Welcome to the Beta of Visual Studio 11 and .NET Framework 4.5


I’m happy to announce that Visual Studio 11 Beta, Team Foundation Server 11 Beta and .NET Framework 4.5 Beta are now available for download! Please visit the Visual Studio 11 Beta Downloads Page to install the bits today. MSDN Subscribers can access these releases directly from the MSDN Subscriber Download Page.

I’ve included an overview below of the product enhancements you can expect to see in Visual Studio 11 Beta, and recorded a Channel9 video to demonstrate some of them in action. For a complete list of “What’s New”, please visit the MSDN Library.

In coordination with the Visual Studio 11 Beta, today Steven Sinofsky announced the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. These bits are now live, and available for download.

Visual Studio 11 Features for Platform Development

Windows 8

Windows 8 brings a fresh new experience, where apps are full screen and touch enabled. One of the goals for Visual Studio 11 is to help developers build stunning Metro style apps. When you install Visual Studio 11 Beta with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, you’ll have an opportunity to try out the new tools, which are designed to help you at each step of the way in your app development. You can start off with one of the ready-made Metro style app templates, available in JavaScript, C++, C# or Visual Basic. Next, use Blend for Visual Studio 11 Beta to style and design your application, whether you’re using HTML or XAML. Debug locally, on the simulator, or attached to another device, and use the profiling and code analysis tools to monitor your app’s quality. Finally, once your app is ready and the Store becomes available, you’ll be able to use Visual Studio to package and upload your app to the Windows Store. To learn more about developing Metro style apps, you can visit the Windows Dev Center, download the Metro style app samples, or check out the new Windows 8 app developer blog.

IDE

Visual Studio 11 Beta improves the developer experience in the IDE through reduction and simplification. You can find more information about the changes on the Visual Studio team blog. Beyond the clean and professional look, the overall environment has been streamlined with simplified toolbars, a lightweight Find dialog, and less tab clutter by previewing files rather than opening them during debugging. It’s now easier to manage the environment by rafting tabs on a second monitor, or by searching the IDE for a menu or command. There are a few language-specific additions, such as C++ code snippets and C++/CLI IntelliSense, as well as C++ code quality tools including code coverage, architecture explorer, and layer diagrams. JavaScript tooling support is also vastly improved, providing a first class experience in Visual Studio with breakpoints, brace matching, Go To Definition, and more.

We have heard a lot of great feedback so far on the new user experience for the IDE.  I want to thank you for giving us that feedback.  With the bits now being live I’d like to ask everyone to install the new version and spend some quality time working on your projects.  My personal experience has been that is the best way to get a feeling for the changes.  Once you have a chance to use it a few days please do continue to send us feedback based on that hands on experience.

Languages

Visual Studio 11 includes support in the box for the following languages: C#, Visual Basic, F#, C++ and JavaScript. The Microsoft implementation of JavaScript in Visual Studio 11 is compliant with the ECMAScript 5th Edition language specification. The C++ support in Visual Studio 11 includes the full C++ 11 standard library as well as new language features: stateless lambdas, SCARY iterators, range-based for loops, and scoped enumerations support. Visual C++ 11 also adds seamless access to Windows Runtime components through C++/CX as well as C++ Accelerated Massive Parallelism (C++ AMP), which enables hardware acceleration for the execution of your data parallel C++ code. For C# 5.0 and VB 11.0, the major innovation in this release has been around asynchronous development. In today’s industry, asynchronous development has become more and more important; however it’s still hard to do. Anders Hejlsberg and team have designed a new language syntax which allows you to write asynchronous C# and VB code that looks a lot like the synchronous version. F# helped inspire this direction, with the async language features it introduced in previous versions. In F# 3.0, the primary focus is information-rich programming, which enables you to program directly against data services, and is made possible by F# type providers and LINQ queries. For more information on Languages, please visit the following blogs: Visual C#, Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual F#, JavaScript.

Graphics

Visual Studio 11 provides first class support for building graphically rich 2D/3D applications. It brings together the ability to debug DirectX graphics, to design and code DirectX shaders (HLSL), and to inspect and manipulate graphics assets (images and models). This is one of the areas I featured in my Developer Preview post, which is available here.

