Microsoft Delivers Visual Studio 2013.1 RC, Visual Studio Online Update

Less than a month after officially launching Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online, Microsoft delivered updates of both products.

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Sticking to its promise of delivering tools functionality at a faster cadence, Microsoft announced updates to both Visual Studio 2013 and to Visual Studio Online this week.

Microsoft officially launched Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online on Nov. 13 at an event in New York, and now the company has delivered Visual Studio 2013 Update 1 Release Candidate (VS 2013.1 RC) as well as improvements to Visual Studio Online.

"We are doing a pretty quick turn of the crank on VS 2013 Update 1," said Brian Harry, a Microsoft technical fellow and Product Unit Manager for Team Foundation Server, in a blog post. "Originally we were thinking our first Update would take a little longer but for a variety of reasons (most prominently the feedback about VS supporting versions of IE before IE 10), we decided to do a quick initial Update focused on just some key bug fixes. Our first significant ‘feature Update’ is still planned for the first half of 2014.”

The update features improvements and bug fixes to Visual Studio 2013 in the following areas: the debugger, C++, IntelliTrace, Visual Studio Test, and XAML Tools. The VS 2013.1 can be downloaded here.

This is a “go-live” RC so it should be safe to install in a production environment and it will be fully upgradable to the final release of Update 1, Harry said.

He also noted that there will not be any Team Foundation Server (TFS) 2013 Update 1. "We will include an update of TFS along with the next Visual Studio Update in the spring some time," he said.

In a separate post, Harry shed light on updates to Visual Studio Online, saying, "This is our first sprint deployment since our Commercial Public Preview launch in mid-Nov. Unfortunately, we had some instability following that launch. We’ve been hard at work since then fixing the issues, firming up our testing, adding additional resiliency into the system, etc.”

Harry also notes that in this update, Microsoft has added a new way to analyze and understand performance trends with the Response Stacked Distribution tile. "By visualizing the trend over time, you will be better able to see how code changes have changed your responsiveness," he said.

Also in the Visual Studio Online update is Application Insights support for Windows Store apps. Application Insights is a set of services that provide actionable insight into a production application. Microsoft Application Insights will tell you if your application goes down or runs slowly under load, the company said. If there are any uncaught exceptions, you’ll be able to drill into the code to pinpoint the problem. You can also find out what your users are doing with the application so that you can tune it to their needs in each development cycle, Microsoft said.

"In the initial release of Application Insights, we provided telemetry SDKs for web server, Windows Phone 8 and a JavaScript (for sending telemetry from the browser)," Harry said. In the update "we added support for Windows Store apps. As with our other SDKs, you can use this capability to emit telemetry from your app for analysis in the Application Insights portal," he said.

Also in this most recent update, Microsoft made some improvements to the performance of product backlogs with Visual Studio Online, Harry said.