Microsoft Ships Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 Release Candidates

Microsoft had made available release candidate editions of Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5.

In addition to delivering the Release Preview of Windows 8, Microsoft also released an update to its tool suit€”Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate and .NET 4.5 RC.

The newly named Visual Studio 2012€”formerly known as Visual Studio 11€”includes several tweaks and improvements over the Developer Preview and Beta releases of the technology. This release ships with a €œGo Live€ license, so developers can use the technology to build and deploy production applications. Developers can download the Windows 8 Release Preview bits here and the Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 Release Candidates here.

€œWe€™ve added features, improved performance, revamped the UI, streamlined setup, made it easy for you to move from Beta to RC, and more,€ said Soma Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft€™s Developer Division, in a May 31 blog post.

Somasegar also noted that Microsoft €œalso revised the Visual Studio logo to embody the same Metro design principles of simplicity and streamlining that we've applied to Visual Studio itself.€

In a separate post, Jason Zander, corporate vice president for Visual Studio, said from beta to RC, Microsoft reduced the installation time of Visual Studio 2012 by an additional 20 percent. Moreover, €œThe performance work done between beta and RC was extensive and covers just about every aspect of the product. There were improvements in XAML (compiler, loading documents, and the design surface), debugging, editing large C++ files, Test Lab Management and the list goes on,€ he said.

Microsoft also tweaked the Visual Studio user interface based on feedback from the beta. And the company enhanced the capabilities for developers to build Metro-style apps in both XAML and JavaScript.

First off, there are some new Metro-style app templates, including a new Windows Runtime Component template for C# and VB developers, and a new DLL project template for C++ developers,€ Zander said.

In addition, ASP.NET Web Forms has been updated, and both Microsoft€™s Web Tools and LightSwitch have been updated.

Microsoft also updated Team Foundation Server (TFS), its application lifecycle management (ALM) solution. €œThere were a few updates to TFS since the beta,€ Zander said. €œThe first is the ability to use SQL backups of existing Team Foundation Server instances to create (upgrade) a new Team Foundation instance during the initial setup. The second is the ability to automatically add new features to existing projects using older Team Project Templates when upgrading€”this has been one of the most requested upgrade features for Team Foundation Server.€

The Team Foundation Server team also improved the user interfaces with updates such as the ability to collapse/expand iterations in Team Web access and the addition of personal and favorite queries in pending changes€”which makes it simple to drag and drop related work items to a pending check-in, Zander said.

Of the TFS version available in the release candidate, Brian Harry, product unit manager for TFS, said, €œWe€™ve done a ton of testing and fixed a lot of bugs. So it should be even more stable than the beta.€