Microsoft to 'Connect' With Developers on Visual Studio, Azure, More

Microsoft will hold its Connect(); event next month to school developers on the upcoming new features in the company's tools, cloud and DevOps platforms.

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Microsoft plans to update developers on its latest tools and platforms at an invitation-only event next month in New York City known as Connect();.

Visual Studio and the next version of the Microsoft developer toolset will be the centerpiece of the event, which will be held Nov. 12 and will be webcast live.

A second day of Microsoft developer outreach will take place on Nov. 13, where engineering team members on Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus will interact virtually with developers to provide insight about the newest tools, frameworks and services.

Speakers for Day 1 of Connect(); will include Scott Guthrie, Microsoft executive vice president of Cloud & Enterprise; S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division; Brian Harry, corporate vice president of ALM at Microsoft; and Scott Hanselman, principal program manager for Microsoft Azure.

Meanwhile, issues to be covered on Day 2 include .NET vNext and managed languages, ASP.NET vNext, Microsoft Azure Platform and Tools, multi-device development using Visual Studio (iOS, Android and Windows), Application Lifecycle Management, Dev/Test, DevOps, Visual Studio "14" IDE productivity and more.

Although the so-called Visual Studio "14" will be discussed at Connect();, Microsoft has no plans to launch the next version of the Visual Studio at the event. VS 14 is not expected until 2015. However, the company could deliver a preview at Connect();.

At a similar event around the same time last year, Microsoft used New York City as the launching point for Visual Studio Online, Visual studio 2013 and more.

"A year ago, we launched Visual Studio 2013 and announced the availability of Visual Studio Online," Microsoft's Somasegar said in a blog post about Connect();.Developers have been adopting both at a great rate with over 7 million downloads of VS2013 and over 1.7 million registered accounts in Visual Studio Online so far. Following through on our commitment to a faster release cadence, in the year since those launches, we've released 3 major updates to Visual Studio 2013 and 15 updates to Visual Studio Online, with the majority of developers taking advantage of these new updates. Through these updates and additional technology previews, we've talked about how we're embracing the mobile-first, cloud-first and DevOps trends."

Somasegar said Microsoft has been working to enable developers to target every mobile platform, sharing as much code and assets as possible. "With C# and Xamarin or JavaScript and the Cordova tools for Visual Studio preview, Visual Studio developers can target the breadth of devices that their customers and clients demand," he said. "And when targeting the Windows platform, developers can leverage universal Windows app projects in Visual Studio."

In the cloud, Microsoft has broadened the Azure platform for all developers, with support for Windows and Linux, Chef and Puppet, SharePoint and Oracle, Java and PHP, and much more, Somasegar said.

The company also has shed light on its plans for .NET, including the open source ASP.NET vNext and .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn") projects, as well as the NET Foundation, Somasegar said.

"Developers using any language and platform can also benefit from the many new at-scale platform services offered in Azure—from API Management and Machine Learning to Document DB and Search," he added.

Microsoft will further update developers at its Build 2015 conference, which will be held April 29 to May 1 in San Francisco. "Build is where developers will hear the latest about our platform strategy, technologies and opportunities," said Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president of communications at Microsoft, in a blog post introducing the new Microsoft Ignite conference and highlighting other key Microsoft events of 2015. Microsoft Ignite will be held May 4 through May 8 in Chicago.

Shaw said Microsoft Ignite "will bring together the best of previously individual events—the Management Summit, the Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project and TechEd conferences—and then take it to the next level."