Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 Release Candidates available now!

I’m excited to announce that the Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 Release Candidates are now available for download.

These releases ship with “Go Live” licenses, so you can get started today building and deploying production applications using Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5.

For this release candidate milestone, you’ll find substantial improvements since the Developer Preview and Beta releases.  We’ve added features, improved performance, revamped the UI, streamlined setup, made it easy for you to move from Beta to RC, and more.  For a detailed exploration of what’s new in the RC release, see Jason Zander’s blog.

Along with RC availability, we have the final naming for what we’ve been calling Visual Studio “11”: Visual Studio 2012. We’ve also revised the Visual Studio logo to embody the same Metro design principles of simplicity and streamlining that we've applied to Visual Studio itself:

We appreciate all the feedback you’ve shared with us from the Developer Preview and Beta releases, and we look forward to hearing about your experiences with RC.


Comments (59)

  1. Kir says:

    Don't forget the latest ReSharper 7th for it:)…/ReSharper+7+EAP

  2. Anthony Mills says:

    Ah, the shame of being a vice president and yet unable to keep your product's menus from being in all caps. 🙂

  3. B for Bowtie says:

    The bowtie logo makes me :'(

  4. Ahmed Osama says:

    I am excited too to start testing it, however I did not like the new logo 🙁

    I hope you improved the installer, so I can customize the what to be installed

  5. mENU says:

    Would've preferred the first letter of each menu item be lowercase, for a more authentic caps lock feel.

  6. Simon says:

    Slow (Create an MVC project? Slow.  Load a project from TFS? Slow.).  Terrible UI.  Buggy top left system menu (single/double clicking there didn't behave as expected and alt+space plus clicking on options on it totally broke).

    I give up on it…

  7. Simon says:

    Slow (Create an MVC project? Slow.  Load a project from TFS? Slow.).  Terrible UI.  Buggy top left system menu (single/double clicking there didn't behave as expected and alt+space plus clicking on options on it totally broke).

    I give up on it…

  8. Vaccano says:

    MS has really messed up Enterprise developers with this release.

    If you code with VS 11 and intend to run your app on Windows XP using the "Target .NET 4.0" feature, then when you debug you will not experience the bugs that were fixed in .NET 4.5.

    Meaning that you will not know you are relying on a "fixed" bug until you release to you XP users.  

    (Or you have to try to re-test your app to make sure you did not rely on one of those fixed bugs.  Which is hard because Microsoft will not release a full list of what they fixed!)

    I am so angry about this!@!!!  We are going to have to BAN Visual Studio 11 and .NET 4.5.

    BAN it!!! Do you hear me Microsoft?  I can't even let my developers install this junk because you made it an in-place upgrade!

    See this post for more details:…/c05a8c02-de67-47a9-b4ed-fd8b622a7e4a

  9. GregM says:

    Where are the promised details on when it will have support for creating applications that run on Windows XP?

  10. Great work! VS 2012 looks amazing, love it 🙂 Feedback:

  11. Sameer says:

    Ugly UI and another metro crap…that's what you guys wanna force all the users to use. While UI doesn't really matter but that damn UI is damn ugly. Windows 8 will be a huge flop that's inevitable but seems like VS 2012 is heading that way too…

  12. Xcoder says:

    I'm waiting the release date of Win 8 + VS 11 for my development

  13. The Real Official Name says:


  14. toub says:

    @Ahmed Osama: The RC installer does support customization.  You can see a screenshot of what these options look like in Jason Zander's blog post at…/announcing-the-release-candidate-rc-of-visual-studio-2012-and-net-framework-4-5.aspx.

    @Simon: When you say that creating an MVC project is slow and that loading a project from TFS is slow, can you elaborate?  e.g. how long are these actually taking?  Are they slower than in past releases, or have you always been concerned about the performance of these operations?  The forums at…/vsvnext are a good place to provide specific feedback and ask questions.

  15. I like says:

    The logo looks good to me.  XP is dead

  16. smallB says:

    The UI is ugly. Forcing never worked, and I don't expect to work this time or any other time. If you're convinced that METRO is such a great idea you don't have to force people to start using it everywhere. But if you're forcing people to use something it means that you're not honest with people. People WILL see it and WILL object to it.

  17. Vaccano says:

    @I Like,

    If XP was dead then Microsoft should have already ended extended support for it.

    Corporations don't move off Operating Systems until support ends.

  18. Rob says:

    Breaks VS2010!

    Since installing VS2012, I cannot create a new Win32 Console Project in VS2010. I get the error message: MSBuild does not contain a value for the "VCTargetsPath" property.

