Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5 Launch

Today is the formal launch event for Visual Studio 2012 and .NET 4.5, a state-of-the-art development solution for building modern applications that span connected devices and continuous services, from the client to the cloud.

This morning’s launch keynote covers how Visual Studio 2012 takes you into the next era of software development. I opened the discussion with a look at trends in modern app development, followed by Jason Zander diving deeper into building apps, and Brian Harry touring through managing app lifecycle, all using Visual Studio 2012.  This content is available live and for subsequent on-demand viewing from

In addition, the Visual Studio development team has put together over 60 videos to help you learn about the new Visual Studio 2012 capabilities in more detail, and all of these will be available for watching starting this afternoon. These videos provide a great point of reference across a wide variety of features and capabilities.

Modern Tools for Modern Apps

I’ve been looking forward to today for quite some time.  We have a huge line-up of platform releases from Microsoft this year, from Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Windows Server 2012 to Windows Azure to SQL Server to Office 365, all of them enabling you to create or modernize really compelling apps.  And Visual Studio 2012 is at the center of this.  With our developer tools, we strive to give developers targeting these platforms a streamlined experience for creating apps that excite and exceed the needs of customers, whether with consumer-focused or business-focused apps.

We know the demands on the apps you build and on how you deliver them are constantly evolving with industry trends.  With the consumerization of IT, users expect new levels of app richness and interaction, desiring the same experiences for their business apps that they obtain in their consumer apps.  Business stakeholders also demand much more agility for IT innovation.  The apps themselves reflect this with more and more aspects of user-centricity, social integration, and data-centricity.  And as your customers evolve, so too do your apps, requiring you to continuously improve and incorporate innovations faster than ever before, with continuous feedback, continuous quality, and continuous delivery.

Visual Studio 2012 is all about enabling you to build and manage these consumer-focused and business-focused apps.  It provides best-in-class tools that propel developers to build new apps or evolve existing ones, and it enables individuals and teams to deliver continuous value, with agility and on their own terms.  In conjunction, .NET 4.5 provides expansive capabilities for developers working on all forms of apps and services, from client to mobile to web to cloud, while at the same time enabling fast time to market.


Of course, Visual Studio is also about being a platform that enables other developer tools to build upon and integrate with it. In that light, I’m thrilled to announce that today more than 70 Visual Studio partners are sim-shipping over 100 products for Visual Studio 2012.  These solutions range from developer extensions and control libraries to extensions of the modern application lifecycle support in Visual Studio. Thank you to all these partners who are extending Visual Studio and customizing it for your needs.

Visual Studio Update: We’re also not standing still with this release, but rather are committed to continuously delivering value to you as part of regular updates to Visual Studio.  Our first “VS Update” will better support agile teams, enable continuous quality, elevate SharePoint development with application lifecycle management (ALM) tools, and expand Visual Studio 2012 Windows development capabilities. It will be available as a community technology preview (CTP) later this month and in final release later this calendar year.

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop: Back in June, I announced we would expand our line-up of Express products. Today, we’re releasing Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop, bringing the newest desktop development capabilities in Visual Studio 2012 to Express users, too.  You can read more about this release on the Visual Studio team blog and download the release from here.

F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web: In addition, today we’re also releasing F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web, so that developers using F# can more easily take their apps to the cloud using Express.  You can find out more about this release on the F# team blog and download the tools from here.

Thank You

We are committed to maintaining Visual Studio as the best tooling experience for Microsoft platforms and for enabling modern app development, to helping your team to embrace this new era of team development, and to enabling you to have access to the tools you need faster than ever before. We look forward to continuing to evolve Visual Studio to meet your evolving needs.

Thank you again for joining us on this exciting day, and enjoy.


Comments (61)

  1. GregM says:

    Since this is being released by the end of the year, and Windows XP support is reported to be coming this fall, I assume this is how the Windows XP support will be delivered, but that isn't mentioned in that post.  Also, since you've previously reported that these updates will include compiler updates, is there a list of which of the missing C++11 pieces will be included in this release?  I would assume that variadic templates would be one of the big ones, since that was mostly implemented a year ago but was pulled from the product because it wasn't quite ready yet.

