Microsoft starts testing Visual Studio 2012 Update 3

Microsoft starts testing Visual Studio 2012 Update 3

Summary: The Visual Studio team is continuing with its seemingly quarterly update pace, delivering the first public test build of the next update for Visual Studio 2012.


Just like clockwork, the Visual Studio team is continuing to push ahead with what look to be quarterly updates to Visual Studio 2012.


On April 15, the team made available for download the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Visual Studio 2012 Update 3.

Microsoft released to manufacturing Visual Studio 2012 in early August 2012. In September, the team announced plans for more rapidly and regularly delivered "updates." These VS updates, which includes new features and not just fixes, are becoming increasingly across the company, with a push to deliver versions of key Microsoft products on an accelerated time table.

Microsoft just made the final release of Update 2 for Visual Studio 2012 available on April 5.

CTP1 of Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 includes some new Team Foundation Server functionality. It also includes fixes for various issues involving the debugger, Web tools, C++ support and more.

I'm curious what Microsoft will be showing off at the Build 2013 conference in late June this year on the Visual Studio front. Will developers get new features as part of Visual Studio 2012 Update 4? Or will Microsoft already be moving on to a whole new VS release (VS Blue?) that will be focused around bringing the Windows Phone 8.x, Windows 8.1 and possibly the next Xbox development experiences more into alignment?

Topics: Software Development, Microsoft, 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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  • VS 2012

    It is actually and improvement over VS 2010, especially if you do a lot C++ / CLI stuff. Note: I am talking about functionality not the out of the box look and feel.
  • Kudos

    I'm really liking the rapidfire updates MS is doing across all their products. And before the haters start saying that it's because their software is buggy, no, bug fixes are a small part of the story. Improved and entirely new functionality are the bigger components. As an example, including full Expression Blend with VS2012 in Update 2 saves spending an extra $500 or so.
    Sir Name
    • Interesting

      As an MSDN subscriber I did get Expression Blend subscription, and so could flip between VS2010 and Blend for XAML editing. Although VS2012 had improved XAML Designer, it still not as friendly (and colourful) as using Blend, and I found I could not flip between the two, without some extra plugins as it refused to recognise my Installd Blend v4.

      So based upon your comment it looks like I can get thsi capability back byinstalling VS Update 2.

      Still don't like the lack of Colours and Capitals in menus in VS2012. So I typically stay in 2010 wherever possible.
      • VS2012 is Ugly

        I have started to use it. I am surprized it doesn't look more Metro like (menu font) or Office like (ribbon). We I like the Metro font (Win8 Pro) and Office Ribbon (Office 2010). We just upgraded from Office 2003 to Office 2010 and I have to say that it is a huge improvement!

        That is why I am surprised more of the newer MS UI improvements are not reflected in VS2012.
      • May I suggest...

        Open VS2012, go to Tools -> Options and under General under Environment choose your color theme. If you really feel adventurous you can also install the "Visual Studio 2012 Color Theme Editor" extension which gives you total control of the look and feel of VS2012.
        • Ha Ha that was funny

          Light or Dark !
        • Themes are not the problem!

          When the colored icons designed to give some perception of depth were introduced, they were impressive and helpful. So what was MS thinking when they went way back in time to flat icons with no color? Stop suggesting changing themes when it's the icons that are the obvious problem.
          • They did do something...

            When 2012 was in Beta testing ALL of the icons were mono tone... So badly so it drove an uproar of users who disliked it, myself included. Glad they actually put a little color back into them. The icons are to small for our eyes to quickly distinguish tiny shapes. Color differences are much more superior.
            David Carrigan
  • Dear Visual Studio 2012 team...

    Here's the thing. While there are definitely some advances in 2012 over 2010, the fact remains that a lot of things just don't work as well or a smoothly. The XAML editor, which wasn't great before forcing us to hand code XAML and use the visual display as a check more than anything else, has actually gotten WORSE... (you may want to check a bug that happens if you have deeply nested XAML controls - 2012 will spawn off an app for each open XAML edit window- which then spawns off multiple MBuilds that just locks up the VS system often for as much as 30 mins.

    The 'new' properties panel has lost basic things - like being able to specify a colour BY NAME. Want to set a border to one thickness? No problem before - now you have to enter the number four times. It's gone backwards a huge step overall.

    And perhaps you missed it - but VS isn't a metro app - so why break the visual cue rules by overriding the chrome?

    Sorry - it's a great companion for Windows 8 - they both seem to have been designed without any consideration for existing or future customers...
    • Windows 8 = Proof that Steven Sinofsky is brain dead worm ridden filth

      "Sorry - it's a great companion for Windows 8 - they both seem to have been designed without any consideration for existing or future customers..."

      Windows 8 is a joke, but Visual Studio is an awesome product.
      • Hmm...

        I'm so waiting for Windows 9. Here is why: probably almost nothing changes but it will be the greatest thing ever, just like it was with Windows 7 and Vista.
        • Think again.

          Everything changed from Vista to Windows 7. Especially the priority issue ;) Unfortunately service packs have rid the major issues we first saw with windows Vista Ie Millennium 2.
          David Carrigan
    • Agreed

      You couldn't have be more right. Why has everyone refused to note the severity of bugs? I'm dealing with a design/runtime sizing bug, also the Server explorer likes to glitch and not save procedures, tables, etc. After it does this it crashes. At home my environment crashes for every ASPx.Net project. I can't get my toolbara to persist. These are things that extremely impact my development process.. All of which ran smoothly in 2010, which I feel I should have stuck with until 2013 came out.
      David Carrigan
  • Excellent!

    I'm so happy about this. The C++/CLI debugger issue fixed was my Connect issue! Woo! Thanks for the news about this Mary Jo.
  • Have They Figured Out Cross-Platform Development Yet?

    Has Visual Studio caught up with Emacs in being able to write Android apps yet?
    • I write Android Apps in VS2010

      I use the Mono for Android Template Plug Ins from Xmarin sicne I like writing C# code
      • Re: I use the Mono for Android Template Plug Ins

        So, no native Android apps, then.