Microsoft wants Visual Studio 2012 to help software developers to become the new "rock stars" of the world, according to Microsoft technical evangelist Rocky Heckman.
He was speaking at the Australian launch of Visual Studio 2012 at TechEd 2012 in the Gold Coast, Queensland.
Apps development has exploded in the last five years, and software development has become a lucrative business. Developers of apps such as Angry Birds and Instagram have all become instant millionaires, and plenty of their peers want to jump on the bandwagon.
"We have all these different developers, they've all decided they are the new rock stars," Heckman said. "Everybody used to want to join a rock band, now they want to create an app."
The cornerstone of the new IDE is its support for development of applications built for Windows 8. It supports a number of different programming languages and platforms, such as Windows, Azure, and mobile devices.
Another focus for Microsoft's new Visual Studio release is facilitating building apps for and in the cloud. The software can work on top of Microsoft's cloud-hosting service Windows Azure.
"Cloud allows smaller developers to have access to the same kind of infrastructure Fortune 500 companies have," Heckman said. "Not only can they host things on the Windows Azure cloud platform, Visual Studio makes it really easy to develop [in the cloud].
"It takes infrastructure off the hands of developers, and that means they can focus on the business at hand."
Microsoft wants to help developers make use of the scale and efficiencies offered by the cloud, according to Heckman.
"A lot of things you have in Visual Studio are designed to make those cloud advantages really easy to drop into an application," he said. "They can do federated authentication, which means the Facebook and Gmail stuff, just by adding a few lines of code in their library in Visual Studio.
"This is going to help the app explosion we are on the verge of."
Coding in languages and frameworks such as HTML5 makes it easier for developers to create apps that are compatible with different devices while hosting the guts of the code in the cloud, Heckman said.
"Previously, you would have to have a large development team or a large company to have the manpower to do something like that," he said. "But with Visual Studio running cloud-based services and these cross-platform devices, developers can create awesome apps than can reach millions of people."
Spandas Lui attended TechEd 2012 as a guest of Microsoft.