Visual Studio .NET is the comprehensive tool set for rapidly building and integrating XML Web services, Microsoft Windows based applications, and Web solutions. After four years of preparation and two years of marketing hype, ZDNews notes, Microsoft is releasing Visual Studio.Net–development tools crucial to its Web services plans. The tools bundle replaces the existing Visual Studio tools–used by some 5 million developers, according to Microsoft–and includes several new features, along with updates to existing products such as the company’s popular Visual Basic and Visual C++ tools. Update: Get the scoop for Gates’ keynote, plus more information, at C|Net News. Update 2: Somewhat related, ArsTechnica features an informative article, explaining as to what .NET really is.