Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005 support ends in April

Beginning next month, Microsoft will end support for its Visual Studio 2005 software development platform, which was released more than 10 years ago.

Microsoft's Eric Zajac, senior program manager for Visual Studio, stated on Friday that it's time to "say good-bye" to the platform. "In line with our support policy, starting April 12, 2016, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, technical support, or hotfixes, for all Visual Studio 2005 products and the redistributable components and runtimes included with them," he said.

The announcement affects products in the Visual Studio 2005 line ranging from Standard Edition to Professional Edition; Team Suite; and Express Editions for Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Visual C#. The company also will cease supporting .Net Framework 2.0 under certain configurations on April 16. (In some cases, Microsoft will continue supporting version 2.0 when .Net Framework 3.5 relies on it to operate.) Support ends for the Visual Studio Team Foundation Server application lifecycle management server on July 16.

Microsoft's plan of record has been to cease Visual Studio 2005 support next month, Directions on Microsoft analyst Rob Sanfilippo said. "This should come as no surprise to teams, and plans should have been in place for upgrading," he noted. "Development technologies have changed dramatically since VS 2005 was released and five major versions of the IDE have been released since that version, so the end of the official support lifecycle should not have a major impact."

Microsoft could not provide numbers on how many developers were still using Visual Studio 2005. Unsurprisingly, Zajac advises developers to upgrade to the latest versions of Visual Studio. "A lot has happened in software development since 2005 -- we're looking at you, C++ 11, TypeScript, .Net 4.6, Cordova, Roslyn, and UWP (Universal Windows Platform)," Zajac said.

Visual Studio 2015 was released in July 2015, and this week, Microsoft updated its Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova package.

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