.NET Framework 4.5

In the Common Language Runtime and .NET Framework, there are a number of core improvements around performance, compatibility, garbage collection and other optimizations. There is also significant infrastructure work designed to enable the scenarios described above, such as Metro style app development using C# & VB (which required creating a .NET profile for Metro style apps), and the Async language features for C# & VB (which required creating new Task-returning versions of the .NET asynchronous APIs). TPL Dataflow is a new library in .NET Framework 4.5 for building parallel and concurrent applications. It builds on the Task type that was introduced in .NET 4.0, yet provides solutions for additional problems like agent-based models. Another addition in .NET 4.5 is portable libraries, which is the recommended way to create managed assemblies that can be referenced and run without modification on a variety of target platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Phone, Silverlight, XBOX 360 and .NET. Portable libraries existed previously as an add-in to Visual Studio 2010, and are now included as part of Visual Studio 11. For more information on .NET Framework 4.5 (including MEF, Networking, ASP.NET, EF, WPF, WCF, and WF), please see What’s New in the .NET Framework 4.5 Beta. Other good blog resources include: Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman, .NET Team, and Base Class Library (BCL) Team

Business Application Development

LightSwitch development is now available as part of the Visual Studio 11 Beta Professional, Premium and Ultimate installations. There are quite a few LightSwitch enhancements in the Beta release. For one, LightSwitch projects can now access data from any Open Data Protocol (OData) data source, and LightSwitch services are now exposed as OData services that can be used by other applications like PowerPivot. You can also use Active Directory to assign the roles and permissions for different groups using the application. Other LightSwitch improvements in this release include new data types for percent and web address, more control over the formatting for numbers and dates, and the ability to display static text and images. More details are available on the LightSwitch blog.

SharePoint developer tools are also updated in Visual Studio 11 Beta, including new designers for list and content types, new templates for site columns and Silverlight web pages, as well as new options for deploying SharePoint sites. ALM features like performance profiling, unit testing, and IntelliTrace are now available for SharePoint development, and JavaScript debugging and IntelliSense have been enabled too. For more information, please visit the SharePoint developer team blog.

Visual Studio 11 Features for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

Each release since Visual Studio 2005 (when we first introduced ALM tools), we’ve considered which additional team members we can serve in order to best improve the project results. For example, in the Visual Studio 2010 release we introduced dedicated tooling to help manual testers integrate into the lifecycle alongside their counterparts on the programming team. For the Visual Studio 11 release, we’ve incorporated the stakeholder and operations roles. We’ve also provided tools to support agile practices in the team. And finally, we’ve sought to eliminate waste and improve collaboration across the team, through more frequent and more actionable feedback. Last year, when we disclosed our Visual Studio 11 ALM plans at TechEd, I shared some details regarding our plans in this space.

Lightweight Requirements

One of the first parts of getting a project started correctly is getting the requirements understood. “How many times have you built exactly what a customer asked for but not what they wanted?” When I ask this question I get a lot of smiles and nodding heads; it is a very common problem. We want the stakeholder to be a core part of the development cycle. Just like we want to get constant feedback from PM/development/testing during a scrum process, the feedback from our stakeholder is something we should be able to bring in quickly as well. To help with this we have introduced PowerPoint Storyboarding. PowerPoint Storyboarding is a PowerPoint add-in, and allows the development team to quickly mock up a design. This is a quick and easy way to specify the application requirements, and provides an opportunity for feedback even before the coding begins.

This model makes it very fast and easy to get to the intent of the software you are building and to share it with the customer.  Because it is PowerPoint, you can simply view the mock up in slide show mode and even test out screen transitions.  If you can get to an agreement quickly on the features and flow, then you can help eliminate wasted time spent actually building what might be the wrong thing.

Agile Development

Agile practices have become mainstream at this point.  When I ask an audience who is using a practice like scrum I easily get over 90% of hands.  Indeed on our own team we have gotten to that level for the development of Visual Studio and the runtimes.  With this release of VS we have added even more support to help your team run the project using scrum.

Editing your project can be done directly in a browser making it easy for all team members to access.  With the web access you can groom the product backlog, assign items to sprints, and decompose into user stories and tasks.  Each sprint can be planned taking into account the duration and capacity of the team.  You can view reports by sprint or by team member capacity to see how the project is tracking, and adjust as necessary. There is also a task board view available, which is ideal for standups, and makes it easy to check in and update on the spot.  And of course since everything is backed by TFS, then items can either be retired through the web interface or included as part of a check-in.

