Microsoft Launches Visual Studio .NET Academic With New Computer Science Instruction and Teaching Tools

COVINGTON, Ky., Feb. 28, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the official release of Microsoft® Visual Studio® .NET Academic, an enhanced version of Microsoft’s milestone Visual Studio .NET that allows computer science faculty and students to easily build course development and instruction on .NET for all levels of computer science education. Announced at SIGCSE 2002, the Association for Computing Machinery’s Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, Visual Studio .NET Academic includes new faculty and student tools for teaching and learning rapid application development (RAD) on the .NET platform. Visual Studio .NET Academic is the newest installment in the family of Visual Studio .NET tools launched earlier this month.

“Microsoft is pleased to launch Visual Studio .NET Academic and enable the next generation of students to build XML Web services on the .NET platform,”
said Marie Huwe, general manager for the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division for Microsoft.
“We designed the product from the ground up to optimize it for teaching computer science fundamentals and XML Web services development and look forward to continued collaboration with the academic and research community.”

Members of Microsoft’s MSDN® Academic Alliance (AA) will be the first to receive Visual Studio .NET Academic software. Visual Studio .NET Professional will be delivered to MSDN AA members in their March monthly shipments, and members will also be able to immediately download the new Visual Studio .NET Academic faculty and student tools from the MSDN AA Web site. Since its launch last spring, more than 1,500 computer science and engineering departments at more than 800 institutions worldwide have joined the MSDN Academic Alliance.

In addition to offering curriculum and tutorial support, Visual Studio .NET Academic is fully integrated with the Microsoft .NET Framework, enabling faculty and students to use more than 20 academic and commercial programming languages. Multilanguage support gives members of the academic community freedom to develop and work with their language of choice.

“The greatest thing about Visual Studio .NET Academic is its greater emphasis on the interoperability of languages,”
said Paul Hudak, chairman of the computer science department at Yale University.
“It used to be you used one language, and if a better language came along, your legacy code was too expensive to rewrite. With Visual Studio .NET, you don’t have to build applications using only one language. Visual Studio .NET is more robust and easier to use, and I think my students have responded quite favorably to it.”

Visual Studio .NET Academic also offers the academic community a more complete development environment and experience. Visual Studio .NET Academic is designed to offer academics and their students a clear path to exploring .NET development.

“.NET gives the opportunity to develop on a broader scale,”
said Giuseppe Attardi, professor of computer science at the University of Pisa in Italy.
“You can build applications that work across machines, across the Internet, using the same familiar object-oriented paradigm and without requiring external mechanisms to your preferred programming language. That is a big step. This provides a way to build software that is more sophisticated and composed out of bigger pieces contributed by various involved parties. .NET is an important development in technology in recent years.”

Visual Studio .NET Academic is the result of Microsoft’s extensive work with computer science professors to gain a greater understanding of what colleges and universities need for research and teaching. Visual Studio .NET Academic includes a number of tools to make it easier to develop coursework with the Visual Studio .NET integrated development environment, including these:

  • Course management tools for simplifying the administration of course projects and assignments

  • Application wizards enabling students to create easily portable C or C++ applications

  • Code samples, ranging from simple to advanced, instructing students how to use the IDE

  • Rich documentation enabling students to begin developing in Visual Studio .NET Academic within minutes

The new student tools in Visual Studio .NET Academic offer students a greater understanding of .NET, particularly key programming languages such as C# that they will encounter as they enter the commercial marketplace.

“As an undergraduate, I see a world where computers everywhere are talking together. I see a world where data is being processed everywhere, and people are talking together,”
said Matthew Johnson, a computer science student at the University of Arizona.
“With C# and the .NET Platform, I see that they are built and geared for that, and I see myself as being truly prepared for the world I am going into in a few years.”

Microsoft Resources Available Through MSDN Academic Alliance

Visual Studio .NET Academic is the latest of many offerings Microsoft has tailored exclusively for the academic community. The MSDN Academic Alliance is designed for academic labs, faculty and students in the curriculum areas of computer science, engineering and information systems, making it easier and less expensive to acquire Microsoft developer resources for instructional purposes. For an annual departmental membership rate of $799, faculty and students receive the following:

  • Special MSDN Academic Alliance subscription including the most current Microsoft developer tools, platforms and servers

  • Installation of MSDN AA software on any number of instructional and research computers in a member department. Students taking courses for credit may also install MSDN AA software on their own machines for coursework and personal projects.

  • A rich community Web site that provides numerous resources for teaching and learning .NET

More information on the MSDN Academic Alliance can be found at .

The Microsoft Curriculum Development Kit for Academic Developers

In addition to Visual Studio .NET Academic, Microsoft is providing other resources to assist faculty in developing curriculum around .NET. The Microsoft Curriculum Developer Kit (CDK) is a new coursework starter kit of Microsoft resources that faculty members can use to plan and develop courses featuring Microsoft technologies. The new CDK makes it easier to create new curriculum for Microsoft .NET.

Windows CE .NET and Windows XP Embedded Available to Academic Community

Beginning in March 2002, all subscribers to MSDN AA will receive a copy of both of Microsoft’s embedded operating systems, Windows® CE .NET and Windows XP Embedded.

This effort is another example of Microsoft’s continued commitment to sharing knowledge with academic institutions. More than 1,200 MSDN AA members will receive the Windows CE .NET and Windows XP Embedded operating systems through this program.

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