Today we released Visual Studio “15” Preview 4, introducing many new improvements and bug fixes that bring us one stage closer to the product’s completion.
The highlight of this release is that nearly all of VS is running on the new setup engine, resulting in a smaller, faster and less impactful installation. The smallest install is less than 500 MB on disk (compared to 6GB in the previous release of Visual Studio). There are a couple of “workloads” that aren’t present yet, including .NET Core tooling and Azure tooling, but the rest of the existing VS 2015 feature set is available.
For more background to the new installer, there are two earlier blog posts on the principles that guided our new installation engine and the process of redesigning around workloads. Expect to see further improvements before we release, including support for automated deployments, offline installation and further refactoring and componentization.
Apart from the new installer, Preview 4 also includes many other improvements. We have revamped the Start Page experience by adding new Open and Create features to the most frequently used Recent list and the News feed. And C++ has a whole lot of improvements across the board. We are also working on upgrading our feedback systems. Try the report a problem feature in the IDE to see what we’ve done, then look at the developer community portal view.
For the complete list of everything in this release, along with some known issues, take a look at the Visual Studio “15” Preview 4 Release Notes page.
A couple of important caveats about Preview 4. First, this is an unsupported preview so don’t install it on machines that you rely on for critical production work. Second, Preview 4 should work side by side with previous versions of Visual Studio, but you should remove any previous Visual Studio “15” Preview installations before beginning the setup process. Check out this Preview 4 FAQ for other common questions.
As always, we welcome your feedback. For problems, let us know via the Report a Problem option, either from the installer or the Visual Studio IDE itself. For suggestions, let us know through UserVoice.
|John Montgomery, Director of Program Management for Visual Studio