There are a few different charts available for reviewing project status, such as the burndown charts and capacity bars, so that you can visualize and evaluate the progress in multiple ways.

Feedback

As mentioned under Storyboarding, our goal is to include stakeholders (customers) as part of the development cycle.  Once we start getting working software, we want to make it possible for stakeholders to provide frequent and actionable feedback. Engineers submit a feedback request through Team Web Access, and the stakeholder receives an email with the request. The email invitation includes a link that launches the new Microsoft Feedback Client, and allows the stakeholder to provide feedback including rich text, images, video and more.

The Feedback Client pins itself to the left side of the screen, making it easy to use the working software and provide notes at the same time. Like the manual testing tools we released with Visual Studio 2010, the Feedback Client will record video and audio as well as the actions the user takes (similar to the one-way mirror user testing we do on the Microsoft campus only easier to get going). The key goal is to get high quality feedback during development rather than having it wait to the very end. This minimizes the amount of re-work helping to bring the project in on time and with better cost.

Testing

Testers will enjoy a variety of improvements in this release. Microsoft Test Manager 11 has been enhanced to embrace exploratory testing (sometimes called agile testing). With exploratory testing you can find bugs not often caught with traditional formal test case management. The beauty of Microsoft Test Manager 11 is that even with exploratory testing you still get the same level of rich data capture while you are conducting this type of testing. Therefore, when you do find a bug you can easily file it along with the relevant contextual information to provide developers with insight into what you were doing and the state of the application at the time you discovered the bug. Microsoft Test Manager 11 continues to offer great support for formal test case management as well, and you can blend the two approaches in your test plans.

Lab Management has also been greatly simplified in this release with the consolidation of agents and the introduction of standard environments, which allow you to benefit from build-deploy-test workflows without the dependency on Hyper-V or SCVMM. You can now use VMWare, physical machines, or other virtualization stacks to create your environments in a matter of minutes. Please visit Brian Harry’s blog for more information.

Debugging and Quality Tools

With Visual Studio 11, we now provide the ability for you to include additional adapters to support 3rd party unit testing frameworks such as xUnit.net, NUnit, and others. The new Unit Test Explorer will showcase all of the tests across your solution regardless of which testing framework they were written for. Visual Studio 11 will continue to provide support for traditional unit tests written using MSTest, and adds support for writing tests in C++ as well.



IntelliTrace can now be used to collect traces on machines that don’t have Visual Studio installed. This means that you can now use IntelliTrace to debug issues that occur on production servers. This was a popular request after Visual Studio 2010, so I’m glad we were able to make it possible in Visual Studio 11.

Another interesting tool that we’ve added for developers in Visual Studio 11 is code clone analysis, which examines your solution for similar code fragments. After identifying clones, you can make sure to consistently edit them going forward, or better yet, refactor in order to save on future maintenance.

Finally, in Visual Studio 11 we’ve greatly improved the code review experience. We’ve included a new Code Review page in Team Explorer to request and manage reviews, as well as an enhanced “Diff” view, which makes it easier to review changes. You can find more information on these in my Developer Preview announcement as well as Brian Harry’s blog post on Merge enhancements in TFS 11.

Team Collaboration

Both Team Foundation Server and Team Web Access were significantly revamped in this release. As with the Visual Studio IDE, you’ll notice a clean and professional user interface. The first thing you’ll see is the redesigned Team Explorer, with a new search box, and with nodes now displayed as distinct pages such as My Work and Pending Changes. Key details from the Build Explorer window also appear more prominently in the new Team Explorer. The My Work page is a useful place to view and manage your “To Do” list. It can also help you suspend and restore the context for specific tasks. The Pending Changes page has been streamlined to remove clutter, and make it easier to work with. Local Workspaces have been added, which make it much easier to work with Team Foundation Server offline. They also make it simpler to work with version-controlled files using 3rd party editors outside of Visual Studio, so that you no longer need to explicitly check out files before editing them elsewhere. For more details on these TFS 11 enhancements, please see Develop Code for a Backlog Item, and Fix a Bug on MSDN, What’s New in the VS TFS 11 Dev Preview by the ALM Team, or The New Team Explorer in TFS 11 by Brian Harry.

