The next version of Visual Studio--likely to be named Visual Studio 98--will be a better integrated suite than the current version. Gross, who recently left Borland for Microsoft, mentioned that Visual Studio now accounts for over half of Microsoft's development tools sales and that Visual J++ is now the leading Java development tool with a 50% market share. Also, more developers use Visual Studio to work with Oracle databases than use Oracle's own tools. Visual Studio has only been available for one month, which makes these figures all the more compelling.

Plans for the next Visual Studio include a single, integrated environment for all of the tools (currently, Visual Basic and FoxPro use separate IDEs). Expect it to be more like the Visual Basic 5.0 IDE than the current Developer Studio IDE.

The next version of Visual InterDev, a key component of Visual Studio, will be able to create Dynamic HTML pages in addition to server-side Active Server Pages. For the next version of Visual C++, the company is working to simplify the program development process so that applications can be more quickly deployed.

The Web page debugger, designed for Active Server Pages, will be bundled with Internet Information Server 4.0, code-named "K2." It will also be made available for free to users of Visual InterDev