The big release is upon us. But it begs a question that I think those of us who use commercial development tools have to ask ourselves, something our Open Source brothers and sisters do not to the same degree. The question is whether we are driven by technology first, or whether we are led by tools.

Microsoft is driven to release products on a cycle that will earn them a consistent amount of revenue; sometimes the "new" product is hardly new at all.

Visual Studio 2005 looks good from my very preliminary browsing about, but I'm still approaching it with some caution. It's really cool to do "push button" refactoring, but is refactoring something we need to really think deeply about? A part of an underlying structure that must be designed carefully? Something that can't fix code that is already structurally defunct?

The class designer and snippets are cool too, but when I see the IDE eating up 800MB of memory on "Hello World" type projects, it makes me nervous.

My first stop is going to be new language features. After that I'm going to delve a little bit more heavily into the IDE. The ASP.NET features look good and somewhat different. But I'm a skeptic until I see the power for myself.

It's such a contrast to other worlds - to return to the idea of Open Source - technology there is more likely to evolve because of a need that must be met or a new idea. It is independent of the goons in sales & marketing.