Visual Studio 2013, ALM, and DevOps

Since launching Visual Studio 2012, we’ve been thrilled with the customer adoption and partner momentum we’ve seen.  Visual Studio 2012 has been downloaded more than 4 million times, the fastest adoption of any Visual Studio release in the past.  We’ve also delivered new value into Visual Studio 2012 through two VS Updates, VS2012.1 and VS2012.2, updates which are now being used on more than 60% of Visual Studio 2012 deployments. The functionality available in Visual Studio is further augmented by a robust ecosystem of extensions and integrated solutions, including almost 500 VSIP products in market, and more than 3900 products and extensions for Visual Studio in the Visual Studio Gallery.

Not only have we seen great adoption on the client, in the cloud we’ve continued to see terrific uptake of Team Foundation Service, which we released for general availability at Build 2012 and which we’ve been updating approximately every three weeks with new capabilities, including with Git support as announced in January at the ALM Summit.

Even with this progress, there are many great opportunities to advance the state of the art for developers and development teams building modern apps and managing the modern app lifecycle.  With multi-year release cycles vanishing and being replaced by shorter build/measure/learn cycles, development teams are more earnestly incorporating operations and other stakeholders into the development process.  Modern application lifecycle management practices enable teams to support a continuous delivery cadence that balances agility and quality, while removing the traditional silos separating developers from operations and business stakeholders, improving communication and collaboration within development teams, and driving connections between applications and business outcomes.  Microsoft is extending the ALM capabilities we’ve built into Visual Studio 2012 and its updates by further enabling such “DevOps” scenarios with our tools and services, yielding a more friction-free and higher quality path to production.

In this vein, today marks the start of TechEd North America 2013, and with it I’m excited to announce several key advances related to the modern application lifecycle.

Visual Studio 2013

I’m thrilled to share that our next major release, Visual Studio 2013, will be available later this year, with a preview build publicly available at Build 2013 in San Francisco at the end of the month.  In his keynote demo and follow-on foundational session today at TechEd, Brian Harry highlighted some of the new ALM capabilities coming in this release and in the cloud, including new features focused on business agility, quality enablement, and DevOps.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Agile portfolio management, which enables you to plan your agile projects “at scale” by showing the hierarchical relationship between work being done in multiple teams across your organization.
  • Cloud-based load testing, a new capability of Team Foundation Service that takes advantage of the elastic scalability of Windows Azure to generate traffic, simulating thousands of simultaneous virtual users so as to help you understand how your web applications and services operate under load.
  • Code information indicators that provide information about unit tests, work items, code references, and more, all directly within the code editor in Visual Studio, increasing developer productivity by enabling project-related contextual information to be viewed and consumed without leaving the editor.
  • A team room integrated into TFS, improving the collaboration amongst team members via a real-time and persistent chat room that integrates with data and interactions elsewhere in TFS.
  • Identity integrated into Visual Studio, such that the IDE is connected to backend services that support, for example, roaming the developer’s settings as the developer moves from installation to installation.
  • Support in TFS for integrated code comments that facilitate code reviews with increased transparency and traceability.
  • A .NET memory dump analyzer, which enables developers to easily explore .NET objects in a memory dump and to compare two memory dumps in pursuit of finding and fixing memory leaks.
  • Git support built into Visual Studio 2013, both on the client and on the server, including in the on-premises Team Foundation Server 2013.

These are just a few of the new capabilities available with this release, which we’ll be talking much more about in the coming weeks and at Build.  Many of these features are available starting today on Team Foundation Service.


DevOps is an increasingly important part of application lifecycle management and is a growing area of interest as businesses need to develop and deploy quality applications at a faster pace. We continue to invest in improving the modern application lifecycle, with a particular focus on DevOps.

As part of this increased focus, today I’m excited to announce Microsoft’s agreement to acquire InCycle’s InRelease Business Unit, a leading release management solution for .NET and Windows Server applications. InCycle’s InRelease product is a continuous delivery solution that automates the release process through all of your environments from TFS through to production, all in one solution, and all integrated with TFS.

