Microsoft Visual Studio Launches With Express Desktop SKU, Update 1 Due

Microsoft announced the official launch of Visual Studio 2012 and the availability of Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop, and said VS2012 Update 1 is coming later this year.

Microsoft formally launched its flagship Visual Studio 2012 tools suite and has already announced an update for the product, Visual Studio 2012 Update 1.

At a Sept. 12 launch event in Seattle, Microsoft officially announced VS2012 before an audience of hundreds of developers in-person and thousands more via Webcast.

Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 are the tools that form the backbone for developing on Windows 8. However, not only on Windows 8, but all of Microsoft's platforms, the company said. Meanwhile, Microsoft will be delivering VS2012 Update 1 by the end of this year as part of a new strategy to update its developer tools at a new, more rapid cadence, Microsoft said.

"Visual Studio 2012 is the best development tool to enable developers to build 'modern apps' for connected devices," Soma Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's developer division, said in an interview with eWEEK. VS2012 supports development on Windows 8, Windows Server, Windows Azure and Windows Phone.

The new release of the toolset also supports team development and different methodologies like never before, Somasegar said. The application lifecycle management (ALM) capabilities in the product enable development teams "to operate and behave like a startup," he said. "We enable teams to adopt Agile methods, continuous feedback, quality, and continuous deployment and evolution," among other things, he added.

In addition, Somasegar said Microsoft has done of lot of work in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) because it is "home" to developers when they are building apps, and Microsoft wants them to be as comfortable as possible. For instance, Microsoft tweaked the VS2012 UI following feedback from developers. "We've done a lot of work in the IDE so that developers will be able to focus on what they need to focus on," Somasegar said.

For instance, Microsoft has enhanced the product's search capabilities. "Developers want to be able to easily search for a particular piece of code; so search is deeply integrated into the Solution Explorer," Somasegar said.

Somasegar said Visual Studio 2012 has seen more than 600,000 downloads since its release to the Web, making this the fastest adoption of Visual Studio in Microsoft's history.