Microsoft has recently released the Visual Studio 2012 & the .NET Framework 4.5, offering the final tools for the development of Windows 8 apps. According to Microsoft, Windows 8 OS will be released on October 26 for general public. The tooling came out approximately 2 months prior to its general availability.
The latest version of tooling has been developed in accordance with the modernized Windows 8 platform. The developers got its first preview in September 2011 at Microsoft’s BUILD event. Many changes have been triggered by the developer feedback throughout the testing phase, particularly after the introduction of a revamped user interface by Microsoft in February with the beta release.
On August 15, Microsoft altered its normal procedure of initial dibs for MSDN subscribers and rather, made the tooling available to the developers. However, the Windows 8 RTM can be accessed by the MSDN subscribers for testing purposes. Developers, who don’t have an MSDN subscription, can access a 90 days trial of the OS’s Enterprise edition. The Windows 8 RTM has also been released to the TechNet subscribers, so that testing of the OS can be carried out by the IT professionals.
The release of Windows 8 to manufacturing at the beginning of August enabled the developers to develop and finalize their Metro-style apps and Windows desktop. Some minor alterations are being reported by Microsoft between the Windows 8 Preview and the Windows 8 RTM. Windows RT, the Windows 8 version for ARM-based devices and designed for Metro Style apps, is not included in the released builds. Recently, some reports have come out indicating that Microsoft might withdraw from Metro-branding after Windows 8’s commercialization.
Microsoft has released the ultimate versions of .NET Framework 4.5, Visual Studio 2012 Test Professional, Visual Studio 2012, Visual Studio 2012 Software Developer Kit, and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2012. For managed apps, the default target of Visual Studio 2012 is .NET 4.5. The .NET 4.5 has been considered as an in place upgrade.
Visual Studio 2012 is an all-in-one ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) platform of the company. It incorporates all tools (including the design tools and functionality testing tools) with Visual Studio Team Foundation Server for collaboration of teams. Most of the testing and diagnostic tools are offered by Visual Studio 2012 Premium without high-level modeling and architecture support. Visual Studio 2012 is a product for entry-level developers. Earlier, Visual Studio LightSwitch was the only product based on Silverlight. Now, it is available in three different editions. The lowest version of Windows OS required for running all the products of Visual Studio 2012 is Windows 7.
The free Express 2012 tools for the Web and Windows 8 are now available for download. The free Express tools for Windows Phone and Windows desktop are expected to come later this year. Windows 8 Phone and Office 2013 development are supported by Visual Studio 2012. But, these platforms are not included in the present downloads. Last month, Microsoft introduced Office 2013 and released a preview of Office Developers Tools on Visual Studio 2012.
Microsoft’s second BUILD event is scheduled to take place between October 30 and November 2, within a week after Windows 8’s general availability date. The event, organized at the Redmond Campus, sold out immediately on the first registration day. However, developers can still apply for the waiting list.
MSDN Subscribers can download Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 from “MSDN Subscriber Downloads”. The free trial versions of Visual Studio 2012 or Visual Studio Express 2012 products can be downloaded from https://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/11/en-us/downloads.
If someone wants to install .NET 4.5 separately, he/she can download it from https://www.microsoft.com/net.
Volume licensing customers can get Visual Studio 2012 products from https://www.microsoft.com/Licensing/servicecenter/default.aspx. Packaged products will be available in stores next month.
Daniel Guidotti is a regular poster at www.capcredit.com. He is an expert at finance and also follows the updates in the tech world.