Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

Summary: Microsoft has begun sharing information about the beta of VS 11, the next release of its tool suite for Windows 8, that will be released on February 29.

SHARE:

Microsoft is providing a handful of us pre-selected press with a sneak peek on Thursday February 23 of the coming beta release of Visual Studio 11.

Visual Studio 11 is the codename for the next version of Visual Studio, expected by many to be named officially Visual Studio 2012. Microsoft released a developer preview of VS 11 in September 2011, alongside the developer preview of Windows 8 and Windows Server 8.

Microsoft is on tap to deliver the beta (known officially as the Consumer Preview) of Windows 8 by February 29. The company also is likely to provide a beta of Windows Server 8 at the same time, I'm hearing. And as of today, we now know that the Softies plan to drop the beta of VS 11 and .Net 4.5 beta on February 29, as well. The VS 11 beta will be available under a go-live license.

Visual Studio 11 adds support to Microsoft Visual Studio tool suite for Windows 8. It includes .Net 4.5;  support for asynchronous programming in C# and Visual Basic; support for state machines in Windows Workflow; more tooling for HTML5 and CSS 3 in ASP.Net. The product includes templates to help developers in writing Metro-Style -- meaning WinRT-based -- applications with JavaScript, C#, VB and/or C++.

Microsoft officials are sharing demos and disclosing new features during the sneak peek today. As part of the Visual Studio 11 beta, Microsoft also will be releasing its Team Foundation Server beta. Included in that beta is a new download of TFS, known as Team Foundation Server Express, which includes new core developer features, including source-code control, work-item tracking, build automation and agile taskboard. That SKU will be free for individual and teams of up to five users.

Microsoft officials have not said when to expect the company to release the final version of Visual Studio 2012. I did notice there are quite a few sessions at this year's TechEd conference in June around Visual Studio, Team Foundation Server and ASP.Net 4.5. But there's no word in the session line-up as to whether the final version will be out by then. Whenever the final is released, I'd expect it to coincide with the RTM of Windows 8, since Microsoft seems to be trying to keep the two products in lockstep.

Soma Somasegar, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Developer Division and one of the presenters of the sneak peek, said there are "hundreds and hundreds of new features" in VS11. He said as of the beta, Microsoft is "pretty much done with all the features and functionality" for the product.  VS11 will be designed for both professional and non-professional developers, and will be designed to enable developers to touch-enable their applications.

The three themes Microsoft is pursuing with the product, Somasegar said, include the following:

Here are a few more slides from the sneak peek presentation.

Microsoft officials on today's Webcast emphasized that VS 11 will be aimed at a full cross-section of developers, not just those doing Windows 8/Metro-style apps. There will be enhancements for those building Windows desktop apps, Direct X-based apps and games and client Web apps, too. (There will not be support for XNA on Windows 8, however. Microsoft officials didn't mention this today, but other Microsoft officials and company watchers have said this semi-publicly before.)

Microsoft officials emphasized that the VS 11 suite will be useful for developing apps beyond Windows client ones. It will also target those developing .Net Framework 4.5 server apps, Windows Azure apps and SharePoint apps.

Here's a quick glimpse of the VS 11 beta screen shown to us today:

In the Q&A session, Microsoft officials noted that the Visual Studio LightSwitch rapid app development tool is now included in VS Professional and higher. However, in the coming beta LightSwitch won't (yet) support HTML5 output, they said.

More updates: Microsoft officials today didn't talk much about new enhancements in the beta specifically targeting Windows 8. The reason? The secrecy edict around all things Windows 8-related. We do know, however, that the coming beta includes support for Windows 8 and Web development, which are supported by Visual Studio Express for Windows 8 and VS11 Express for Web, respectively, according to Microsoft's February 23 press release.

A list of some of the specific enhancements to VS 11 coming in the other parts of the beta is in Microsoft's press release.

And a list of the VS 11 beta SKUs and what will be in them is on the Microsoft Visual Studio product site.

Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Software Development, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

29 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

    This makes sense, we're going to need an updated Visual Studio to update our Windows 8 Apps for the store. I can't wait!
    rwalrond
    • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

      @rwalrond - The VS11 Dev Preview already contains a ton of must-have features including MUCH improved Javascript intellisense support.

