In the run-up to its Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft on Friday opened a new initiative to let the developer community hear about and try early developer tools that the software giant is working on.
DevLabs is an online portal where Microsoft plans to share some “early thinking” and let developers help shape the direction of projects. Developers will also get to use some early versions of tools in order to offer feedback.
Many of the projects will start with people who work in Microsoft’s developer division, but they can come from other groups that may be working on projects geared toward developers, he said.
For now, DevLabs is featuring four projects, including Small Basic, first unveiled on Thursday. Small Basic is a development tool for beginning developers that could be used by kids or adults. It is inspired by the BASIC programming language and based on .Net.
Pex and Popfly, two projects that have been around for a while, are also featured on the site. Popfly users can create games, mashups and Web pages, and Pex is a software testing tool.
Finally, developers can get involved with the creation of Chess, another software testing tool that Microsoft has been developing for a couple years and that it plans to reveal more about next week at its Professional Developers Conference.