It appears to me as though the "Enable the Visual Studio hosting process" option on the Project Properties => debug tab is checked by default for both Debug and Release Configurations. If this item is checked, it seems that this results in the creation of a appname.VSHost.exe executable and associated configuration file that is used when running in the Visual Studio environment.
If this is the case, is there a reason why this option is set by default for Release Configurations since it seems this file would not be needed for a prod release? Is there any benefit to keeping it? I am tempted to remove it but the previous release included it and I hate to fix what ain't broken.
Also, I noticed that in both the Debug and Release folders that two new files that were not in the last release were created: AppName.application and appName.exe.Manifest. The previous release was compiled with VS2010 as was this and the .NET Framework is unchanged at 2.0. What might be responsible for these 2 fiels now appearing in both folders? Also, what differences would you normally expect to see between WinForms Release and Debug folders? I like having as much opportunity for debug info in errors messages as possible and I thought that dbg files were related to that. I assume that the compile optin "Generate Debug Info" is responsible for that at the expense of making your app clightly more transparent to hackers.
You can disable the hosting process (both in debug and release builds). It is only there to improve the debugging experience. Note that there are times when you do want/need to debug a release build, and the hosting process makes this potentially more functional.
For details on what it adds, see the Hosting Process page on MSDN.
That being said, you wouldn't deploy the
*.vshost.exe files with your application. Having VS create them does not detract in any way, so it's typically harmless to leave these in place.