“Go Live” License

With the Visual Studio 11 Beta milestone here, we are happy to be one step closer to the final release. Visual Studio 11 Beta meets our “Go Live” quality bar for pre-release software. Therefore we are recommending it for use in production, and supporting it as “Go Live” release. For more information on the “Go Live” terms and how to get support if you need it, please visit the Visual Studio 11 Beta website.

Upgrade & Compatibility

We expect that many of you will want to try out your existing Visual Studio 2010 SP1 solutions on Visual Studio 11 Beta. The compatibility improvements in Visual Studio 11 will make it easier to work with your existing Visual Studio assets, without doing any “upgrades” of project files. In the majority of cases, you can use Visual Studio 11 and also continue collaborating on projects with your teammates using Visual Studio 2010 SP1. More details are available in the MSDN Library. (Note: This kind of “roundtripping” is supported between Visual Studio 2010 SP1 and Visual Studio 11. Projects from previous versions like Visual Studio 2008, will need to be upgraded to Visual Studio 11.)

Those of you who would like to start preparing for TFS 11 may want to review the Team Foundation Server Upgrade and Planning guides. You can find these and other Visual Studio 11 readiness materials on the Visual Studio ALM Rangers solutions page.

Start Coding

We’ve collected a range of resources to help you get up and running with the Beta. Be sure to visit our Dev Centers and related websites for the latest reference materials, blog feeds, and more. 

Here are some additional blogs to watch for Beta announcements: Somasegar, Brian Harry, ALM & TFS, Visual Studio, BlendInsider, Building Windows 8, Windows 8 app developer, and Windows Store for developers.

Send Feedback

We can’t wait to hear from you, and learn more about your experience using the Beta. Here are some ways to connect with us:


Enjoy!

Follow me at twitter.com/jlzander.

Comments (56)

  1. Thomas Castoe Martinsen says:

    Looking forward to take the beta for a spin!

  2. Quppa says:

    Leaving aside the contentious new theme(s), great.

    Two questions:

    1. Will .NET 4.5 support Windows XP and Windows Server 2003?

    2. Will support be added to WPF for the new Aero Lite and High Contrast themes in Windows 8 (something along the lines of a resource dictionary called PresentationFramework.AeroLite)?

  3. Reinhard Ostermeier says:

    Why is there only the Ultimate Version available on MSDN Subscriber Download Page?

    I can not download it because I have only VS Pro with MSDN Pro.

  4. @Reinhard – You should be able to download all versions of VS11 Beta from MSDN regardless of your VS2010 subscription level.  At the moment, I'm seeing Express, Pro, Premium and Ultimate downloads available on the Subscriber Downloads page.  There are four screens of available VS11 downloads so you might only be looking at the first screen if you're not seeing some of the SKUs.

    jeff

  5. sean says:

    I had the same issue with MSDN downloads.  Premium subscription, but only Ultimate is listed and not available to my subscription level.

  6. Lisa Feigenbaum says:

    Hi All,

    It is not required that you have an MSDN subscription to use the Visual Studio 11 Beta or Team Foundation Server 11 Beta. Instead you can download from the public Beta Downloads page here: go.microsoft.com/…/p

    Cheers,

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    VS Program Manager

    Microsoft Corporation

  7. Lisa Feigenbaum says:

    @ Quppa,

    Visual Studio 11 Beta and the .NET Framework 4.5 Beta do not support Windows XP. We are not commenting on the supported operating systems for the RTM release at this time.

    Thanks,

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    VS Program Manager

  8. Troy Martez says:

    @Quppa – Yes, WPF will support the new Aero Lite and High Contrast Themes in Windows 8. It will take the form of a new Assembly PresentationFramework.AeroLite.dll where you will also be able to find the new resources dictionary.

  9. Quppa says:

    @Lisa Feigenbaum:

    Thanks for the clarification. I'm looking forward to .NET 4.5, and I hope all my users will be able to take advantage of it, even the stragglers stuck on legacy operating systems.

    @Troy Martez:

    That's great to hear (and a relief – I'm glad my programs won't fall back to the Classic theme). More broadly, what's the reasoning behind not using the Windows Visual Styles API, and instead reimplementing all the controls in WPF? I understand that the pure-WPF approach has the advantage of avoiding bitmap graphics and all the scaling issues that come with them, as well as making the controls easier to modify (changing the background or border, etc.), but does that really outweigh the negatives? WPF controls don't quite match the native look in any version of Windows, and when a new theme is introduced, support needs to be added to WPF, as is the case here. Users of custom themes (who are few in number, I guess, given that it's difficult to install unsigned themes) get controls that don't match those of other applications. Even if the DrawThemeBackground function and the like aren't suitable, what about using the GetThemeTransitionDuration function to get animation durations? The WPF controls for Aero have hard-coded values that are not quite perfect.

