Microsoft announced Sept. 10 the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Release Candidate and noted that the company's flagship application development suite will release to manufacturing (RTM) on Oct. 18.
Microsoft also announced that it will be making its Windows 8.1 bits available to developers, which had been a point of contention between the devices and services giant and its developer base because Microsoft initially decided that developers would not get access to the Windows 8.1 bits in advance of its Oct. 18 general availability debut.
Developers now have access to the Release Candidate (RC) for Visual Studio 2013, which is available free for download here. Microsoft also announced that Windows 8.1 RTM and Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM are now available to the developer community via the Microsoft Developer network (MSDN) and TechNet.
"We heard from you that our decision to not initially release Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2 RTM bits was a big challenge for our developer partners as they're readying new Windows 8.1 apps and for IT professionals who are preparing for Windows 8.1 deployments," wrote Steven Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer & Platform Evangelism (DPE) group, in a blog post. "We've listened, we value your partnership, and we are adjusting based on your feedback. As we refine our delivery schedules for a more rapid release cadence, we are working on the best way to support early releases to the various audiences within our ecosystem."
In an interview early this summer, S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, told eWEEK the new Visual Studio release may be the most comprehensive ever, partly because the opportunities for software developers are higher than ever before. And Microsoft has to cater to the needs of these individuals and teams.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry told eWEEK prior to the Microsoft TechEd 2013 conference in June that Microsoft would be announcing a new version of Visual Studio and focusing on new application lifecycle management (ALM) and DevOps features.
In addition to the Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server/Service support for agile portfolio management, cloud-based load testing, a team room integrated with TFS, code comments integration with TFS, and Git support that Microsoft demonstrated at its TechEd and Build conferences, Microsoft also highlighted several new programmer productivity features.
"One such feature is the CodeLens (Code Information Indicators) capability we introduced at TechEd," Somasegar said in a blog post. "This feature brings useful information about types and type members directly into the editor, information such as the references to a particular method, how many tests are referencing a method and how many of them are passing, who last checked in a change that modified a method, and how many changesets impact a method."