This acquisition will extend Microsoft’s offerings in the ALM and DevOps space. We look forward to continuing to offer customers new tools and capabilities to help them develop and operate the high quality applications and services they need to run their businesses with increasing agility.

MSDN and Dev/Test on Windows Azure

The technical improvements we’re making to Visual Studio represent just one facet of the work we’re doing to improve the productivity and success of teams using Microsoft platforms.

For example, we’ve improved the Windows Azure benefit available as part of eligible MSDN subscriptions; you now have a choice as to how you use your Windows Azure credits for development and test, whether you apply them for Virtual Machines, Web Sites, Cloud Services, Mobile Services, Media Services, HDInsight, or beyond.  The Windows Azure MSDN benefit includes access to virtual machine images preconfigured with MSDN subscription software, such as SQL Server and BizTalk Server, and alternatively supports uploading your own virtual machine with your MSDN software.

Further, one of our goals is to make it easy for every member of a development team, whether dev or test, to be empowered to provision without friction the environments they need when they need them.  With the new Windows Azure MSDN benefit for dev and test, we are taking an important step towards realizing that goal. As of June 1st, MSDN subscribers now have use rights to run in Windows Azure VMs selected software they get through MSDN (see the Visual Studio and MSDN licensing white paper for more details).

These improvements help to make development teams more agile by providing them with simple and scalable access to development and test cloud-based resources.


Follow me on Twitter at

Comments (43)

  1. jure says:

    This all looks very cool. And is there a new .NET framework version with this release. Any new C# features?…

  2. Mandar Pandit says:

    That cool! 2008 –> 2010 –> 2012 –> and now 2013 –> this much earlier. .

  3. Tristan says:

    Good idea with VS release per year. But there are some questions:

    – .NET and languages will be upgraded also per year or less frequently ?

    – Do you plan to lower prices for VS Pro ? Spending 500$ per year is not good idea.

    I suggest to merge separate Express editions (web/desktop/store) into single VS Express.

  4. Lisa Feigenbaum says:

    Hi All,

    Yes. There will be a release of .NET that aligns with Visual Studio 2013 and more details will be announced in the Build conference.

    There are no pricing details being disclosed today.


    Lisa Feigenbaum

    Visual Studio

  5. Tom Kirby-Green says:

    Can't wait to hear what additional C++ 11 support Herb will be announcing for Visual Studio 2013 at BUILD. Hope you folks will be able to sneak some early C++ 14 features in, not least std::make_unique (for which we badly need a canonical version) etc.

  6. Alex says:

    does it mean that vs2012 will not get other features of C++11?

  7. Tom says:

    But what about VS 2013  and C++11 support?

    Does this mean that Nov. CTP C++ compiler is now part of VS 2013 and there will be no update for VS 2012 ?

    *dreaming* Or will VS 2013 finally get full C++11 support ?

  8. Not a single C++ reference?! So much for the "going native" talk.

  9. jay says:

    I assume this means the C++11 improvements from the november CTP are no longer scheduled for a VS2012 update?

    The more things change, the more they stay the same…

  10. toub says:

    @Tom Kirby-Green, Alex, Tom, Moondevil, jay:  Thanks for your interest in C++.  With the announcements at TechEd 2013, only a subset of the capabilities and new features in Visual Studio 2013 have been discussed thus far, namely some of those in the application lifecycle management space.  There is much more to the release than has been described thus far, and we will have much more information to share about the new release at Build 2013 in a few weeks.

  11. Bob says:

    Looking forward to seeing VS2013, but not being an Australian customer having to pay 50% prenium on VS products. What a bunch of suckers we are!….. Hey I thought we were mates! buddies!!

  12. George says:

    What's next Visual Studio 2014 – JUNE

    then Visual Studio 2014 – September

    Then Visual Studio 2014 – October

    Then Visual Studio 2014 – October 15th

    I mean I'm all for upgrades and the like, but haven't they considered the time it takes for corporations (not small one or two developer shops) to authorize / purchase / upgrade / port existing projects / etc

    into their release roadmap?

