The Next Wave Happens Feb 29th: Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Visual Studio 11 beta, and .NET 4.5 Beta

VS11Beta.jpgToday it arrives. It is the next milestone for the next Windows operating system as well as the next version of the Microsoft tools and web platform to help you get more out of your development efforts.

With Visual Studio 11, Microsoft is continuing to expand on the concepts around team and enterprise development. The updates include changes to help span the entire lifecycle around software creation. With more coverage of ALM happening, Microsoft has followed suit by adding more lifecycle support into VS 11.


Figure 1: Google Trends for ALM

The specific focus points for VS 2011 also include simplifying the user interface. As developers, we often want more and more information at our fingertips. In the past iterations of Visual Studio, Microsoft has worked to provide that information. At some point, however, that information starts getting in the way. With the new release, the plan is to help de-clutter the interface where possible. You’ll see a reduced number of toolbar commands, simplified graphics (how much color coding in the IDE is really needed), better use of tabs, and more. One big change is the use of Search to navigate within Visual Studio. You’ll find that the Solution Explorer has a search bar that can be used to find about anything you want within your applications or solutions.


Figure 2: New streamlined user interface in Visual Studio 11 beta

Within the .NET Framework there has been a number of changes as well. Microsoft has been talking about asynchronous code for quite a while. With .NET 4.5, there is built-in support. There is also better support for connected applications as well as support that spans HTTP libraries as well as WebSockets.

I could write a long post on what some of the changes are in Visual Studio 11 beta, or I can point you to what S. Somasegar and Jason Sander at Microsoft said. The following video was a sneak peak they did for a group of us last week:

Of course, as a developer, you want to get your hands on the product. You should be able to download the Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET Framework 4.5 Beta starting on Feb. 29 by visiting

As a side note, you’ll find as well that there is a release of TFS coming that will be targeted to small groups that will be freely available. Check out the video to hear about this as well.


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