Microsoft will ship F#, a derivative of OCaml, in the Visual Studio 2010 time frame, David Mendlen, director of developer tools at Microsoft told me during an interview at Professional Developers Conference last month.
While it will be shipping, Microsoft is still hand waving over whenever to bundle that language with Visual Studio or not, he noted. Microsoft's core languages team, which is modifying some .NET languages for parallelism, believes that F# is critical for parallel development, he said.
As we previously reported, F# (pronounced: F-sharp) is a hybrid functional and object-oriented programming language that was created by researchers at Microsoft's Cambridge, U.K., lab to demonstrate interoperability between different programming paradigms. The researchers also drew concepts from C# and Haskell, another functional programming language.
Additionally, F# supports dynamic linking, preemptive multithreading and SMP machine support, and Unicode strings—features that are unavailable in other ML language implementations, according to Microsoft Research's project Web site. It also provides interactive scripting that is akin to Python.