Last week, Microsoft reinforced its commitment to cross-platform developer experiences by open sourcing the full server-side .NET stack and expanding .NET to run on the Linux and Mac OS platforms. Microsoft also released Visual Studio Community 2013, a new free edition of Visual Studio that provides easy access to the Visual Studio core toolset. The announcements kicked off Microsoft’s Connect (); event, where the company released Visual Studio 2015 Preview and .NET 2015 Preview.
“With billions of devices in the market today, developers need tools that target many different form factors and platforms,” said S. Somasegar, Corporate Vice President, Developer Division, Microsoft. “Through Visual Studio and .NET we are committed to delivering a comprehensive end-to-end solution for developers to build and manage applications across multiple devices and platforms.”
A handful of MVPs live tweeted, posted photos and shared their first-hand experiences with the community. Here's what they had to say:
Alvin Ashcraft - Visual C#
I was totally floored by the number and magnitude of all of the announcements at Connect();. I am really looking forward to seeing how the cross-platform story unfolds in the coming months and years. What I think will be particularly interesting to watch is how Xamarin and the Mono project grow and evolve now that they have access to the open sourced Microsoft .NET Framework.
Andy Schwam Visual C#
I was fortunate enough to attend Visual Studio Connect(); in-person. It was really exciting to be there live to hear the big announcements of the day. One of my tweets from the day was “It’s a good time to be a .NET developer!”, but I probably should have said “Great”. The changes announced at Connect(); will have a large, positive effect on my career. With these changes I will be enabled to write awesome .NET applications on which ever platform I chose and for which ever platform I chose. I really like the direction Microsoft is headed with Visual Studio, TFS, VSO, Azure and more.
Oren Novotny - Windows Platform Dev
The atmosphere at the event yesterday had an excitement that I haven’t been at a Microsoft event at a long time. There was definitely a sense of joy, with the “did they really just do that” kind-of-thinking. The event was well-coordinated and the event space was attractive. The events team did a great job with the look & feel of the event along with the food and party — all top notch “classic” Microsoft that the recent larger events had been missing.
David Wilkinson - Visual C++
As a Connecticut resident I was delighted to get an invitation to the Connect(); event in New York City. There was a lot of emphasis on the Cloud, DevOps and .NET, Microsoft does a great job of orchestrating these occasions.
I'm sure you have all heard about the exciting announcements, but here is a brief list of things I noted down (in my low-tech spiral notebook):
1. Visual Studio 2015 Preview released. Not so much said about C++, except improved C++11/14 support, and Mobile support for Android using CLang (this is just for behind-the-scene library content, not the actual application). There is more C++ information in Eric Batalio's blog here
2. Visual Studio 2013 Community edition released.
3. Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 released
4. Live profiling in the debugger.
5. Live code analysis (Intellisense on steroids).
6. Open sourcing of (some parts of) .NET.
7. Android and IOS development support with Xamarin
8. A lot of discussion of Visual Studio Online for cloud-based development. I should take a look at this. Right now my only use of the cloud is some Azure virtual machines for testing. There is an image for Visual Studio 2015 Preview, by the way.
On the social side it was good to meet fellow C++ MVP Michael McLaughlin, and chat with him for a bit.
At the end of the day, there was a cocktail reception at the Classic Car Club of Manhattan, where they had a number of cars on display, and also the opportunity to take a test ride. I was fortunate to be able to ride in a Tesla Model S -- impressive!
Mahesh Chand - Visual C#
Event was awesome. Venue and setup was great.
ScottGu’s roundtable was great. We just went through some Q&A and you can imagine 11 people and time always runs out. But it was a great opportunity to meet and sit with Scott one on one.
Overall a great event. Great excitement. I will definitely go to any of these next time between DC and NY.
Mike McLaughlin - Visual C++
As I arrived at Connect(); in NYC, the first thing that caught my eye was the attention to detail. From the welcome carpet at the entrance to the wall lights and even several creative ceiling light fixtures made from fluorescent tubes, the Visual Studio brand was tastefully imbued throughout the venue. I haven't been to an event like this before so I didn't quite know what to expect when I entered. The friendly event staff helped tremendously, guiding me through check in and up to the pre-Keynote Welcome Reception in a warm, efficient way. (They remained very helpful throughout the day and have my well-deserved thanks.) At the Welcome Reception I met some fellow MVPs and several other interesting people. When it was time, we made our way to the Keynote. The Keynote presentations were thrilling. Having missed the MVP Summit this year I was unaware of the huge .NET announcements and the Apache Cordova integration, and only knew a bit about Visual Studio Community and the new, major cross-platform development features. So there were many pleasant surprises for me. The other audience members also seemed genuinely excited so I feel like it went really well and that the hard work that the folks at Microsoft put in was really worth the effort. Through the rest of the day I got a chance to learn more about some of the exciting new and recent things in Visual Studio and Windows Azure. There are too many to write about here and though I remember it all, it nonetheless feels like time was passing faster than usual that day. As the day ended and I made my way towards the subway and Grand Central to catch my train home, I was still buzzing with excitement. As I write this now, the warm glow from the event itself has receded but the excitement remains. I'm really glad I had the opportunity to attend Connect(); and I can't wait to see what Microsoft does next!
Rick Minerich - Visual F#
It was incredibly exciting to be there at the historic moment when .NET was open sourced. I've heard many people say online now how they are considering F# when formerly the closed source nature of the runtime kept them away. It's going to be a very bright future for the platform now, with community contributions and support across all platforms. I couldn't be happier.
Rob Irving - Windows Platform Dev
I was very excited by the Visual Studio Connect(); announcements. As a Cross-Platform Mobile C++ Developer the prospect of having my team be able to target the 3 major mobile platforms all from our favorite IDE is thrilling. Adding a performant Android emulator that runs on Hyper-V to the mix will make the Android debugging experience a thousand times better then what we have now with Eclipse.