Microsoft to crank up the Visual Studio tool-suite release pace

Microsoft to crank up the Visual Studio tool-suite release pace

Summary: Microsoft plans to deliver Update 1, a collection of both bug fixes and new features for Visual Studio 2012, before the end of calendar 2012.


Microsoft's Windows isn't the only product that is looking like it will be put on a faster release track.


Visual Studio, Microsoft's developer-tool suite, is moving to a new delivery model, via which "updates" -- collections of both bug fixes and new features -- will be delivered more frequently.

The first update to Visual Studio 2012 is due out before the end of calendar 2012 -- just a few months after VS 2012 was released to manufacturing. Microsoft officials confirmed this timing on September 12 during the virtual launch of VS 2012, and noted that a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test build of Update 1 will be available before the end of September.

Some of the features that will be in Update 1, according to Microsoft:

  • Windows 8 application development and porting enhancements, including the ability to target Windows XP for C++ applications without requiring side by side installations.
  • Extension of agile methodologies -- specifically providing customers with additional capabilities for Agile planning along with adding Kanban support to the existing SCRUM support. 
  • More integrated testing functionality, such as code coverage for manual testing web apps, cross browser CodedUI or a web interface for test case management. 
  • Additional ALM (application lifecycle management) capabilities for SharePoint such as Load Testing and CodedUI support.

"Update 1" isn't just another name for "Service Pack 1," officials said. (In fact, while Service Packs will continue for now, Microsoft officials are evaluating whether they will be needed in the future with the addition of updates.) More updates will be forthcoming for VS 2012 in a "regular cadence," said Soma Somasegar, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft's Developer Division. He declined to say when Update 2 should be expected.

The Developer Division isn't the only unit in Microsoft that's looking for ways to get new features and functionality into users' hands more quickly. The Windows team is believed to be moving to a similar quicker release schedule, with an update to Windows 8, codenamed "Blue," expected out by mid next-year, according to sources.

Topics: Software Development, Microsoft, Windows


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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  • They could hardly do worse

    Than they have in the past. They have had a horrible habit of releasing software but no way to code against it in Visual Studios.
  • Still Can't Keep Up With Eclipse

    Can you use it for cross-development yet? Like, for example, developing for Android.
    • It may not be cross platform

      But it's definitely not playing "catch up".

      How would it be playing catch up?
      Michael Alan Goff
    • Huh?

      Why would MS care about Android???
      • Re: Why would MS care about Android???

        Because its customers do.
        • So?

          Android apps are primarily Java, so Microsoft has no need to try to get in on that platform. They would want their own languages, which Google would likely refuse to support on their platform.
          Michael Alan Goff
  • This is great news!

    In the past I would submit bugs to MS and they would fix them promptly. However they would often tell me that the fix would not make it into developers' hands until the next version of Visual Studio, which is often a year or two away. Hopefully this means that going forward the bug fixes will be only a few months away instead of a few years.
    • Re: This is great news!

      Yes, and you'll be paying more often for upgrades, as well. Isn't that wonderful?
      • Where did you get this information?

        I read it as "more and faster service packs".
        Michael Alan Goff
  • Just make sure...

    Sounds promising... just make sure I don't have to have separate development environments for VS2012.1, VS2012.2, VS2012.3, etc. in order to do maintenance on deployed products, please! :-)
  • Not even close

    to the GNU Emacs. No surprise. However, I heard that VS has a mode emulating emacs (and vim). Why would would one continue driving a Trabant that emulates a Mercedes anyways?
    • That has to be backwards

      Visual Studio is like a flying car that can travel to distant galaxies in the time to make a shot of espresso. Now maybe you don't need to do all that, but getting more done in faster time is the main reason to use Visual Studio.
  • User Interface.

    The first thing does requiere urgent update VS2012 is the interface. Its not clearly using the same colors and contrast in diferents areas: toolbars, code, forms, propierties. The ALL CAPS menu and only two colors icons are not clear. Changing all icons that people use for years is confusing. Its imposible to work with this interface.

    Also, the user interface, is ugly. Like all Windows 8 user interface. Is ugly and plain.
    • I disagree

      The UI is better than VS2010 and even better than OLD versions. If you dont like the caps menu, just hide it with a tool and customize your user interface in order to remember the new buttons.

      This version runs faster in a old pc with Intel core 2 duo.
    • Agreed

      I'm passing on VS2012. I'm spending 8 ~ 10 hours a day in front of this hideous mess.
      • .

        I'm NOT spending 8 ~ 10 hours a day in front of this hideous mess.