With a number of builds of its upcoming development tools suite out and available for developers to test, Microsoft has developed an uninstall tool to simplify the process of removing old builds from user machines. Microsoft Corp. has created a Visual Studio 2005 uninstall and diagnostics tool and is also putting together a troubleshooting tool for VS 2005, also known as Whidbey.

The uninstall tool automates the VS 2005 uninstall instructions and uninstalls Visual Studio 2005 beta versions and CTPs (Community Technology Previews), Microsoft engineer Hong Gao said in his Weblog.

Microsoft has delivered two beta versions of Visual Studio 2005 and several CTPs of the technology thus far, and is expected to release its "August CTP" some time this week, Microsoft said.

Prashant Sridharan, Microsoft's senior product manager for Visual Studio 2005, called CTPs "snapshots in time" of what the technology looks like at that period in its development. Microsoft plans to officially release both Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 at a launch event on Nov. 7 in San Francisco.

S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president in Microsoft's Developer Division, said, "We have been releasing Community Technology Previews regularly since Beta 2 and will have one coming out in August as well," in his blog Monday.

Somasegar added in his blog, "In September, we will release another milestone in the lead up to launch with the delivery of the first Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate (RC). Visual Studio 2005 RC1 offers significant enhancements and greater quality over our previous Beta releases."

Meanwhile, the VS 2005 diagnostic tool can be used to automatically diagnose known issues with the builds. Together the two tools mean faster tool and application development for users, Gao said.

In addition, the VS 2005 tool will uninstall all pre-release Visual Studio 2005 editions, including Visual Studio Express, Visual Studio Team System, and the Professional and Standard edition, he said.