    The .vcxproj file is created, but invalid for use in VS2010, none of the usual files are present.



  19. Looking forward to getting my hands on real projects with this new version. Some of the new Sharepoint enhancements look promising

  20. Nathan says:

    Extremely slow and buggy for a RC. It's so slow, that when I close it, it takes so long it restarts itself thinking there is a problem! So I can't even close the app!

  21. Darrel says:

    Love the logo. Love the new IDE. Love the performance improvements. Good Job?

  22. Simon says:

    I've tried using this new version for a bit now, it's quite unpleasant because of the new UI.  Come on, please intervene and change your minds, it's your last opportunity realistically – there are plenty of good features and improvements but this single minded obsession with making it unusable is sufficiently frustrating for a lot of people that it simply precludes use.

  23. Justin says:

    Lets come to the point.  Are you guys planning to release future versions of ASP.NET and other related pieces of .NET technology? If this question is not answered I will get the answer anyway.

  24. toub says:

    @Nathan: I'm sorry you're having troubles with the RC.  Can you share more details on your configuration, whether you have any extensibility plug-ins installed that might be contributing, on where you're seeing the most painful bottlenecks, what the bugs are (beyond performance) that you're facing, etc.?  You can also share your feedback and discuss particular issues in the forums at…/vsvnext.

    @Justin: We absolutely continue to invest significantly in .NET.  You asked specifically about ASP.NET, and Soma blogged about some of the server-side improvements coming in .NET 4.5, including for ASP.NET, at…/net-improvements-for-cloud-and-server-applications.aspx.

  25. Morgan says:

    where are the templates for windows phone? They don't show up even though the sdk is already installed do I have to reinstall the sdk from 7.1 then 7.1.1 to get the templates?  Looking for stability in XAML development, VS 2010 is less then stable at times for XAML development.

  26. Mike says:

    What happened to SPA in the RC?!? Sheesh, the one thing I was really excited about and it's been moved "out-of-band" and there's no info to be found saying when it'll be ready. says see the Codeplex site and Codeplex says to see Its a circular reference.

  27. toub says:

    @Morgan: Visual Studio 2012 doesn't yet support Windows Phone development, but it's coming.  See…/windows-8-and-the-windows-phone-sdk.aspx for more details.

  28. @Rob,

      I am sorry that you are experiencing this problem.  What versions of Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012 are you using?


    Adam Welch

    Visual C++ Team

  29. Scott Hunter - MSFT says:

    Mike, we removed SPA from RC & RTM ( because we didn't have enough time to bring it to the quality level we shoot for in the Visual Studio 2012 timeframe. We still feel very strongly about this feature and we hope to ship it later this year as part of a future update to our web stack.

  30. Deepak Gupta says:

    Metro really sucks for non-touch PCs.  Sad to see VS 2012 going the same way :(.

  31. Carlos says:

    The RC UI is better than Beta but still a big step back from VS2010. I have to work extra hard to identify items such as folders in the solution explorer because everything is grey and drawn with primitive lines. I miss the yellow folders.

  32. @Rob

    Could you export HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftMSBuildToolsVersions and send it to me? Also, how do you launch VS2010? My email is lishao at microsoft dot com.

  33. Deepak Gupta says:

    Really horrible UI.  VS 2010 and VS 2008 were much better.  It's really a shame :-(.

  34. Paul says:

    New logo is just terrible IMHO…

  35. Nathan says:

    Carlos is right. The problem with the approach to trying to align to Metro is that Metro itself is a carefully designed juxtaposition of simple shapes with contrasting colours. There is never any difficulty identifying where one element ends and another begins. With VS2012, however, it seems you've picked up on some of the design concepts in Metro and ignored others, which has led you to turn all of the icons into simplistic silhouettes which make it much harder to visually scan the solutions panel in particular and identify visual distinctions between different types of elements. Colour is a *really* aspect of design and it's like the VS design team has forgotten that.  I understand you're reintroducing some colour into parts of the icon set, but from what I've seen it's a bit subtle. Completely colouring the icons, potentially with a single colour per icon, so as to maintain the silhouette concept, would retain a lot of the visual distinction that has been lost.

  36. Josh says:

    Everything in RC's GUI is unpleasant – colour palettes, fonts, chrome, sharp corners, all caps in menu, icons. It's maybe a big step forward in capabilities but HUGE regression in user experience. Sorry, but your designers did a dreadful job.

