Getting rid of Visual Studio 2005 - And a Poll

At work, our .NET development group more or less unanimously made the decision that now that Visual Studio 2008 is RTM, it is time to think about getting everything we do upgraded to the point where we simply don't need Visual Studio 2005 any longer.

The only real issue we could find is that Compact Framework 2003 projects are no longer supported. Since we don't happen to have any, that takes care of that, doesn't it?

So we decided that any existing projects would be migrated upwards to Visual Studio 2008. Everything in Team System is getting upgraded; if it doesn't support Visual Studio 2008, we'll let VS 2008 convert it and check all the revised stuff back in.

Since 2008 solutions / projects can be set to target specific runtimes you will find that this is pretty much a no-brainer. If your stuff is .NET Framework 2.0 compliant, all you need to do is ensure that the target Framework is set and you can check your stuff in with a Visual Studio 2008 Solution file and all the project files and class files should be fine. As a "failsafe", you could always first make a copy of the VS2005 .sln file and rename it to include "2005", and check that in as well.

The Next Step

Once this is all done, the next step is to get rid of Visual Studio 2005 on your machine - along with all related installations. This isn't rocket science -- you just need to go into Control Panel / Programs And Features, and uninstall anything with "2005" in the name. Here is a sample list you can use as a guide:

  • Team Suite

  • SDK

  • Toolbox Controls Installer

  • Project Aggregator 2

  • Visual J# 2.0 Redistributable Package

  • MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2005

  • --anything with an Install Date prior to what you installed with Visual Studio 2008

Once this is done, you will most likely find that anytime you click on a .sln file that Visual Studio 2008 will come up with the "Welcome to Visual Studio .NET Conversion Wizard" wizard UI and you can convert your solution or project with no problems. You will see a dialog referring to the Framework version:

This is asking if you want to have your project upgraded to reference the .NET Framework 3.5. If you do not have 3.5 specific code in the project, it is best to chooose "No". This will make it easier if you ever have to downgrade a solution file to Visual Studio 2005. Otherwise, I have yet to see a solution / project that fails to convert and build properly.

The Bottom Line

Visual Studio 2008 is here; there is rarely a reason to keep Visual Studio 2005 around any longer. Free up the disk space and get with the program! There is only one issue and a commenter mentioned it: no direct support for classic ASP debugging any longer. Gregg Miskelly's blog explains:


As a last note, don't look for Visual J# in Visual Studio 2008. It's gone. History, man!

Oh, and take the poll just below!