With the first public beta of SharePoint 2010 officially due before the end of the year speculation is rife about when it will actually be released. Most recent speculation seems to point to this month (July) when Steve Balmer speaks at WPC09.
A ltittle more information has come to light about the developer experience for 2010. Continuing on the 2010 thread Group Program Manager for SharePoint Designer, Todd Haugen, has recently indicated that Microsoft are making a big effort to improve the developer experience with 2010. Apparently they have invested in improvements at both the SharePoint API and Visual Studio 2010 levels. Building on this supporting documentation has been improved and it seems they will be releasing it earlier than the actual product, One of the big improvements will be the ability to utilise LINQ to programatically access lists…wooohhooo!
It has also been confirmed that VSeWSS will be rolled into Visual Studio 2010 and the number of SharePoint project/template types will be increased.