Microsoft has just released the beta of Visual Studio 2010 to the general public. You can download and get more information here, http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/2010/default.mspx. Note that the first install link on this page is for the web installer, but you can click on “See More Download Options” to download the ISO version.
I’ve installed it without any problems on both Windows 7 RC1 and Windows XP. If you install on Windows 7 there is a compatibility problem with the version of SQL Server that installs with Visual Studio, but Microsoft provides a workaround.
So far I have been pretty happy with the beta. The changes from 2008 are not dramatic but there are definitely some nice new features. The biggest changes you will notice are in the code editor which has been completely re-written. There have also been a few small language changes to C# and VB.NET but no where near as many as were introduced in 2008.
2010 provides support out of the box for things like Silverlight, and the F# language. These are available in 2008 but have to be installed separately. You may notice that ASP.NET MVC Framework is NOT included in this beta. According to Phil Haacked the release of MVC was to late to be included in Beta 1 but will be included in the next beta.
As I work with 2010 some more I will be posting about some of the new features.