    To answer my own question, I suppose the vast majority of users wouldn't notice the different between a WPF control and its native equivalent (or care if they did) 🙂

  10. Matthew Steeples says:

    With this release of the .net framework having a Go-Live license, can we expect to see it running on Azure anytime soon?

  11. Yogesh says:

    Any enhancements CODEDUI?

    Thanks

  12. BenM says:

    This looks great! I just installed it in hopes of reserving my Windows 8 app name, but I don't see the Store menu mentioned in other posts. What do I need to do to reserve my app name?

  13. Michael says:

    Do you know what UseTaskFriendlySynchronizationContext does in ASP.NET? The link provided in web.config when you upgrade to 4.5 does not work.

  14. I installed the latest Win8 32bit Fre Beta build and when trying to install VS 11 Ultimate Beta I get the following error. "Setup Blocked The .Net framework installed on this machine does not meet the minimum required version:(4.5.50131)".

    Any suggestions ?.

  15. Damian Edwards says:

    @Michael – It enables the new SynchronizationContext used in ASP.NET to manage async operations. The new context is required when using the new Task based async features in ASP.NET in 4.5.

  16. @Banglr5

    Sorry that you're having some difficulting getting VS installed.  Can you please run our collect tool (http://bit.ly/vscollect) and send the vslogs.cab to me at aaronru(a)microsoft_dot_com?

    Then we will investigate the issue together.

    Thanks!

    Aaron Ruckman

    Visual Studio PM (Setup Owner)

    Microsoft Corporation

  17. LMKz says:

    Oh dear, half an hour and I am going back to VS2010 already… WAY too slow (sits on 25% CPU even when idle??!! single core machine) and I miss all the extras that Productivity Power Tools extension has.

    Also, while I was open minded about the grey theme, turns out all the knockers were right, it is horrible, VS 2010 is so much better to use and look at.

    DO like the search box in menu strip at top right – that's all I can think of for now.

    🙁

  18. GregM says:

    "Visual Studio 11 Beta and the .NET Framework 4.5 Beta do not support Windows XP. We are not commenting on the supported operating systems for the RTM release at this time.

    Thanks,

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    VS Program Manager"

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't drop support for Windows XP from the compiler while it is still a supported operating system.  Too many of our customers are still on Windows XP.  Pretty much anyone who has a PC that is 2 years old or older has XP.  We had very few users adopt Windows Vista, and it was about six months to a year after the release of Windows 7 before we started having a large percentage of our users moving to it.  We can't move to a compiler that doesn't support XP for quite some time.

  19. Bluto says:

    I tried it.  The Pro edition received code analysis and a profiler for C++ – that is the good.

    BUT, the new theme is AWFUL:

    1) The worst thing are the tiny monochrome icons in Solution Explorer.  When I look at them it makes me want to cry because they all look very similar.  I want to emphasize that the problem with the new icons is not that they are gray (you could give each one a different color if you want).  The problem is that the icons consist of a single color.  Having multiple colors in an icon helps to make it recognizable.  Even the bigger icons in "New Project" window are jarring because they are a single color.

    2) The lack of edges in the windows, tabs, etc., is confusing.

    3) The docked window tabs read "SOLU…", "PERF…", "COD…", "TEA…", "TOO…" but they have no color icons!

    I don't like the Dark theme either.  I have every version of Visual Studio since VC++ 4.0.  I will continue to use the old versions until you fix the theme.  I'm sorry, but I won't use the beta version with this confusing flat gray theme.  I already paid for my MSDN renewal, now I will wait for you to fix the problem.

  20. The website seems to have swallowed my last attempt at commenting, so sorry if I get two posts in a row.

    Is there plans to support the Express edition for application development properly on Windows 7. So far there are two versions available, the Express for Web version (which I assume has no desktop/metro project templates and most likely no VC compilers) and Express for Windows 8 (which only installs on Windows 8). Not everyone who would like to look at or use the new version of the compiler could afford or want to upgrade to Windows 8 just to use it. (There is the VS suites, but these are normally even more expensive than the Windows upgrades).

