Microsoft to roll out one more update to Visual Studio 2012

A near-final test build of a previously unexpected Update 4 for Microsoft's Visual Studio 2012 is available for download.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

A month ago, it looked like Microsoft's Visual Studio team had decided that the third update to Visual Studio 2012 would be the last before the company moved on to the next version of the suite, known officially as Visual Studio 2013.


But now it appears Microsoft has rethought that plan and is going to deliver a fourth update to VS 2012.

On July 30, Microsoft made available for download Release Candidate (RC) 1 for VS 2012 Update 4. The fourth update is primarily a bunch of Team Foundation Server improvements, plus a few minor bug fixes. Microsoft officials aren't saying when to expect the company to roll out the final version of Update 4.

While Visual Studio 2012 may continue to receive bug fixes and security updates, "future investments will focus on new scenarios delivered by Visual Studio 2013," a spokesperson noted.

Microsoft delivered a public preview of Visual Studio 2013 in late June, alongside a public preview of .Net 4.5.1, both under a "go-live" license. VS 2013 adds 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 features like delegating constructors, raw string literals, explicit conversion operators and variadic templates.

Microsoft also 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.

Visual Studio 2013 and .Net 4.5.1 are both expected to be released in final form before the end of this calendar year. Microsoft is expected to deliver near-quarterly updates to Visual Studio 2013, the same way it did with Visual Studio 2012, as part of its strategy to roll out new versions of many of its core products more quickly.

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