BUILDing the Future with Visual Studio

From students participating in the Imagine Cup, to the next hot start-up in Silicon Valley, to enterprises delivering modern efficiencies into mature businesses, developers today all have three things in common: they are transforming and improving society through the software they envision, they have invested in themselves by obtaining deep knowledge and skill sets, and they require great tools to accomplish their goals.

At Microsoft, we’re passionate about delivering the best tools to help make developers successful.  That’s why I’m excited to be here in Anaheim, California, attending the BUILD conference, where Steven Sinofsky has just finished delivering a keynote address in which he unveiled Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview. We see it as our responsibility to empower you as developers to productively create groundbreaking solutions, which is why we aim to help you to capitalize on the skill sets you already have. Whether your skills center around HTML and JavaScript or around C#, Visual Basic, or C++, Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 represent exciting opportunities.

One of the most notable advances in these Windows and Visual Studio releases is the ability to create consumer-focused, Windows Metro style apps using HTML.  Many of you have invested heavily in learning to create compelling Web experiences, and you can now apply your knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS towards building rich client apps for Windows 8.  Visual Studio 11 provides end-to-end support for these efforts, spanning the development, debugging, and deployment lifecycle.  To complement this code-centric perspective, with Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview we are also introducing a unique new visual authoring tool for designing Metro style apps using HTML. Blend delivers high-fidelity visual HTML authoring and CSS styling, and works effectively with the dynamically generated UI that is so prevalent in client-side apps. 

HTML and JavaScript only represent one piece of the Microsoft client story. For developers whose skill sets revolve around C#, Visual Basic, or C++, we’ve innovated across both managed and native technologies, spanning their runtimes, libraries, compilers, and UI layers.  Investments developers have made in learning XAML move forward to Windows 8, where Metro style apps can be written using XAML along with C#, Visual Basic, and C++. Windows 8 also supports running existing XAML-based applications with the Windows desktop, and such applications further benefit from underlying feature and performance improvements made in these releases.

Such skill sets also translate to the server, and with significant investments across the Base Class Libraries, ASP.NET, Windows Communication Foundation, ADO.NET, and more, developers with C# and Visual Basic skills can be more impactful than ever.  ASP.NET harnesses both managed code and HTML, enabling you to create broad-reaching Web experiences that span a myriad of device types, all via the same diverse set of development skills, and all via Visual Studio.

Whether developing new experiences or bringing forward existing ones, new and updated capabilities of Visual Studio will make you more productive and impactful.  If you’re here in Anaheim attending the conference, you’ll have access to these previews today so that you can get started immediately building the next great app for Windows 8.  And whether you’re here at BUILD or reading and viewing remotely, stay tuned… there are many exciting things to come.


Comments (38)

  1. Kamyar says:

    Can't wait to download Win8 Dev preveiw. Visual Studio 2011 could be the best thing happened in my dev life. 🙂

  2. Anonymous Coward says:

    Talk to me about performance.

  3. Ion Singh says:

    What's the version .NET/CLR?

  4. Somasegar says:

    Hi Ion,

    .NET version is 4.5.


  5. Somasegar says:


    There are many sessions this week at //BUILD covering improvements to VS including performance.  Hopefully, you will get a chance to see those in person or on-line.


  6. Vanman says:

    So what's happened to WPF? Are Silverlight and WPF both being replaced by a XAML/C++/C#/Metro thing? Or is it just that WPF's being deprecated? I didn't hear it mentioned at all in the keynote.

  7. Somasegar says:

    Hi Vanman,

    WPF is a part of .NET 4.5.  WPF applications will continue to run great on the Win8 desktop.  The improvements to WPF in .NET 4.5 will be described in sessions this week at //BUILD.


  8. AndrewDover says:

    Is there something technical we can read that would answer these type of questions?

    Can C and C++ applications be recompiled to run on ARM?

    Will WP7 be able to run WinRT applications?

    Will WinRT applications be able to use native DLLs?  How about if they use Win32?

  9. toub says:

    Hi AndrewDover-

    Thanks for the interest!  There will be a lot of technical material emerging from BUILD this week.  I suggest you wait to watch and read that material, and if your questions are then still unanswered, follow-up on the Windows Dev Center at, which will be launching soon and which will have forums for addressing these kinds of questions.



  10. Vanman says:

    What's the favoured language to write really professional apps for Windows 8?

    ie, C++ is probably more performant (and portable), but is C++ going to enjoy full OS API access, or will it lag behind C# in this regard? (As it seems to have so far this decade).

    What language does MS use to write its own programs such as VS, IE, etc?

  11. Paulus says:

    Paying for yet another VS.NET? Pass!

  12. Tad Anderson says:

    A sad sad day in the Life of a Microsoft Developer

  13. toub says:

    Hi Vanman-

    A great thing about Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 is that you get the choice.  As you can see in the screenshot in this post, and as was highlighted in the BUILD keynote today, the same templates and capabilities are afforded to developers regardless of whether they're using C++, C#, Visual Basic, or JavaScript.  Of course, different languages exist to satisfy varying developer preferences and to cater to varying needs… you get to choose the language that suits your projects best and then use it to develop for the platform.  

