Final versions of Windows 8, .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012 now available for download

As announced on the Windows 8 app developer blog, Somasegar’s blog and Jason Zander’s blog, the final versions of Windows 8, the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012 are now available for developers to download. Here is some information to help you get started installing and using these releases.

Download links

Here are links to help you get started downloading Windows 8:

Here are links to help you get started downloading the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012:

Documentation links

Here are links to help you get started using Windows 8:

Here are links to help you get started using the .NET Framework 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012:

Important note about installing Visual Studio 2012 on Windows 8

The .NET Framework 4.5 is included as a part of Windows 8, and Visual Studio 2012 requires the .NET Framework 4.5 as a prerequisite.  You can only install the final version of Visual Studio 2012 on the final version of Windows 8 because the final version of Windows 8 is the only one that includes the final version of the .NET Framework 4.5.  This means you cannot install pre-release versions of Visual Studio 2012 on the final version of Windows 8, and you also cannot install the final version of Visual Studio 2012 on pre-release versions of Windows 8.

Notes about XNA Game Studio and Windows Phone development

If you plan to develop games and applications using XNA Game Studio and/or the Windows Phone SDK, there are a couple of important notes to keep in mind:

  1. XNA Game Studio and the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 both work with Visual Studio 2010, not Visual Studio 2012. You will not see any XNA Game Studio or Windows Phone project templates or other functionality for these products in Visual Studio 2012 if you install both products on the same computer. You can safely install Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012 side-by-side on the same computer though.
  2. If you try to install XNA Game Studio or the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 on Windows 8, setup may fail. If it does, you can use the workaround at to solve the setup failure.
Comments (13)

  1. Ultrahead says:

    Is there a new WinPhone SDK (or XNA GS installer) under development so that it works with VS2012 and installs w/o problems on Win8?

  2. Fduch says:

    Cool release. /s

    Constant random project loading errors:

    "error  : Project 'Ark.Geometry.Primitives (double)' could not be opened because the Visual C# 2012 compiler could not be created. Error creating instance of managed object 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.CSharp.Services.Language.ManagedObjectFactory' (Error code is 0x80131513)."

    XNA is unusable. (Thanks for not hiding this.)

    WP8 tools are unusable.

    Cannot be installed on Windows 8 RC.

    Sorry for the ramblings. Maybe I just care about Windows development too much.

  3. Hi Ultrahead – Check out item #3 in Jason Zander's blog post at…/visual-studio-2012-and-net-framework-4-5-released-to-the-web.aspx for information about Windows Phone development.  There hasn't been anything else announced at this point.

  4. Hi Fduch – You can install Visual Studio 2010 side-by-side with VS 2012 and use XNA Game Studio and the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 that way.

    As I noted in the main blog post, you have to install the final version of VS 2012 on the final version of Windows 8 because that is the only version of Windows 8 that contains the final version of the .NET Framework 4.5.

    The C# compiler issue has been reported on the Visual Studio forums too –…/9dbd6dfe-4fb0-464c-88dc-982e336a5e3b for example.  It looks like some of the older VS 2012 RC components might not have been correctly uninstalled, so you might need to try to uninstall + re-install VS 2012 to solve that.  I'm sorry for the hassles.

  5. Ultrahead says:

    Got it, thanks.

  6. Simon says:


    While there hasn't been anything announced about XNA is there anything you can say on using it?

    I mean, I have existing projects I will bring over to vs2012 that use XNA currently – but the question is should I go ahead and re-write them all in C++ and OpenGL (seems a sure fire option) or DirectX or wait for the announcement on the future of XNA?


  7. Hi Simon – There haven't been any specific announcements.  The closest I can find is some of the information that was posted around the time of the Build conference last year when Windows 8 was first announced.  Here is a link with some of that information –…/xna-in-windows-8.

  8. Greg says:

    Hi Aaron, I've a question about .NET 4. There appear to be 3 updates for x64, NDP40-KB2468871-v2-x64.exe, NDP40-KB2533523-x64.exe, and NDP40-KB2600217-x64.exe. They are listed in order of date with the last one being the latest 2/13/2012. The first one is listed as just an "update" the last two are listed as "reliability update 1" and "reliability update 2"

    The first one states that it supercedes some hotfixes but there is no information on whether the last two supercede the earlier updates. In particular the 2nd one is actually the largest so that might indicate the third one doesn't contain all the updates from the previous ones. Also I can't find any information on whether this list is complete.