    Also, is there plans for a way to make Express a feature complete replacement for the Windows SDK compilers since these are no longer going to be shipped with new versions of the Windows SDK? While it is true that the Express edition is aimed at hobbyists, the Windows SDK compilers weren't, and the only alternatives the people who used the SDK have are to either use the Express edition, or buy one of the suites.

    At the very least provide some support for people who want the full compiler suite to grab it from somewhere. Either as a patch, or to be able to grab them from one of the suite versions of Visual Studio's installation media. I'm not saying to allow compiler features that you don't want installed to be installed (like don't provide POGO or anything else if you don't want it), but at the very least make a feature complete replacement for the Windows SDK.

  21. Christian says:

    Are there any improvements for VS extensibility? I think that this is still one of the weak points of VS (compared to the relative ease of development of extensions for Eclipse for example). The new managed APIs for VS2010 were a step into the right direction. Have there been further improvements?

  22. @Banglr5 and others…

    What Banglr5 and others who emailed me found out is that Visual Studio 11 Beta is supported on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview officially released version only.  If someone tries to install Visual Studio 11 Beta on a prior Windows 8 version, then they will see a .NET Framework Block.  This results because Visual Studio 11 on Windows 8 depends on the version shipped in the OS.

    See the readme (go.microsoft.com/fwlink) for a full list of the Visual Studio 11 Beta supported Operating systems.

    Thanks!

    Aaron Ruckman

    Visual Studio PM (Setup Owner)

    Microsoft Corporation

  23. @BenM – The Windows Store isn't open yet for general submission, so it isn't possible to reserve your app name just yet.  You can watch the Windows Store Blog (blogs.msdn.com/…/windowsstore) for updates on this topic.  

    You can still use Visual Studio 11 to package and test your app locally while you wait for the Store to open for general submissions.  If you are using Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8 the Store menu is top level, while on other flavors of Visual Studio the Store menu is under "Project".

  24. @Aaron this means we cannot install VS 11 on Windows 8 Developer Preview?? Again downloading and installing Consumer preview for VS 11 is a tedious task, specially if we've already done so for developer preview.

  25. Victor Marques says:

    Visual Studio 11 Beta and the .NET Framework 4.5 Beta do not support Windows XP, i agree with this.

  26. @AmitMittal – There have been enough changes between the Win8 Developer Preview and Consumer Preview that we are no longer able to support both.  The improvements available in the Win8 Consumer Preview (and VS11) are significant so it's well worth your time to upgrade.  

    Jeff

  27. Jaap says:

    Why is the Storyboarding functionality not installed when you use the Team Explorer installer, like is done with the Excel and Project add-ins? In my opinion this tool should typically be used by program managers, so it is overdone to install a VS Professional or higher.

    So please, make it available in the Team Explorer installer.

  28. mihir shah says:

    Hi,

    I am getting a error while installing visual studio 2011.

    "Setup Blocked" – error message "The .Net Framework installed on this machine does not meet the minimum required version: (4.5.50131)."

  29. Mike Edenfield says:

    Are there any plans to provide a native 64-bit version of Visual Studio?

  30. quietbrit says:

    Do you have a C++11 support checklist someplace, with the greatly improved C++11 suggested in this release?

  31. Brian Keller says:

    @Jaap, thank you for your feedback on PowerPoint Storyboarding. Team Explorer is a free SKU which allows customers who have a Team Foundation Server client access license (CAL) to access Team Foundation Server functionality. PowerPoint Storyboarding is a capability which is provided to customers who have purchased Visual Studio 11 Test Professional, Visual Studio 11 Premium, or Visual Studio 11 Ultimate. Users who are licensed for these SKU’s can create storyboards and share them with users who don’t own those SKU’s (they just need PowerPoint or the free PowerPoint Viewer), but the creation and editing of storyboards is reserved for customers who have purchased those higher-end Visual Studio SKU’s.

    @Mike, re: 64-bit Visual Studio please read blogs.msdn.com/…/visual-studio-why-is-there-no-64-bit-version.aspx

    Brian Keller

    Sr. Technical Evangelist – Visual Studio

  32. @Christian:

    There are quite a few new Extensibility features, including:

    Private galleries: blogs.msdn.com/…/private-extension-galleries-for-the-enterprise.aspx

    Other features include Declarative Binding Redirection, an extensive revision to the manifest designer, and other improvements are in, if interested please let us know and we'll provide more details. Thanks!

