Update: June 5th, 2012 – Microsoft has now updated the release to Visual Studio 2012 RC1 (Release Candidate 1). The main links below will take you to the VS 2012 download pages.
Original info Below…
Microsoft released the latest version of Visual Basic/Visual Studio 2011 as a Beta download a while back. If your interested, below are the basic requirements to run the beta. Also below is the webpage to download the the web-installer or Visual Studio .ISO image which will include all of the major languages like VB 2011, C#, ect… Below that is the link to get your two free ebooks based on Visual Studio 2010: One is: Moving to Visual Studio 2010 and the other is: Programming Windows Phone 7. They have been available for quite a while but I figured I would link to them anyways.
Here is the main page to download either the web installer or the complete ISO image.
Supported Operating Systems•Windows 7 (x86 and x64)
•Windows 8 Consumer Preview (x86 and x64)
•Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)
•Windows Server 8 Beta (x64)
Hardware Requirements•1.6 GHz or faster processor
•1 GB of RAM (1.5 GB if running on a virtual machine)
•10 GB of available hard disk space
•5400 RPM hard drive
•DirectX 9-capable video card running at 1024 x 768 or higher display resolution
Yep you probably guessed it. Doesn’t look like neither Vista or Windows XP is going to be able to use, at least the Beta version. Which is a shame for me because I use Vista 64 and like it over all the Microsoft operating systems.
Beta Links below….
Why upgrade to Visual Studio 2010?
For a limited time, you can download two free e-books from Microsoft Press: Moving to Visual Studio 2010 and Programming Windows Phone 7. Moving to Visual Studio 2010 takes you through the new features and characteristics of Visual Studio 2010 as compared to previous versions of Visual Studio, including Visual Studio.NET 2003, Visual Studio 2005, and Visual Studio 2008.
Overview - Develop your first applications for Windows Phone 7 using Microsoft XNA and Silverlight—expertly guided by award-winning author Charles Petzold. This book is a gift from the Windows Phone 7 team and Microsoft Press to the programming community.
I was planning to post this weeks ago just a few days after the 2011 Beta release, but I forgot to do so. Still, hopefully someone out there will find this post useful.