  2. Leo Romano says:

    BOOO Soma!!! We (online) want the hardware too!! WTH! Give us a discount or something so we can build a ton of apps for Windows 8! Makes no sense to me and most as bad as the stunt pulled by MS Exec. at PDC 2009.

  3. Tristan says:

    When Roslyn will be released ?

  4. Mike says:

    Has any pricing been released for upgrading from VS 2010?

  5. Automation Planet says:

    Thanks Soma, it was really great presentation and great day 🙂 well done VS team!

  6. toub says:

    @GregM: Our current thinking is to use the VS Update mechanism for delivering XP support, but I don't have an exact timeframe to share.  I also don't have any additional info at present on C++11 language features.

    @Tristan: We've not announced any ship dates or ship vehicles for Roslyn.

    @Mike: Pricing information is available on the Microsoft Store at…/categoryID.50804600 .  Note that the price of Visual Studio Professional was lowered, and it was moved to a single SKU approach where there is no separate upgrade SKU.

  7. GUI says:

    Is this still a blog, or is it just a one-way announcement channel?

    Your previous posts in this blog have received hundreds of comments about the ridiculous GUI. How about at the very least acknowledging them? Or better, writing an apology about how you have destroyed our favorite IDE? Or even better, fixing these problems in the upcoming service pack?

  8. Papy Normand says:

    Wow!! the VS Express 2012 for Windows Desktop seems really a good release. I will try to download it to-morrow ( it is nearly midnight for me ). I have appeciated to have the 3 main languages (VC#,VB and VC++) in the same application.After the download and some tests, i hope that i will be able to tell you : you have done a tremendous work ( my most sincere wish )

  9. danieldsmith says:

    Has the team learned any lessons from the VS2012 release?

    Wouldn't it have been better to get feedback from your customers before dropping XP support?  That way you could have avoided all the anguish and effort of having to add support back in.

    Wouldn't it have been better to speak to your customers about restricting the Express versions to Metro only development before making the decision?  That way you could have avoided the uproar which led to the decision having to be retracted.

    Wouldn't it have been better to ask your customers *before* wasting countless resources making unwanted changes to the UI?  The ALL CAPS MENUS are almost universally disliked.  It's terrible developer relations to ignore the wishes of practically your entire customer base.  But worse still, instead of listening and resolving the issue, to blog about how backward we all are for opposing change, is just rubbing salt in the wound.

    When you've got unprecedented numbers of people voting against the icon and metro UI changes (on UserVoice) and 94% of your customers begging for the UI changes to be made optional (see Connect), most companies would listen:…/make-proposed-monochromatic-ide-changes-optional-in-vs11

    Why is Microsoft no longer working with its developer base?  Why are have you stopped listening?

  10. vijay says:

    Thanks Microsoft. Really we are waiting for the New Release……

  11. ThomasX says:

    Will the update fix the user interface?

  12. ThomasX says:

    How could you present this user interface with a straight face? Please share your tricks.

  13. Microsoft Allways Rocks Soma.

    Waiting for the New Release….

    Thank you,



  14. BrienK says:

    So when does SP1 come out?  The initial version is buggy as hell.   Crashes, weird behavior, features broken.  I came up with a list of about 6 things the first hour I used it.   Did you guys test at all?  It sure doesn't seem like it.

  15. We really need a complete VS2010 theme which includes the original ICONS, colors, borders, spacing, scroll bars, title menu and respect for the Windows selected theme such as Aero.

    Theme Editor:

    Proper Case the File Menu:…/turn-off-the-uppercase-menu-in-visual-studio-2012.aspx

    Again, we need the original VS2010 ICONS.



  16. toub says:

    @BrienK: Soma announced that the first VS Update would be available this calendar year.  Regarding "crashes, weird behavior, features broken," it'd be great if you could file bugs on those through Connect ( to make sure the team is aware of the issues you're facing; the more detail on repros you can provide, the better.