    Visual Studio is itself implemented with a combination of managed and native code.



  14. Jono says:

    Out of curiosity, what's our min-specs for running these tools/windows 8 dev preview?

  15. toub says:

    Hi Jono-

    The System Requirements are posted on the Windows Dev Center downloads page at…/br229516.



  16. Luc Cluitmans says:

    One thing that is conspicously missing amongst all the abbreviations thrown around for the next visual studio is "F#" – is support for F# going to be removed from the next version of visual studio or is it just not in the preview?

  17. I noticed in the Blend 5 preview that there is no XAML support, only HTML support.  Am I missing something here or when are you planning on supporting XAML from a design tool? (that existed in the prior 4 versions I must add).  I definately am not going the HTML/JS route for Win8 apps, when can most MS developers get a design tool for the new XAML runtime?

  18. toub says:

    Hi Yoco-

    I'd suggest tuning in to Don Syme's BUILD talk later this week (…/SAC-904T), where he'll be discussing some of the significant enhancements made for the next release of F#.  There's some very exciting work being highlighted here.



  19. Miha Markič says:

    No XAML support in Blend5 is probably due to the HTML/JS focus right now. I guess.

  20. toub says:

    Hi Raptor X-

    Thanks for the question… Christian Schormann has an answer to a similar question in the comments at…/expression-blend-for-html.aspx.



  21. Halo_Four says:

    I'm happy to see that ARM is listed as a platform for C# projects in the VS11 Preview as well as in the help output from the command line compiler.  I wish I had an ARM machine to test these binaries on.  I'm really curious as to how much of the .NET framework will be available on ARM.

    A Windows 8 ARM tablet that is a fully functional device onto which I could deploy my own programs would be an incredibly compelling product to me.

  22. Alexandre.C says:

    Hi, I want to start developping application for Windows 8, but when I downloaded Windows Developper Preview, I have choose the 32bit version without Visual Studio 2011.

    Where I can download the SDK for Developper Preview without redownload, reburn, reformat and reinstall the OS? 🙂

    Thanks! 🙂

  23. toub says:

    Hi Alexandre-

    Information on when and where Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview is available for download can be found here:…/announcing-visual-studio-11-developer-preview.aspx



  24. Patrick Smacchia says:

    Do you have any rough idea of dev11 beta1/beta2/rtm schedules?

  25. Murugan says:

    Why Microsoft keep releasing upgrades or new products with shutting down the existing one…

    for example WPF is slowing down and silverlight is coming up…

    As a developer, it's soo hard to keep up with all technologies and tools… This is just my opinion…

  26. toub says:

    Hi Patrick-

    We don't have any information to share at this time on the schedule beyond the Developer Preview released this week at BUILD.



  27. john barker says:

    i am more of a beta tester to see what will run on 8 like games and internet and that it john

  28. vikash says:

    how can i close tile apps in win8 ???

  29. toub says:

    Hi Vikash-

    The forums in the Windows Dev Center at are a good place for these kinds of questions.



  30. anferruqui says:

    Very Good 2011

  31. All the language advancement wont be worth a thing unless Microsoft get the pricing on VS11 sorted because VS10 upgrade pricing was a ridiculous and forced me to use a pirated version for the first time ever.

  32. Shawn Nandi - MSFT says:

    Hello SAPaleAle, thanks for your comment. We are open to hearing your feedback and concerns regarding Visual Studio 2010 pricing. Please feel free to contact me anonymously at snandi at microsoft dot com if there any more details you would like to provide.



  33. Johan Visser says:

    I hope that they fixed all problems before adding new stuf.

    For example, VS2010 keeps messing up my resx files under Windows 7 64bits.

    For me, its more important to get a stable working Visual Studio than a bunch of new goodies thrown onto an instable product.

  34. toub says:

    Johan Visser, thanks for the feedback.  If you haven't already, it would be helpful if you could submit the problem you're having with resx files to the Visual Studio team via

  35. S.V. Sankar says:

    Hi Som,

    This is sankar a application developer from Bangalore. We are right now working in VS2010 Coded UI Test Editor. BTW, this is a great initiative from MS in terms of Testing world. But, we found few issues while automating the 3rd party controls in apps using Coded UI Test Editor of VS2010.

    So, would like to know how the new Coded UI Test Editor is going to be in VS2011. Eager to see that in VS2011.

    Thank you,


  36. Hi S.V. Sankar,

    Thank you for your feedback on Coded UI Test. It would be great if you can discuss the specifics of the problems you have faced while automating 3rd party controls. I would request you to post your problems on…/threads which is the UI Automation testing forum.

    You may also refer to our latest blogs in case that helps you with answers:

    1.…/coded-ui-test-extension-for-3rd-party-controls-the-basics-explained.aspx – explains the basics of what it takes to get a 3rd party control to work with Coded UI Test

    2.…/coded-ui-test-extension-for-3rd-party-windows-forms-controls-how-to.aspx – explains implementation in detail on a Windows Forms control



  37. @Shawn Nandi – MSFT – provided details over a month ago never did get a response will continue to use a pirated version of VS until MS wake up

  38. cameron says:

    VB2010 is fine with me for now… VB11 doesn't look SO exciting…