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Ok, i got a weird one. All of our developers have MSDN licences, and so we are all eligible to install and use Visual Studio 2010.

However, the organisation has asked for a "good reason" (i.e. a business case) for upgrading from 2008 to 2010. Unfortunately, "it's better" and "it's free" isn't a good enough reason.

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts on solid arguments as to why we should upgrade from visual studio 2008 to visual studio 2010 (or from .net 3.5 to .net 4.0)

What i got so far is:
- Productivity boost (need a way to back that statement)
- Reduce attrition (career growth for developers to use latest technology)
- Enhanced Security (???)

Essentially, i need to be able to go back to them and say "We need to upgrade, and here's why"



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closed as primarily opinion-based by MichaelT, GlenH7, jwenting, david.pfx, Ampt Jun 17 at 0:09

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I always use the argument, "Using the latest and greatest tools always gives an advantage". Would you use a hand-saw when a skill-saw is available? –  Zoidberg Mar 1 '11 at 0:02
Need to know what you're doing. The answer is different for a native C++ dev than for a web C# person or a database person or ... –  Kate Gregory Mar 1 '11 at 0:11
WPF development in VS2008 was painful. WPF development in VS2010 is smooth as butter in comparison. –  Metro Smurf Mar 1 '11 at 0:14
Well, if you can't sway them with "it's better" and "it's free".. good luck. –  Ed S. Mar 1 '11 at 20:33
As a C++ guy, I'm excited by the C++0x new things in VS 2010. This apparently doesn't apply to you. –  David Thornley Mar 1 '11 at 20:59

5 Answers 5

There is also a lot of improved support for database projects in VS2010 that we did not have in 2008. This allows you to keep your db in source control, and diff against live database. You can generate deployment scripts based on the diffs. It can also do some integrity checks on the database, ensuring that columns, tables, views etc are still valid that are referenced by procs, throughout the entire project are still valid. Normally you only get this when you try to run a proc. This was the main reason we went from 2008 to 2010.

Hmm I didn't know that; might be worth looking into at my job since we heavily deal with DB scripts and the like. –  Wayne M May 11 '11 at 19:44

Upgrading for the sake of upgrading is a really bad idea if VS2008 works just fine for your team. If you can't think of a good reason why you should upgrade, that means you shouldn't.

In a corporate environment, there would have to be extensive testing of VS2010 to ensure that it works with your environment and doesn't break anything. This can take a lot of time and effort, and then it needs to be rolled out to all the developers who would have to become accustomed to the differences between the two. Just because it costs $0 to download VS2010, that doesn't mean it costs $0 to properly deploy it.

As the old saying goes, "Don't fix what isn't broken."


If I had to pick a single reason, it would be NuGet support. I really wouldn't want to fly without it. Moreover, you can use NuGet internally to distribute your own packages with relative ease.

From a cost and licensing perspective, the new Visual Studio Professional MSDN subscription is pretty cheap compared to old ones so I'm shocked the bean counters aren't pushing for an upgrade.


May not be appropriate for your specific situation but IMO one of the best reasons to upgrade if you are doing ASP.NET development is the "friendly URL" module that they extracted from MVC and made available for WebForms; having used it in the past myself it's very nice if you are stuck doing WebForms but want to optimize for SEO and have clean URLs.

And of course .NET 4.0 itself is pretty darn good, and will increase your productivity, but for ASP.NET developers especially that is a compelling reason (again IMO).


If you are doing Web Development then MVC would be a great reason to upgrade to VS 2010. I know you can download MVC for VS 2008, but it's supported natively (i think so) in VS 2010 and most of the training videos are in VS 2010.


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