Visual Studio 2013, .NET Framework 4.5.1 Go Live
On the same day it released Windows 8.1, Microsoft today also released new software for developers: Visual Studio 2013, which includes Team Foundation Server 2013, and .NET Framework 4.5.1.
Visual Studio 2013 comes as part of the MSDN subscription package, so those developers can now download it from the MSDN Subscriber Downloads page . Microsoft also has a special deal for those who bought the full version of Visual Studio 2012 Professional; the equivalent version of Visual Studio 2013 is available from the Microsoft Store for $99 (for a limited time).
For TFS users with a subscription, Team Explorer pre-populates Team Foundation Service accounts automatically in the Connect to Team Foundation Server dialog, and connects to them without re-prompting for credentials. Team Foundation Services is the cloud-enabled version of Team Foundation Server.
Visual Studio 2013 comes out just a year after its last major release, Visual Studio 2012. It's unusual for Microsoft to put out a new version of a major product so soon after the previous one. The three prior versions were Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2008, so Visual Studio 2013 represents a break from its earlier cadence. It does fit in, however, with Microsoft's new emphasis on quicker release cycles; for example, Visual Studio 2012 is currently at the Release Candidate (RC) stage for the fourth update (officially known as 2012.4 RC 3). Nearly every month this year has seen a new iteration of Visual Studio 2012, in fact.
Visual Studio 2013 can be installed side-by-side with previous versions of Visual Studio, or right over any pre-release versions, including the Release Candidate, which came out in September. The Visual Studio 2013 release includes Team Foundation Server 2013, Visual Studio's collaboration tool. TFS, according to Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry, cannot be installed side-by-side with previous versions, but can replace previous versions of TFS or be installed over a pre-release version.
The latest version of .NET, also released today, is a "customer-focused release," states a blog entry from the ".NET Team." Rather than a raft of bug fixes, this version is more about adding features.
The top feature added was by far the most requested by developers: X64 Edit and Continue (EnC). The delay in adding it, according to the blog, was the necessity to get other features in place first:
"We've wanted to add that feature for a long time, but we always had at least two other features ahead of it in our priority list. This time, we decided that it really needed to get done and didn't bother with any of the priority lists."
X86 EnC has been around since the days of Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0. But there has been no 64-bit version until now. With X64 EnC, a developer can stop at a breakpoint with edited source in an invalid state. The source can then be made valid, followed by the developer stepping again and continuing to run the application.
The blog pointed to numerous other upgrades as well, including:
You can use the links at the top of this article to download these products.
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.