      Dev11 is going to be a very strong release on top of Dev10 which was the strongest VS release in years :)
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

        @bitcrazed Yeah I know, I've spent a lot of time porting my Wp7 App over to Windows 8, and when Microsoft had the Windows 8 App contest running, they said a new version would be given to the Winners to update their Apps for the store. I didn't manage to have my App ready in time to enter the contest but I'm sure ready to submit my App on day 1.

        I do Agree with you, this is going to be a strong release!
        rwalrond
  • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

    I hope they will also implement OpenMP 3 and C99 (the remaining features, they already have __declspec(restrict) and snprintf etc.) aside from C++11
    ChrisTX4
    • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

      @ChrisTX4 Herb Sutter gave a pretty good overview of what's coming in VC++ and the post-release cadence increase to deliver C++ 11 features (slide around 11:22):

      http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/GoingNative/GoingNative-2012/C-11-VC-11-and-Beyond

      FWIW: Regarding OpenMP - understand that while OpenMP has its strengths, it has some significant weaknesses including its inability to support GPU's - a potential source of HUGE computational parallelism.

      If you're interested in an open parallelism API for C++ that allows mere mortals to take advantage of GPU parallelism you might want to examine C++ AMP:
      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/vcblog/archive/2011/06/15/introducing-amp.aspx
      bitcrazed
  • still years behind FOSS

    and also expensive. V$ is a dud as research done by scholars have shown!
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

      @The Linux Geek,
      Years behind FOSS. How?
      bmonsterman
      • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

        @bmonsterman
        just see how far behind is to Eclipse.
        The Linux Geek
      • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

        @The Linux Geek,<br>Ok...eclipse...in what way in VS behind eclipse?
        bmonsterman
      • Still laughing LG

        This is for developers LG, so you are a little out of your depth. When I want to look at antiques I go and browse the Linux and Apple development environments, it's good to know how far MS has come ;-)
        tonymcs1
    • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

      @The Linux Geek

      Can you say "put the lotion in the basket?" How many people have you murdered lately? Nutjob.
      jackbond
    • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

      @The Linux Geek
      Funny :)
      I did not know that there are scholars who are doing research on visual studio. I wonder what are they saying about notepad or minesweeper.
      paul2011
    • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

      @The Linux Geek, really? Scholars? Obviously they didn't bother to research actual developers, because a significant number of the developers I know use Visual Studio.
      grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
      • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

        @grayknight
        they must be dumb devs. Smart devs use FOSS tools exclusively.
        The Linux Geek
      • Sounds more like a "Ford vs. Chevy" debate

        @The Linux Geek

        Which has nothing to do with 'dumb vs. smart', and everything to do with 'what I like vs. what you like'.
        spdragoo
      • @ The Linux Geek

        "Anybody who tells me I can't use a program because it's not open source, go suck on rms. I'm not interested. 99% of that I run tends to be open source, but that's my choice, dammit."
        Torvalds, Linus (2004-10-26). Message to linux-kernel mailing list. Retrieved on 2006-08-28.

        Even Linus Torvalds uses Closed Source when it's better.
        Michael Alan Goff
  • I too can't wait!

    I'm in college learning this field, so the latest version will make me more marketable.
    HypnoToad72
    • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

      @HypnoToad72 <br>I'm not disputing the consequent, but I don't get the predicate.<br><br>What field? Isn't your marketability the result of your efforts and not because of a product or your status of matriculation?<br><br>And out here in the real world, businesses adopt software based on budgets and cost/benefit analyses. Old stuff sticks around a frustratingly long time. If we are talking about coding, most of that work is maintenance and the new tools are looking forward, in order to sell new licenses and services.<br><br>All experience is good, so, I guess my point is I don't know if I'd suggest I rely on new things from Microsoft for my career's current and future path, because they don't care.
      DannyO_0x98
      • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

        @DannyO_0x98<br>"I don't know if I'd suggest I rely on new things from Microsoft for my career's current and future path, because they don't care"<br><br>You got that right. Look at the history of any Microsoft product and you would know that Microsoft really doesn't care. They don't care about their customers let alone developers and community. microsoft is just lucky to build Windows (and subsequently Office) at the right time to get the market penetration. Rest of the stuff sells just because of Windows' omni presence. This (and all the cash pile they are sitting on) has made Microsoft so arrogant that they have stopped caring altogether.
        jacobjason
  • RE: Microsoft provides sneak peek of next Visual Studio beta

    I hope they add support for building Metro apps on x86. I know x86 usage is going down, but I am still one of those with an old computer.
    ian.aldrighetti