Today, May 1, marks the third anniversary of Chrome, which was officially launched on May 1, 2005.

Chrome 1.0 was a landmark release, being the first full-featured third-party language integrated into Visual Studio. It opened up Pascal for the .NET framework, and introduced exciting new features such as Class Contracts (loosely based on Eiffel’s Design By Contract, Asynchronous Methods and more.

A mere six months later, on November 7 2005, Chrome 1.5 (code-named ‘Floorshow’), followed with what was essentially a major new version, despite it’s .5 version number. Floorshow shipped on the same day as the .NET 2.0 framework and Visual Studio 2005, and it formalized support for these new technologies, including integration with the new IDE and language support for the new features introduced in .NET 2.0, such as generics, iterators, and more.

On August 1 2007, enjoying the longest development cycle yet, we released Chrome ‘Joyride’, version 2.0. Joyride brought along official support for new and emerging technologies that went beyond .NET 2.0, starting with libraries such as Windows Presentation Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation, and a wide range of extensions to the language, from enhanced nullable types support to sequences and queries and related technologies. Joyride was the first .NET language to ship production level support for LINQ, months before even Microsoft wold ship release versions of C# 3.0 and VB 9.0. Later that year, Joyride customers also saw the introduction of a new SKU which included a free copy of the Visual Studio 2008 IDE.

Finally, last month we announced the upcoming release of Oxygene, version 3.0 and with that the fourth major version of the Chrome language. On schedule for release on May 30, 2008, Oxygene revolutionizes the ways developers will be building multi-threaded applications for the next generation of hardware devices.

While a core focus of the first 3 releases has been to follow where C# and Microsoft were leading the platform, Oxygene is taking the language to the next level, beyond the “essential .NET”. With the .NET platform stabilizing and the stream of new technologies coming out of Redmond slowing down, this has given our team the chance to put more focus on driving the language itself, and then parallelism features shipping this month will only be the start of that!

Thank you for your continued support and patronage of Chrome over the past 3 years — and here’s to the next three years of Oxygene!