I'm currently using VS2005 Profesional and .NET 2.0, and since our project is rather large (25 projects in the solution), I'd like to try VS 2008, since its theoretically faster with larger projects.

Before doing such thing, i'd like to know if what I've read is true: can I use VS2008 in ".net 2.0" mode? I don't want my customers to install .net 3.0 or .3.5, I just want to install VS2008, open my solution and start working from there.

Is this possible?

P.D.: the solution is a c# Window Forms project.

+3  A: 

yes, vs2008 can "target" a framework, but i think by default, if converting from vs2005 - vs2008 it just keeps it at framework 2.0

Darren Kopp
+1  A: 

It is possible to have a 2.0 project in VS 2008. You would just target .NET Framework 2.0 under the project properties.

Your solution will have to be converted to a VS9 solution however.

Sean Chambers
+1  A: 

Yes you can run 2.0 with VS2008. Be sure to select that when you convert, however. When converting a project, I mistakenly left in the ASP.NET 3.5 conversion, and then all new files contained references to Linq, so it was a little bit of a pain to switch back to 2.0 when I realized the mistake.

+4  A: 

Yes it's possible. In the project properties you can target different versions of the .Net Framework going back to .NET 2.0.

Upgrading to VS 2008 will upgrade your Solution file and you won't be able to go back to VS 2005 unless you have backed up your solution


Yes, the feature that enables this is Visual Studio 2008 is called multi-targeting. See this link for more information. To use it you simply open the Properties for your Project, and select the Target Framework you want from the drop-down list on that page.

Brian Stewart

Thanks, I'm off to find the DVD microsoft sent me :)

Martín Marconcini

And bear in mind that all this stuff about the projects being compatible between 2005 and 2008 is NOT true for C/C++ projects.

Will Dean

I had absolutely no problems switching to VS2008. :) Multi-targeting worked without a hitch.