  13. Daniel says:

    Bring back the colours in the interface, the 2012 visual studio interface lacks character, and as somebody who is colour orientated i have to stop and think about what button i am clicking in the tool bar. It took many years to get nice colour displays, now you think you can move back to grey-scale, this is not right, it is the worst interface i have ever seen.

  14. Andy says:

    Very frustrating – we've have a hard time getting the organisation to purchase VS2012, as they don't "get" the benefits of up to date developer tools. We've finally purchased them only to find they'll be outdated in a few months time.

  15. Developer says:

    After 10 years of .net development I am thrilled how buggy, unstable and unusable VS2012 is. Please look at Microsoft Connect feedback before writing posts like this.

  16. JMK says:

    Very exciting, particularly looking forward to seeing what's new in C# and .Net 🙂

  17. Jason says:

    I agree with Daniel.  The reason I have not upgraded to VS 2012 is the terrible interface.  

    Without colour, the icons all begin to look alike at 03:00 after a heavy night of development.

    A bit of colour would alleviate this.

  18. JMK says:

    @Jason & Daniel, Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 has an extra theme, which restores the appearance of 2010, may solve your upgrade woes 🙂

  19. Martin says:

    14 years late and I bet it still won't have a working C99 environment

  20. DanW says:

    The ONLY thing I want from 2013 is for the colored icons to return!!!!  Distinguishing between all the 'burned' and 'blackened' icons is about as easy as distinguishing one piece of charcoal from another.

    And – please stop saying that the color themes will solve the problem – that's dishonest.

    When so many people have the identical serious issue, and MS is unresponsive and silent, I have to wonder if there are any customer oriented people in charge at Microsoft.  All the others changes are quite good – but the change to black icons is one bad apple.

  21. Anon Developer says:

    And what about Windows XP support? will that continue to be ignored?

  22. I would be happy if the mess that is the options dialog was redesigned and re-sizable. Ever tried moving settings from release to debug? Oh well I guess fixing the development environment is not as important as ticking off a laundry list of new features….

  23. Was It Worth It says:

    Back in this post (…/the-road-to-visual-studio-11-beta-and-net-4-5-beta.aspx) you indicated that you were building for the 100 million developers that are the hobbyist and such…   And that the 10 Million professional developers are now just a slice of the whole.

    Well, with VS 2012 about done and having only gotten 4 Million downloads… was it worth messing up the UI so much that you lost 7 Million of your professional developers in a fit of rage.  All so you could gain 1 million hobbyist? (That will make you some random "fart" apps?)

    Really, I use Visual Studio 2012, but every time I need to go back to older versions of Visual Studio, I think to myself "Wow, this is a great UI".  I don't often think that when coming back to Visual Studio 2012.

  24. Elviswong says:

    I don't see how these features deserve a new Visual Studio. Just a pack of useless management tools to me. As a C++/C# developper it looks disapointing. No new .NET or WPF, no C++11 when clang and gcc are way ahead of Microsoft. Where is the cool stuff ?

  25. toub says:

    @Elviswong: As I mentioned in my previous comment, with the announcements at TechEd 2013 this week, only a subset of the capabilities and new features in Visual Studio 2013 have been discussed thus far, namely some of those in the application lifecycle management space.  There is much more to the release than has been described thus far, and we will have much more information to share about the new release at Build 2013 in a few weeks.

  26. Bob says:

    -Stephen Toub (or any other MS person) – What chance of Australian VS developers getting parity with US developers???

    I realise this may not be in your area of responsibility.. but do you VS guys have any influence at all??? Or should I just go to the Boss of  Marketting???

    After all according to the prevoius post referencing –…/the-road-to-visual-studio-11-beta-and-net-4-5-beta.aspx

    Your trying to encourage developers aren't you?

    Personally I refuse to buy VS until there is parity, I don't like being treated as a mug sucker…. who would?? would you?

  27. @Bob:

    "Personally I refuse to buy VS until there is parity, I don't like being treated as a mug sucker…. who would?? would you? "

    Ok, I have to ask… what is a mug sucker? :>

  28. Hitesh says:

    I have just finished installing VS 2012 and got this news of 2013! There is  just no need for another version at this point in time. All the above features can be updated in VS 2012 Update 3.