  37. Marcello F. says:

    Please, just follow the standards and be as conservative as possible when designing the UI and  leave the experimentation for other kind of projects. In an hyper-sensitive world where people can be targeted just for their point of views & ideas, way of dressing, gestures, et. al. ,  the continuous addition of new singularities to the UI, or the enforcement of the usage of non standard menus, isn't a good idea.

  38. danieldsmith says:

    You've done the right thing publicly releasing previews to get our feedback on VS2012.  However, it's bewildering that the sheer volume of clear feedback on the ugly, unwanted metro UI changes can be so blatantly ignored (customers hate that by the way!).

    I've been proud to use each new release of Visual Studio over the years.  It's the best IDE in the industry, which is what keeps me using the product, and sticking with the Windows platform.  We all want to work with a professional looking product that we can be proud of.

    Please listen to your customers.  Please do the right thing.

  39. Yahya says:

    Hi Somasegar,

    Whatever you do kindly keep option to turn off the CAPS menus which would be the first option I use.




  40. Christopher Scholten says:

    I agree that the changes to the UI look really drab. What happened to consistency? Every time there's a new release, the UI changes radically… (last time, the drag/drop of icon buttons was removed).

    The Edit & Continue changes to methods with LINQ statements seems promising.

  41. [now signed in]

    I agree that the changes to the UI look really drab. What happened to consistency? Every time there's a new release, the UI changes radically… (last time, the drag/drop of icon buttons was removed).

    The Edit & Continue changes to methods with LINQ statements seems promising.

  42. karthik says:

    I hope you improved the installer

  43. Airton Granero says:

    Bowties are cool

  44. Lionel Slade says:

    Shame colour blindenes doesn't help .  This interface still look devoid of happiness.

  45. Shashi says:

    VS 2012 RC corrupted my existing SQL Server 2012 installation (Windows 7 Professional SP1/ 64bit)

    I had installed SQL Server 2012 in the near past and was using the same. Once VS2012 RC has been released, I downloaded and installed.

    When I then tried to open SQL Server Management Studio after VS2012 installation, I had an error message stating like "Some of the components has been corrupted, please reinstall ". I am trying to repair now, seems to be working.

  46. Subramanyam Vijayanagaram says:

    Ultimate, Microsoft rocks again with other web development technologies

  47. Doug Turnure (Visual Studio PM) says:


    I"m sorry to hear you had the issue. We have not seen any incidents like the one you described. If you are still experiencing the issue, please file a bug on our Visual Studio Connect site ( and we'll investigate this further.


    Doug Turnure (Visual Studio PM)

  48. that says:


  49. Klaus Graefensteiner says:

    I am looking forward to the release. I watched view great videos from the TechEd North America 2012 and I am really liking what I am seeing. VS Light Switch 2012, ASP.NET Web API and ASP.NET Web Project "Mixups". And the new design? First I hated it, but after watching it in Action I love it. Great and big UI design changes are always provoking, but it takes some guts to do it. Thumbs up for Microsoft!

  50. It's really exciting for all.

    More features integreted.

    Really excited for microsoft Fakes

  51. Robert C says:

    when will be release the RTM?

  52. toub says:

    @Robert C: Visual Studio 2012 will RTM in early August. See…/222895124739391488.

  53. gourav says:

    i thik i create teach application in rc 2012

  54. Anónimo says:

    Se debe tener en cuenta que los usuarios del sistema operativo xp, deberían estar ya pensando en migrar a windows 7, pues Microsoft ya les quitará el soporte dentro de 2 años a "XP"… solo a modo de observación


  55. Mike James says:

    I love the new features.

    I also love how the only negative comments (aside from some very suspicious ones about performance) are about whether the menu is in caps or the icons are too square.. haha…   Who cares?  Coders spend 95% of their time  coding, not clicking buttons. The new interface actually feels much less 'in the way' than previous versions.

    So, understanding that I will take some heat for this, lets discuss features and functions, and stop worrying about the case of the menu system.  

  56. mark says:

    The designer is soooo slow

    Hangs for 30seconds at a time

    Really bad

  57. daniel d betts says:

    No matter what I do I cannot get Visual Studio 2012  to see or reference the .NET 4.5 Framework

    How can I get help or what is wrong

  58. toub says:

    @daniel d betts: Can you explain more about what you mean about VS2012 not seeing .NET 4.5?  Is it that you've opened an existing project in VS2012 and you're not able to use new .NET 4.5 surface area?  If that's the case, you can go into the project's properties and change the Target Framework from .NET 4 to .NET 4.5.

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