Microsoft Big Wigs Launch Visual Studio 2012

Microsoft had the official Visual Studio 2012 Launch today. While many of us have been using Visual Studio 2012 for a while (Microsoft commented that there have been over 600,000 downloads), today was Microsoft’s chance to publicly stand up and talk about the product.

Microsoft’s Somasegar (Corporate VP of the Developer Division) kicked off the launch talking about the changes that are happening in the industry. This includes changing expectations as well as the need for more business agility. Jason Zander then talked about Visual Studio 2012 and building modern Windows applications. Brian Harry, Technical Fellow then presented Visual Studio 2012 ALM features as well as talking about the new Team Foundation Server 2012.

Connected devices and continuous services are things that must be addressed in order for an application to be considered modern. Additionally, modern apps are applications that are always improving. Developers of these apps take feedback, measure results, and then they improve the app. They iterate this process over and over, continuously. The time frames for each cycle might be a day, a week, or longer. Regardless of the length, it seems the cycles are getting shorter for developers

Visual Studio 2012 Launch: Modern Apps

A number of things were mentioned in the keynotes. The following are a list of some of the comment and announcements made. I’ve included some information that was provided to me from Microsoft as well:

Connected Devices

Keeping jargon straight – there are a number of differnet core application types that you can target with Visual Studio 2012:

  • Windows Desktop – These are standard applications that you are likely used to
  • Windows Store Apps – This is the “official” name of Windows 8 applications that used to be called Windows Metro Apps. These are the apps that will be distributed via the “store” model.
  • Windows Phone Apps -These are obviously Windows phone apps. It is worth noting that the Windows Phone Marketplace is now the Windows Phone Store.
  • Internet Explorer – Microsoft called out that they See Internet Explorer as an app target too.

Visual Studio 2012 Launch - Connected Devices

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop

This version of Visual Studio gives people (including developers) a free tool for building desktop applications. It will be available starting today. If you are wanting to get started with desktop apps using VB.NET , C#, or C++, then this tool is a good starting point.

F# for ASP.NET, Cloud, and Azure

F# gets a boost today. There is now “F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web.” This add-on provides F# support for ASP.NET, Cloud, and Azure development. This should be available today.

More Windows Embedded Support

Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 2012 will fully support Windows Embedded Compact development. This won’t be available until the next release of Windows Embedded Compact which is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.

Visual Studio 2012 Update 1

I’ve mentioned these updates in the past. Microsoft has committed to doing interim updates and additions to Visual Studio. Today they commented that the first update will include added support for “agile teams, continuous quality enablement, SharePoint and Windows.“ This is expected to be released before the end of the year. Specific comments on this included a mention of ALM tools for SharePoint as well as additional testing tools. A community Technology Preview (CTP) should be available later this month.

A Few Additional Tidbits: Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5

Jason Zander called out three things in the new .NET. These are just three of the areas where updates have been made:

  • There is a new version of ASP.NET MVC 4
  • Updates have been made to the Web API and API Controller.
  • There’s a New version of Entity Framework

Additionally, it was stated that there are 3,400 extensions and add-ons available for Visual Studio.

Finally, one new tool was shown, the Page Inspector. If you are doing Web Development, then this is a tool worth checking out!

In Conclusion

I’m sure there is a lot more coming on Visual Studio 2012. Feel free to share what you know on Codeguru. If you write about using Visual Studio, .NET, C#, or the any other area of Microsoft development, or if you want to detail how to use a tool, API, or service, then feel free to send what you write to my attention. If it is good, we’ll get it edited and posted to the site!

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