  29. How2Install says:

    Is VS2013 going to see a viable replacement for deployment projects? If not, forget it!

  30. says:

    would love to share it

  31. B ob says:

    Charles –

    Mug –

    1.British slang for a fool or someone who will do anything for you if you just ask such open the door, run the shop for you etc.

    Sucker –

    A person that has been tricked into something.

    A gullible person.

    Haha, you sucker!


    They're all a bunch of suckers!

  32. Reng-EDV says:

    Well, only one Question? Since November 2012 CTP1, Herb Sutter calls this C++ 11. Are some People by Microsoft who use C++ 11 with Visual Studio, or dou all People in the developer devision working with the Notepad Clone like a Man called S.T.L…..

  33. Anonymole says:

    It's a good think MSFT is getting out of the software business and positioning themselves as a hardware provider. There's a reason nobody wants Windows 8. Windows 7 and XP work 'just fine'.

    And so it was with VS 2010 – it worked just fine. But of course the hype drove everyone to download 2012. But the hype was just hype, Win8 was stillborn. And now you guys are pushing another version of VS? What? Why? Because you needed something to do for the last 2 years? Criminey – go build a rocket or something.

  34. Actually, MS is not getting out of the software business. They are getting out of the "desktop" software business and chasing the holy grail of cloud based services, and apps of course, with a lustful eye on a steady subscription based income stream.

    I am not a fan of their current approach as I consider myself a cloud skeptic. The basic concept is not bad, for the cloud providers, but it is just the familiar cycle of yet another lock in attempt, by the providers, to put them in control and make it as difficult as possible for a customer to change to another provider. In the end though, it will be an incredibly bad deal for the customers who will find themselves with a few large providers who listen only to their bottom line. (See cell phone providers for an example.)

    Add in government regulatory overreach, as in the DoJ's contention that all of your data placed in the hands of a 3rd party is accessible to them without a subpoena, combined with reliance on a network that consists of uncountable small pieces, controlled by independent admins with their own agendas, connected to a large data repository with an even larger bulls eye painted on it by every hacker on the planet, and I am less than impressed.

    I have seen many tech fads come and go over the years. I have learned that giving up control of the resources you need for your business to survive is a recipe for disaster.

    And before the usual suspects come in crying about how I just can't handle change, the tech worlds equivalent to the political charge of racism, let me say that I have seen many changes over the last 3 decades of working in this field but I only embrace changes if I see a benefit to the company I represent. I never follow the herd just to add a new buzzword to my resume.

    In the end though, our opinions are irrelevant as MS has committed to its current path and I do not see much chance they will reconsider. So prepare for the announcement of VS.Next  (cloud service version), for a preview see the 2012 Pending Changes page, which will require project source to be stored in the cloud version of TFS, relieving the customer of the need for on-premises resources to maintain their products.

    Just don't miss a payment!

  35. Stalin Paul says:


  36. Ayman Shoukry, Visual C++ Team says:

    @Reng-EDV, hoping that I understood your question right:-)

    Most folks on the VS team use Visual Studio including those who use C++11. When we released the C++11 CTP, there was no IDE support (e.g. intelisense) for some of the C++11 features but we have added such support in this release. If you need more info or have more questions, please feel free to contact me directly at "aymans at microsoft dot com"

  37. Keith P says:

    I am just crossing my fingers that the new .Net isn't just all about making Javascript more prominent. It's already bad enough that Win8 documentation seems to push JS, but if the .Net platform starts becoming more like it, I'm going to have to start looking into returning to Java.

  38. cr says:

    which is version of .Net with vs2013

  39. Pythonista says:

    FYI – Python is included in VS2013 as well!  See (disclaimer, etc).

  40. why? says:

    If you're serious about DevOps, build a better PowerShell environment. Forget Visual Studio.

  41. Marcusdev says:

    will there be a cheaper upgrade from vs 2012 users?

  42. Have you fixed the test-running system yet? Even in the latest 2012 version it is nearly useless.

  43. Tim Miltz says:

    What is the target release date for Visual Studio 2013 ?

Skip to main content