Microsoft delivers new Visual Studio 2013 and .Net 4.5.1 previews

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.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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