Microsoft delivers new Visual Studio 2013 and .Net 4.5.1 previews

Microsoft delivers new Visual Studio 2013 and .Net 4.5.1 previews

Summary: The Windows 8.1 preview bits are not the only new downloadable test builds Microsoft is releasing on Day 1 of its Build 2013 conference. New 'Blue' dev tool previews are available, too.


While June 26, the opening day of Microsoft's Build 2013 conference, is all about the first public preview of Windows 8.1, that's not the only downloadable Microsoft is delivering today.


Microsoft also is making available as of 9 am PT/12 noon ET today a public preview of Visual Studio 2013 and .Net 4.5.1. The company also is releasing the final version of Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 today. Update 3 is the last of the regular updates to the VS 2012 product.

The download link for the Visual Studio 2013 preview is here. It is available under a "go-live" license. The .Net 4.5.1 preview installs as part of the VS 2013 preview and is also included in all installations of the Windows 8.1 preview. The new .Net preview also is available for separate installation into Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and corresponding Windows Server releases.

According to Microsoft officials, much of the functionality in the .Net 4.5.1 release is focused on improving debugging and general diagnostics. The update also allows developers to enable Edit and Continue for 64-bit.

The new previews also add support for asynchronous debugging (when using VS 2013 on Windows 8.1, not older Windows releases) for C#, VB, JavaScript and C++ developers. .Net 4.5.1 also adds performance improvements for apps running on multicore machines. And more C++11 standards support, including featues like delegating constructors, raw string literals, explicit conversion operators and variadic templates.

Microsoft also has made improvements to the development experience for those using XAML to build Windows Store apps, according to officials. There are "significant" performance improvements for the XAML designers in Visual Studio and Blend, as well as general XAML editing in Visual Studio, with the inclusion of IntelliSense for data binding and resources.

Microsoft also is continuing to add features meant to entice more JavaScript and HTML development for those using Visual Studio to build Windows Store.

At Build this week, Microsoft has slated eight sessions focused on XAML and eight on JavaScript. Microsoft officials have said they plan to try to convey to .Net developers at the show that they still value them and are not trying to favor those building new Metro-Style/Windows Store apps in JavaScript and HTML -- which is the message that many programmers felt Microsoft sent during its last two Build conferences.

Topics: Software Development, Microsoft, Web development, Windows 8


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).

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  • It's

    hard to tell from the screen shot, but it looks like they are finally listening to complaints about the ugly UI. Can one hope?
    • Indeed

      I couldn't stand staring at VS2012's zero contrast, eye-bleeding UI all day long and switched back to VS2010. Hopefully 2013 is better.
      • Yes

        I see the all caps menu is still there, but I understand they can be changed. Hoping ...
      • Uh huh..

        Clearly you're trolling, as VS2012 has the VS2010 theme built in.
        Tools -> Options -> Theme (THE VERY FIRST OPTION!) -> Blue.

        • themes

          I only have 'light' and 'dark' themes under Options->Environment->general.
          May be that is because I do not have the latest version.
          • If you only see "Dark" and "Light" themes ...

            ... be sure you're running the RTM build - "Blue" was added-back into the RTM build but was omitted from the Beta.
        • You can easily change the menu to lowercase...

          Simply open the registry editor and create the following key and value:

          REG_DWORD value: 1

          But I don't see the Blue theme as mentioned by thewordofb. Having the Uppercase menu is ugly and it's a legitimate and valid complaint. As much as I like the Metro in my WP 8, I hate the fact that we have to reinvent lot of things for Win8/WP 8 dev that was put to death in WPF/ASP.NET dev before. But in fairness, its lot more harder to do the same things in iOS or Android anyway.
        • No

          Just because you don't agree with the poster, that doesn't mean they are "trolling". It's called a "difference of opinion".
    • it's still ugly

      because of that metro garbage
  • If they "value" us, then they should allow us

    to build .NET apps for the store. Real .NET apps, not the crap limited profile ones.
    • Which .NET API's are you missing?

      When you build WinRT apps, what .NET API's are you missing? There are only a few limitations, all of which are limited for good reason, most of which have superior alternatives.
      • "Superior" is a strong choice of words

        to this day, there is no database API. Nothing - no replacement at all for System.Data, even if all you use it for is to pull tables back from a WCF service. (And no that crappy oData interface is not a replacement.)

        There's no access to MSMQ (System.Messaging) for strong inter-machine asynchronous processes. No System.Net.Mail, for access to rich messaging and inline images with AlternateViews.

        Other classes and namespaces do have some crappy WinRT analogues, albeit non-managed unsafe analogues that are just COM hiding behind pretty typing. Sorry, not much of a bone, I'm afraid.
    • I guess I was hoping for Silverlight 6 and XNA 5 announcements

      Yeah yeah I know that is not on their roadmap. But they are still allowing most of Flash in thier Metro browsers, but not Silverlight.

      and HTML5 remains weak choice for LOB Web based Applications. Javascript is NOT an option for LOB Applications.

      So if all the love for use .NET developers with .NET 4.5.1 is just better debugging, asynch, and perfomance, then I am really not impressed that they understand the massive loss in confidence .NET developers have in Microsofts roadmap.

      Yeah and XNA for Indie Game developers. We can see the shrinking Indie market on Windows Phone, the same fate for Windows 8 and XBox. Way to go Microsoft you have lost the Indie market to Android and Sony, where we can now use XNA via MonoGame to port across.

      Why stick with Microsoft. they stuffed us (Silverlight, XNA and .NET), and we are moving on.
  • Their statistics probably show...

    that only crappy apps developed by brain dead filth were written using the HTML/Javapuke subsystem.
  • Same unidentificable icons, All Caps Menu, No Macros, No Setup Projects...

    Same unidentificable icons, All Caps Menu, No Macros, No Setup or Deployment Projects...

    Definitively, Microsoft is not hearing users. Seeing Windows 8.1 and all new Microsoft software Microsoft is only looking at his cash and do not care what they think or want their users, who are the ones who pay.
    • Ermmm ...

      ... no deployment projects? Win8, Phone8, Web & Azure projects all have package & deploy capabilities.

      As for setup, 90% of developers who package desktop apps do so using InstallShield, Wise, WIX, etc. all of which are far better suited to hooking into the post-dev workflow anyhow, but some of which hook into VS for those that want it.

      WIX (, my personal favorite, is fully open-source, VERY flexible and pretty simple to automate.
      • Nobody uses Installshield for corporate deployment

        The loss of the setup and deployment options was a big deal. I myself use Installshield, but it sure as heck isn't for everyone... it is an IDE of its own with a Pascal like language (Installscript) that you have to learn.

        Now you would expect to have to learn it if you're making corporate software. But most developers are making apps for their company's internal systems. Installshield is total overkill for that scenario... though now, it would seem, a necessary for of overkill.

        the publish capability in VS is OK, but no substitute for making an installer.
  • Windows Mobile???

    What about support for Windows Mobile (Handheld barcode scanners)?
    • Windows Mobile ...

      ... no longer exists.

      For barcode scanners, I think you mean Windows Embedded, right? In which case, the news of Windows Embedded Compact 2013 from a week or so ago should make you happy :)
  • Windows Phone 7.1 support

    Did Microsoft drop the support for Windows Phone 7 projects on Visual Studio 2013?