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As you've just seen - Visual Studio.Net is a mammoth piece of software, but is it really what you need/want?

Hopefully there is enough information on these 6 pages for you to decide (everyone wants different things anyway!). However, with respect to game development/multimedia programming (and particularly VB development), I think the answer is not yet.

I have great pain in coming to that conclusion - everything except for the 3 points raised in the Real World page is excellent. The IDE is excellent and is well worth the upgrade; the new language changes are difficult to get used too - but are so powerful it just elevates the language's capabilities to a new level. The .Net frameworks are a very powerful system - albeit only a fraction of it is useful to the multimedia orientated programmer. If only there weren't problems with DirectX and the performance overheads.

The DirectX situation shouldn't be a long term issue - the official word is that DirectX9 will be fully .Net compatable; which (at time of writing) just means a 6 month wait (assuming you dont mind using DX9!).

As for the performance drop - As I stated at the time, I will be happy to hold up my hand and admit my fault should my values be proven to be wrong - I still find it surprising that I got those results, and would quite like to be proven wrong! .Net isn't universally slower than the previous versions, as I have found a few cases where it is a bit faster, but that doesn't hold much in it.

Given the considerable leap that Microsoft have made with the .Net strategy, I would not be surprised if there was a considerable level of support in the form of patches, components, upgrades etc... maybe even at some point a JIT compiler designed to generate faster code quicker. So for now, I think that unless you have seen something in this review that really grabs you and requires you buy the software, that you wait. Hopefully over time the system will mature a bit, and prove to be more useful to our cause. I really want to use some of the new language improvements in VB.Net, but right now the performance hit doesn't make it worth the time...

Introduction: Introducing the software, and the aims of this review.
Getting Started With Visual Studio .Net: The installer, version, prices etc...
The new IDE: New things in the Integrated Development Environment, and is it an improvement?
Learning to Talk the Talk: Learning the new language (C#) and the changes to Visual Basic
Visual Studio .Net in the Real World: Performance and real world capabilities
• Conclusion: Summing everything up in a neat way


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