    Matt

  33. @ mihir shah: Thanks for writing. Visual Studio 11 and Windows 8 have related components. Therefore, when you install Visual Studio 11 on Windows 8, it must be done on the corresponding pre-release version. To use Visual Studio 11 Beta, please install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview here: go.microsoft.com/fwlink. Alternatively, for a full list of the Visual Studio 11 Beta supported Operating systems, please see the readme here: go.microsoft.com/fwlink.

    (It looks like you’re running into the same issue as @banglr5.)

    @ Bluto: Thank you for your feedback. We are listening to the IDE comments, and taking this feedback very seriously.

    @ Crescens2k: You can find the current list of Visual Studio Express products here, including the three Express products that are currently available as part of Visual Studio 11 Beta: http://www.microsoft.com/…/express. (Please note that this is specific to Visual Studio 11 Beta and not necessarily the complete list we will ultimately ship.) Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8 is specifically targeted towards Metro style app development, which is why it requires Windows 8. Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Web and Visual Studio 11 Team Foundation Server Express Beta both support Windows 7 (x86 and x64) and Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64) as well.

    @ Mike Edenfield: Thanks for your question. You can find the discussion and Microsoft response on this topic at the Visual Studio UserVoice site: visualstudio.uservoice.com/…/2031185-create-x64-version-of-visual-studio

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    Community Program Manager

    Microsoft Visual Studio

  34. @Crescens2k – As part of our work for the next release of the Windows Software Development Kit, the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) and Visual Studio we have made some changes to how these components are acquired. In this release we have removed the compilers from the various development kits and you will now need to use Visual Studio. We did this to ensure both the best possible developer experience for SDK & Driver developers and to deliver a consistent servicing model for the major components needed to effectively develop applications and drivers for the Windows platform.

    We understand that some customers may not have Visual Studio and thus need to acquire it. There are many ways to cost effectively acquire Visual Studio 11.  Many customers have MSDN subscriptions that will provide access to the RTM of Visual Studio 11. We have many programs to assist people, from academia through start-ups to large companies to get access to Visual Studio. You can find out about these various programs on the following websites:

    DreamSpark: https://www.dreamspark.com/

    BizSpark: http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark

    Microsoft Partner Network (MPN): partner.microsoft.com/…/partner

    Volume Licensing (VL): http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx

    Thanks,

    Jennifer Leaf

    Program Manager

    Visual C++

  35. quietbrit says:

    The developer preview had a C++11 checklist, blogs.msdn.com/…/10209291.aspx, which a lot of us found dissapointing. The Beta sounds like its leaps and bounds ahead, but I haven't managed to find a more recent update as to exactly what's implemented (range based for = win, though 🙂

  36. Vijay Rajagopalan [MSFT] says:

    We are looking in to enabling support for .NET Framework 4.5 in Windows Azure Guest OS families and we will share more details on this in the near future

  37. zaxy78 says:

    Hey,

    My Visual Studio 2011 aalpha project won't load to Beta.

    What's worng?

  38. Andi says:

    Is there any possibility to use VS 11 beta to develop for Windows Phone 7?

  39. I have install win8 consumer preview on my computer.

    But when I install the vs11 …..

    The installer tell me that "The computer requires restart, before the current setup can continue. Restart the computer and resume setup."

    So I restart the computer . But the problom is still…….

    How can i do with it ? Reinstall the computer system ?

    Enjoy!!!

  40. jarlef says:

    Whats the deal with the new theme? I really liked the progress in design in visual studio from 2003 all the way to 2010. Then this metro theme came. Why??? Looks like the contrast theme in windows 3.1 => butt ugly. Even the icons in the solution explorer are horrible. All the file icons look the same, making it hard to distinguish file types (css, js etc). I really hope Microsoft makes it possible to switch back to the regular VS theme in the RTM release!

    BRING BACK THE COLORS!!!

  41. amazing…

    graphical enhancement and much more…

  42. Justin says:

    Please don't make all of the titles all caps… or a least make that configurable.

  43. Michael says:

    @Damian Edwards – Thanks for replying about what UseTaskFriendlySynchronizationContext does. I'm not sure what you mean by it being required to allow the new task based async features to work because they seem to work fine for me whether I have that setting or not which is why I asked (e.g. "var task = Task.Delay(5000).ContinueWith(t => "test");" returns straight away and "var res = await task;" correctly delays the page from loading for 5sec). Also I'm finding with that web.config setting controls like DataPager with QueryStringField set no longer work and not sure how to work around it.