    Lastly, having extracted all three to expose the internal setup.exe and .msp files, I am wondering if it is safe to apply these via "msiexec /update xxx.msp" as part of a scripted deployment as follows:

    dotNetFx40_Full_x86_x64.exe /passive /norestart

    msiexec /a NDP40-KB2468871.msp /qb! /Passive /norestart

    msiexec /a NDP40-KB2533523.msp /qb! /Passive /norestart

    msiexec /a NDP40-KB2600217.msp /qb! /Passive /norestart

  9. Hi Greg – I can't tell for sure, but it doesn't look like any of the later updates contain the fixes from the earlier ones, so I think you'll need to install all of them.  You don't need to extract the updates and apply the .msp files directly though – the wrapper .exe's for each .NET Framework 4 update support the same silent switches as the original .NET Framework 4 installer.

    Also, the .NET Framework 4.5 is an in-place upgrade for the .NET Framework 4, and it should include all of the previously released .NET Framework 4 updates, so you might want to consider just installing that now that it has been released instead of installing the .NET Framework 4 plus a series of additional updates.

  10. thomas says:

    hi aaron, I have a problem of installing net framework 4.5 in windows 8 cause it always come out a message to that its already part of windows 8. but when install software required this framework and its says no frameworks install for instance autocad. What should I do for this? thanks.

  11. Hi thomas – Windows 8 comes with the .NET Framework 4.5, and there isn't a way to uninstall it.  If you have a single application that is reporting that the .NET Framework 4.5 isn't installed, it is possible that the application has a compatibility problem with Windows 8.  I'd suggest looking on the web site for the application manufacturer to see if they have any known issues and/or patches for Windows 8.

    If you see this for multiple applications, it is possible that something that is a part of the .NET Framework 4.5 was inadvertantly deleted from your computer.  If this is the case, then here are the repair steps that I suggest:

    1.  Try to run the System Update Readiness Tool from…/947821.

    2.  Try to repair the files that are a part of your OS by using the steps listed at…/how-to-repair-the-net-framework-2-0-and-3-0-on-windows-vista.aspx.

    If none of the above help, you might need to repair/re-install Windows to fix this type of error.  It might also help to post a question on one of the Windows forums to see if someone there has any additional suggestions for you to try before you resort to re-installing Windows.

  12. Aaron S. says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I am having some issues with VS 2012 and Windows 8 x64.  I performed a full install of each, and I'm getting errors when opening some VB solutions.  I'm getting an error about the .NET framework targeting.  I follow the prompts, but will ultimately not be able to open the code or design editors.  I wonder if you have any insight.


    "The VB project "xyz project" is targeting ".NETFramework, Version=v4.5", which is not installed on this machine."  I sometimes get the same error for v4.0.  

    Changing the target via the prompt doesn't help, and I can't download and install the targeting pack for it, as I get the error that it's already included.  When I open the project properties, I can change to .NET v3.5 and I'm able to open the code and design editors.  

    Notes: VB 2012 on Windows 7 x64 opens the files just fine, and had been fine on this particular machine.  VB 2010 also opens them fine.  

    Creating a new project allows me to use the editors with no problem.

    I have tried the validation, repair and cleanup tools.

    I have repaired the VB 2012 install.

    These errors come up when trying to debug/start the program from within VS 2012:

    "Warning 1 The reference assemblies for framework ".NETFramework,Version=v4.5" were not found. To resolve this, install the SDK or Targeting Pack for this framework version or retarget your application to a version of the framework for which you have the SDK or Targeting Pack installed. Note that assemblies will be resolved from the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) and will be used in place of reference assemblies. Therefore your assembly may not be correctly targeted for the framework you intend."

    "Warning 2 There was a mismatch between the processor architecture of the project being built "MSIL" and the processor architecture of the reference "System.Data", "AMD64". This mismatch may cause runtime failures. Please consider changing the targeted processor architecture of your project through the Configuration Manager so as to align the processor architectures between your project and references, or take a dependency on references with a processor architecture that matches the targeted processor architecture of your project."


  13. Hi Aaron S – The target framework error that you're seeing usually means that the .NET Framework Multi-Targeting Pack isn't correctly installed.  That component is supposed to be installed as a part of VS 2012 setup, and I usually suggest that users try to repair VS 2012 in cases like this.  Since you've already tried to repair VS 2012, you might want to try uninstalling and re-installing VS 2012 instead to see if that will restore the .NET Framework Multi-Targeting Pack for you.

    If that doesn't help, then I'd suggest posting a question on the Visual Studio setup forum at…/home to see if someone there has any additional suggestions for you to try.

    The other warning about the processor architecture mismatch sounds similar to the issue that I described at…/10300809.aspx, so you might want to try a workaround that is similar to the one listed there to see if that helps eliminate that warning.

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