  17. JimR says:

    So WHo Did The gUI dEsiGN ?  ThEy SeEM tO HaVe pROBleMs with CASE and GeNERaL gui DeSIgN ?

    "Innovation" doesn't meaning breaking good features or stable designs for the sole purpose of being "innovative".

  18. Michael says:

    Will the projects used using the launch event be made available?

  19. Michael says:


    used during*

  20. Ahmed says:

    Thanks Microsoft. Really we are waiting for the New Release……

  21. CrossBow says:

    VS 2012 is more like a funeral then a celebration. When you post your resignation then that will be reason to celebrate.

  22. kailash joshi says:

    sir, it has nice graphics and enhance features….incredible….thnks/….

  23. Automated registration in IE 9 broken! says:

    THE Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop automated registration system is not working for IE 9, others have posted this same problem on your other blogs. The software will expire after 30 days. The download website for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop did not inform the user that this was an evaluation copy only, I usually do not download evaluation copys, but wait for the final release verson. It is very troublesome for me that the software I have downloaded is an evaluation copy! also If I have to uninstall Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop from my computer, I also need the exact uninstall sequence for the other software packages that were automatically installed with Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop. I have tried to uninstall them, but I get warnings that uninstalling some of the products may make other programs unable to function! There are 21 other software items installed along with Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop, for a total of 22 software items, as indicated in the installed programs list on my computer. Some off these programs have dependencies on the other installed programs that were installed, and I do not want to make my system become unstable by uninstalling them in the wrong order! I have made my system unstable in the past by incorrectly uninstalling the software out of order that was installed in earlier versons of Visual studio express! The uninstall script for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop, did not offer me the option of also uninstalling the

    other software that was installed along with Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop, hence my request for the exact uninstall sequence of the other software! Please publish the Uninstall instructions for the other software, and inform me via this blog as to where I can obtain these instructions.

  24. toub says:

    @Michael: Yes, the MyEvents apps from the keynotes are available from .

  25. Asesh says:

    The graphics debugging feature is only available on Windows 8…that was expect from Microsoft because you guys want us to move to that crappy platforms. No thanks

  26. toub says:

    @Asesh: The graphics debugging features in Visual Studio 2012 do not require Windows 8, and do work on Windows 7.  Is there a particular problem you're running into?  See the "Operating System and SDK Requirements" section of the page at…/hh315751.aspx.

  27. masroor m yaseen says:

    well get some thing new

  28. So MSFT expect me to pay full price to upgrade from Visual Studio 2008 to 2012 professional. It was this sort of pricing that made me pirate Visual Studio 2010 and now looks like the same is going to happen to 2012.

  29. Explain this

    Australian Pricing for Visual Studio 2012 Professional $AUD724

    USA Pricing  $US499 (Approx $AUD475)

       for a download product. $AUD250 difference absolute pure greed on Microsofts behalf

    This and the lack of proper upgrade pricing is why I am currently downloading a pirate version of the software.

  30. My Two Cents says:

    I wouldn't even waste your money buying Visual Studio 2012, developers deserve better then this!

    Microsoft's idea of a development tool is an lousy editor with a horrible user interface and tons of buggy frameworks that are required to attempt to make it do something useful.

    Visual Studio is like buying a car from a junk yard then having to piece it all together to try and make it run.

    Utterly Pathetic!

  31. Mike says:

    @MY Yeah I agree save your cash. Visual Studio 2012 is like using assembler with an horid interface but assembler was stable. Great Job Microsoft Tools Division!

  32. Rob Murray says:

    According to an interview with Satya Nadella in, there is a quote which is attributed to Mr. Somasegar.

    Regarding Visual Studio Lightswitch within the article "windows_8_azure_will_alter_microsoft_forever"


    Developer division vice president Soma Somasegar says the next version will be standards-based HTML 5, "and then we’ll get to Windows-specific HTML 5."

    Is this from Nadella or Mr. Somasegar, and is it accurate? Are Microsoft recreating the IE6 mess already?  