  44. Namiq says:

    is DataGrid faster than DataGrid in 4.0 ??????

  45. Scott says:

    I have to agree with a lot of the posts here. While the tooling and feature set, etc. seem to be coming along nicely the aesthetics of this thing is just awful!

  46. Andy says:

    As PCs evolve with greater screen resolution and colour depth, you change your icons to crude Black and White ones !!!

    I would love to hear the explanation for why MS thought that this was a 'nice' style.

    Add all the new features but keep the asthetics of VS 2010 !

  47. Joe White says:

    How will the Feedback Client sidebar work with Metro-style apps?

  48. Woody says:

    I agree with many posters that the B&W, loss of edges, and all-caps are awful.

    The right way to introduce "improvements" like this is to offer users a choice between the old way and the new way. Set the default to the new way if you wish, but don't force users to re-learn the interface.

    This is a significant issue; in terms of developer time, probably more than any of the new features is saving us.

  49. Cesar Mello says:

    Hi Mr. Zander!

    I see the Express Beta downloads currently available are "Web" and "Windows 8" only. Will Visual C++ 2011 Express be available also for Windows 7 at RTM? Thanks a lot for the attention!

    Best regards

    Mello

  50. Greg says:

    I am really concerned about the future of Microsoft products.  Everything is focused on reducing and making simpler.  So the end result will be very basic, simplistic programs that a lot of people can use.  But what about being productive?  What about power users?  Where are the features that help me get work done faster?

  51. Bluto says:

    Please take a look at Windows Explorer small icons for "h" file in VS2010 vs VS11.  Capture a screenshot and look at it with mspaint.  The VS2010 icon has anti aliasing to make the strokes of the "h" effectively at least 1.5 pixels.  The VS11 icon "h" strokes are 1 pixel.  Please also compare the "C" icons.  Curiously, the small C++ icon is a blank gray page.  The C# icon has a tiny "i" in it.  The large C# icon has 2 pages in it, one has an "i" and another one has a "C#".  I think this is supposed to mean that a C# file is an "include" file and "C" file, 2 files rolled into one – a better C++.

    Gray icons in Windows Explorer – not good.  I installed the beta in a VM, to prevent my 2010 projects from catching the gray fungus.

  52. @ Yogesh:

    You can find more information on the new features for Coded UI Tests here: blogs.msdn.com/…/visual-studio-11-beta-what-is-new-in-coded-ui-test.aspx

    Cheers,

    Lisa Feigenbaum

    Senior Program Manager

    Visual Studio

  53. Reply to Bluto's - 7 Mar 2012 9:16 PM Post says:

    This is a little hard to tease out the core issue that you are describing without screenshots. I think it’s a concept and communication issue but just in case it is an aliasing issue… The icons are vector art drawn on grid so that they don’t appear fuzzy due to pixel splitting. That’s one of the challenges of creating vector art and then rasterizing it. For those familiar with the WPF or Silverlight, it’s similar the sub-pixel problem that we solved by defaulting to whole pixel values.

    Bluto, I'd be happy to follow up via connect. I've snapped most of the images you've described in the post.

    Thanks for your help,

    Dan

  54. @brekerror, could you run the setup log collection tool from http://bit.ly/vscollect and post the results (%TEMP%vslogs.cab) to a web site? Since you have a user profile, your Live ID should work with http://skydrive.com if you need drop space (though anything we can access is fine). Use the contact form at blogs.msdn.com/…/contact.aspx and you can send me the URL so we can investigate further.

    Thank you,

    Heath Stewart

    Visual Studio Setup Team

    http://blogs.msdn.com/heaths

  55. EmacsLisp says:

    I feel really no good about the theme(colors) of vs11.

  56. Hello Joe,

    I see you asked a question about the Feedback Client:

    >>How will the Feedback Client sidebar work with Metro-style apps?

    The paradigm for Metro Applications is a little different.  To help people with this, I have created a blog post on the topic which you can find on the Visual Studio ALM blog at:

    blogs.msdn.com/…/using-microsoft-visual-studio-11-beta-feedback-client-tool-with-windows-8-metro-style-applications.aspx

    Thanks,

    Chuck