Repaving and how VS Orcas saves me time

Thu, April 26, 2007, 04:09 AM under Orcas | VisualStudio
Recently I repaved my Toshiba M5 starting from scratch (format, Vista RTM, join domain etc). The way this works for me is that I have a secondary drive in the laptop with all my data plus apps (multiple msi files, setup.exe files, iso images etc). I install the OS on the main drive and then continue to install the other applications from the 2nd drive. Looking at my instructions (I've written a simple installation todo.txt file that reminds me of what to do), I used to install the following for my mobile development needs: VS2005, SP1, SP1 Update for Vista, Latest NETCF SP, WM5 PPC SDK, WM5 SP SDK, DE v2. I am sure this isn't the story for device development only, but that every developer has their own set of things they install on top of VS e.g. WF Extensions, WPF/WCF extensions, VSTO SE, AJAX, MOSS SDK etc - overall a dozen or more separate installation packages (separate to install, separate to maintain/keep).

With the advent of Orcas Beta 1, I decided to ditch VS2005 completely and only install Orcas as my sole dev environment (btw, without multitargeting this decision would not be possible). It is only then that I truly realised that I do not need *any* of the above extras/extensions/SDKs since they *all* ship in the box as part of the single installation! :-)

The side benefit of this is that, previously if you had no interest in some technology (e.g. Office development or web development or device development) you probably wouldn't bother installing something separate, but now the story is different: it is just there so you can have a quick play with it whenever you want and ignore it thereafter if you still don't fancy it.

What will YOU install the next time you repave your machine: VS2005 side-by-side with Orcas or just Orcas?