 4 applications.  This means that at this time there is no update for Silverlight 4 runtime/tools or the WCF RIA Services or other companion frameworks (toolkit controls, etc.).  This will not be enabled until the next public build of Silverlight 4 and companion frameworks.

Q: If I want to develop Silverlight 4 applications, what should I do?
A: You should stick on the public Beta 2 build of Visual Studio for now with the companion tools/framework builds.

Q: You mentioned ‘next public build’ so when will that be for Silverlight 4?
A: We haven’t released a timeframe on that availability right now. :-(

Q: Can I run Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 and Visual Studio RC side-by-side?
A: No.

Q: Are there hacks to make Silverlight 4 tools work with the VS2010 RC? 
A: I’m sure someone might cobble something together, but frankly there are issues between the two and the combination isn’t supported.

Q: What is wrong with you people?  Why don’t you release things at the same time?!
A: If everyone could intern for a week in the developer division at Microsoft you’d see the challenges faced with various products innovating on different time schedules and resources and teams managing as best they can.  Frankly, Visual Studio is on a path.  Silverlight 4 as a not-yet-released-product has to wait for VS milestones to ensure SL tools work well with our builds.  This same holds true for the companion frameworks and Blend.  It is not a fun place to be as we are all moving targets for each other with varying dependencies.  The Silverlight and RIA Services teams are working hard to finish a product.  That is our goal.  We want to make sure not to distract resources from adding support to interim builds that we simply can’t handle right now in order to deliver a quality FINAL product for you.

Hopefully this helps, even if it isn’t what you wanted to hear for Silverlight development at this time.

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