Microsoft hands developers early view of Visual Studio

June 4, 2014 by Nancy Owano

Developers can now get their hands on a community technology preview (CTP) of the upcoming version of Visual Studio expected to debut in 2015. The early preview codenamed Visual Studio "14" was released for download on Tuesday so that the team can gather feedback on the next big rollout of Visual Studio. CTPs provide early adopters with an opportunity to try out features, and share feedback with the product team. Somewhere between Tuesday's release of the Visual Studio "14" development environment and the big rollout in 2015 will be yet another 2014 release later this year, however, which will be an even more complete build and carrying final naming. S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, made the release announcement in his blog on Tuesday. He said that In Visual Studio "14," the C# and VB compilers and IDE support are fully built on the .NET Compiler Platform ("Roslyn"). Technology watchers familiar with the Visual Studio developer environment said Tuesday that this open source compiler as a service is one of the key aspects of this preview release.

Keith Ward, editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine, noted how the new Visual Studio CTP incorporates much of the functionality that was introduced at April's Build conference, "starting with the .NET Compiler Platform, or "Roslyn," made at Build.

Roslyn, he said, makes the C# and Visual Basic compilers available as APIs. (According to release notes, the core IDE and editing experiences for C# and Visual Basic have been replaced with new experiences built on Roslyn. Improvements include C# refactoring support, revamped. Refactoring support for Visual Basic has been added for the first time. Also, one can use specific code-aware guidance for Microsoft platforms and NuGet packages for live code analysis and automatic fixes as one types.)

Ward also noted that C++ received much attention in the new CTP release. WinBeta said improvements made to C++ included added support for user-defined literals and new debugging and libraries features.

Microsoft made some notes for those intending to download the software, saying that the CTP was a very early build. CTPs, said the Microsoft site information, are unsupported, English-only releases and are actually provided for testing and feedback purposes only, not intended for use on production computers or to create production code. Installing a CTP release places a computer in an unsupported state; Microsoft recommended only installing CTP releases in a virtual machine, or on a computer available for reformatting. Visual Studio "14" CTPs have compatibility issues with previous releases of Visual Studio, added Microsoft, and should not be installed side-by-side on the same computer.

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