I haven't yet worked with this version of Visual Studio, but I'm told it installs side-by-side with previous versions of Visual Studio, so I'll be taking a look after AU.
Some of the areas I'm especially interested in - and this is not an exhaustive list of all the cool stuff the release includes... :-)
- C#/VB language features, many of which have come from the world of functional programming
- Automatic properties, extension methods, lambda expressions, object & list initializers, etc. etc.
- Enhanced HTML/CSS editing
- I still hand-hack a fair amount of HTML
- LINQ - language integrated query
- Allows you to create/manage data(-base) queries via code rather than SQL
- Integrated browsing of the .NET Framework source
As for AutoCAD development: there should not be a problem writing .NET applications for AutoCAD with Visual Studio 2008 - especially as it allows you to build applications for prior versions of the .NET Framework - but you should not attempt to build ObjectARX applications. The supported C++ compiler for ObjectARX in AutoCAD 2007 & 2008 is Visual Studio 2005.
I'll be back on the subject of metaprogramming in my next post...