Mmm, news about Visual Studio 11 and .NET 4.5 beta!

23 February 2012

After some four or five months of radio silence from DevDiv, suddenly we’ve been hit with a couple of great announcements. A bit like the “good news/bad news” stories, but this time it’s good news and even better news.

The good news first: you’d better book next Wednesday off because you’re going to be downloading, installing, and trying out the Visual Studio 11 and the .NET 4.5 beta. That’s right, So‌ma has just announced that the betas will be made available on February 29, leap year day. And when I said “book the day off” I meant it: the great thing is that they will be provided with Go Live licenses, so you can start to use them in production immediately.

And just take a look at all that Metro goodness in the IDE:

Start page in VS11 beta

Now for the even better news. Jason Zander has provided a sneak peek into what you’ll be getting next Wednesday, and there are some informative links in his blog post you should follow. I especially like his point that (go on, take another longer look at that image) they’ve reconsidered the whole developer experience and have simplified and cleaned up the interface to promote more streamlined workflows. I’m especially interested to find out how this will impact experienced developers as well as those just starting out (just by monitoring our support channels, I know the latter can get confused with the current look and feel).

As regards what this means to us – and thereby to you, our customers – let me elucidate:

  • First, this is a Go Live license. Hence, the first step is obvious: we must make sure you can use our products in VS11, all the way from every single control on every platform, through the frameworks, to CodeRush. We have a lot to do but rest assured we’re on it.
  • Second, it’s a beta. There will be bugs. We have been working closely with the VS team since last year, reporting issues, making sure our code will work as well as can be expected, but I warn you it won’t be perfect on day one. It it were, Microsoft and we would be releasing on the 29th. Nevertheless, we’re feeling pretty jazzed about this beta and we’re sure you will too.
  • Third, the release is not necessarily about Windows 8. *** just mentioned it once in his post (and Jason not at all): “I’m thrilled at the depth of alignment we’ve had in the development of Visual Studio 11 and Windows 8”, but that was it. We’re just going to have to wait until the Customer Release of Windows 8 before we really get any real news. Until then, rest assured that our products, such as the Tile controls for WinForms, Silverlight and WPF and our touch-enabled ASP.NET controls, will work just fine in the Visual Studio 11 beta to help you create Metro-inspired applications that will work on the operating systems you support right now. And, for that matter, in the desktop mode of Windows 8 whenever we get the Customer Preview.

So, roll on Leap Year Day! I’m ready; how about you? Let’s see what develops…

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