  33. ThomasX says:

    When will the GUI get fixed?

  34. Unrelated to this post, but to whom do I speak with regarding the new color theme for the MSDN and Technet pages (and this blog as well) which use gray text and light blue hyperlinks? I do a lot of reading on these sites and my eyes are really strained due to the lack of contrast. Using black text and the traditional dark blue hyperlinks would make life much more pleasant for me. I can certainly configure my browser to use different colors, but my guess is that if I'm having this difficulty, I'll bet others are as well. So perhaps Microsoft can consider making a slight change on these pages? Thanks in advance.

  35. toub says:

    @Rob Murray: While I don't know exactly what was said, if Soma said something similar this, I believe what he meant was first targeting the web and browsers, and then targeting a native Windows experience.  You can use standards-based HTML5 and JavaScript to write apps for Windows 8;…/apps.

    @ITMAG: Thanks.  I've passed along your comments to the folks responsible for those sites.

  36. LOL says:

    The GUI will be fixed when Windows 9 comes out. As Windows 8 is bound for the same fate as vista.

  37. Paul says:

    Can I fully uninstall VS 2012 from my machine?   This includes uninstalling all of the items in the add/remove programs that were added with VS 2012.      I've had to rebuild a machine from scratch because of other MS products, such as the 20+ items installed by SQL Server 2008 R2 desktop, that did not fully uninstall.   Can we get a commitment that future VS editions will a) greatly reduce the number of installed packages, b) greatly reduce the number of registered components (no com equivalent to dll he'll) and c) install most, if not all, of VS in the same subdirectory tree?    

  38. LEARNER says:


  39. toub says:

    @LEARNER: What kind of programming are you looking to do?  You might start at…/zdbe067e.aspx.  If you're looking to build an app for Windows 8, you might look at the tutorial at…/hh465045.aspx.

  40. toub says:

    @Paul: You can uninstall Visual Studio 2012.

  41. Any word on if/when we might see an option to revert to the VS2010 icons? It'd be nice to see ALL the icons revert back, but specicially the solution explorer is pretty much a disaster with these flat icons with speckles of color.  I need the VS2010 icons with all their color, depth and 3d effect. Bottom line is that this is a productivity tool for developers, it's not a consumer app.

  42. Vanderghast says:

    Huge eyes-strain user interface with that "gray" interface.

    While for most app it MAY be important to promote the "data" over the interface, in the business of writing code, the data is the code and that code is not as much important than the TOOLS supporting it, that is, the user interface. Dumbing the interface to gray is NOT the greatest idea that Microsoft ever had.

  43. DonB says:

    Will VS 2012 support smart device development? I have .NET desktop applications and Mobile applications. Currently the mobile applications run on the WIndows CE OS. But the next generation of devices that we are looking at uses Windows Mobile 5 and 6. Currently I am still using VS 2008 because VS 2010 did not support smart device development. It was nice having one development environment for all my applications. But now comes .NET 4 and 4.5 which are not suported in VS 2008. I also have Oracle database applications that use Oracle DataAccess DLLs. Currently we use Oracle Client which suports .NET 2.x. We need to move to Oracle 11 Client to support .NET 4 and above. But if VS 2012 does not support smart device development (Windows CE and Windows Mobile), I guess I will start looking at other development tools by other companies. I would like to stay with Microsoft development tools since all my applications run exclusively on Microsoft operating systems. I have been using Visual Studio since version 6.0 and always upgraded to the next veriosn until VS 2010. Thank you.

  44. @DonB: Yes, VS 2012 will support targeting the next version of Windows Embedded Compact. If you go to the on-demand viewing site linked from Soma’s post ( you’ll find a video about the support we’re enabling. Look under Tracks -> Modern Apps -> .NET 4.5 and languages to find the video.

    This will be an exciting release for Windows Embedded Compact. We’re not only providing development support in VS 2012, allowing you to use the same IDE and ALM solutions across Windows platforms, but we’re also bringing in all the C++11 features from VS 2012 and an updated version of the .NET Compact Framework.

    As always, you’ll be able to find all kinds of information about this release when we announce the next version of Windows Embedded Compact on

  45. Theo says:

    Ok – tools for modern apps ….

    And a new gui skin in CAPS and without any color or recognizable icons ….

    I build LOB applications, and I still mostly see Windows XP at a customers site.

    Windows 8 will take at least another 4 to 6 years to appear in most businesses.

    So please tell me what is new in:

    – Windows Forms

    – WPF

    – Web development

    And what is improved in the tools for those technologies?

    And what are the language improvements that can be used with those technologies (C#, VB, C++)?

    The real question is: Why should I upgrade when I am not going to build Windows 8 only applications?

  46. toub says:

    @Theo: There are many such improvements not focused on Windows 8.  Soma's previously blogged about some of them, e.g.:…/visual-studio-11-programming-language-advances.aspx…/visual-studio-11-net-advances.aspx…/visual-studio-11-ide-advances.aspx…/visual-studio-11-platform-tooling-advances.aspx…/visual-studio-11-alm-advances.aspx…/net-improvements-for-cloud-and-server-applications.aspx

    More generally, you can find a detailed Visual Studio 2012 product guide at  You can also find "What's New in .NET 4.5" at…/ms171868.aspx, and it includes a section on WPF, one on web development, etc.

  47. vishal says:

    Thanks Soma, it was really great presentation and great day 🙂 well done VS team!

  48. anuj_kr_bgp says:

    Great 🙂 Now we will enjoy with VS 2012

  49. VS User says:

    Who the hell designed the UI for VS 2012 ? What sort of menu is it which has everything in CAPS (as if we developers miss out on seeing the menu). The new UI is truly an eyesore, a bit more color would not have harmed anyone. Why did the designers choose black and white with occasional tinge of blue, it always looks like i'm running the VS in high contrast mode. Soma,  You and Your team at msft truly disappoint me this time.

  50. VS 2012 UI color theme and element are incredibly ugly.  The messy background color and CAP menu are just insane.  Search google for VS 2012 ugly UI, you will see thousands of message about that.

    Big companies are slow, not innovative, we understood, no problem. But it is unforgivable to make such weird looking UI in production software.  

    YOU ARE KILLING MICROSOFT and all its beloved products.

    Please, listen to your users. If you have to go Metro route, make it looks nice and professional.  

  51. Raja says:

    How can we install Silverlight in Visual Studio 2008?

  52. GT says:

    The GUI was a great failure. Luckily I was able to download a trail. Will stick to VS2010.

  53. pradeeppal says:

    Thanks Soma, it was really great presentation

  54. sebak ghosh says:

    thanks microsoft

  55. Fritz Hohenheim says:

    Well all I can say, VS2012 is buggy as hell. It crashes at will, the remote debugger is nearly useless since it enters a mode where it just hangs at startup of debugees, apparently without reason, sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt. Intellisense is also not what it could be. Without Visual Assist it would be useless and Iwould have to go back to Slick Edit, except Slickedit doesnt support namespaces. So I am really not happy with this. I wish I could have stayed with VS2008 which was the last useful version but unfortunately IU need C++ 11

  56. Dave says:

    Too many bugs. Most critical bug is crash on open.

  57. Dean says:

    I can say as well that after some months of serious use, VS 2012 is buggy.  Intellisense just stops quite often, especially if you have an ASP.Net ScriptManager with references to scripts in assemblies.  C# syntax highlighting stops from time to time too.  While it may be faster in some regards compared to 2010, it has definitely regressed in some ways.

    Also, while debugging an ASP.Net app in IE9, when I hover the mouse over a JS variable, the whole Studio and debugger will crash and VS will restart.

    I'm going to wait it out to see if a service pack fixes things, but if it doesn't, then I'm back to 2010.

  58. lakhan says:

    Microsoft Allways Rocks

  59. amit gautam says:

    VS 2012 is such very useful IDE for developer…

    I very enjoying with working by it

  60. Huynh Buu Son says:

    How about price?

    I waiting it.

Skip to main content