Visual Studio 2012: More Than Just Windows 8 Development

Microsoft has three goals for the latest iteration of its flagship IDE.

Visual Studio 2012 has ambitious goals -- goals that go well beyond just supporting Windows 8.

Microsoft has a lot riding on Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5. At the recent launch event in Seattle, Visual Studio Magazine Executive Editor Kathleen Richards spoke to Microsoft Corporate Vice President S. Somasegar about the importance of Visual Studio 2012.

"When we started working on Visual Studio 2012, we started thinking, what are the two, or three key themes that we want to focus on, and the three things that come to mind are the following," said Somasegar, who heads the Developer Division.

First and foremost, Visual Studio 2012 needs to support the new offerings and updates coming from Microsoft including Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Azure, Windows Phone and Office among other technologies, according to Somasegar. "You just look at everything that we do; we have an update or a new version coming out this year," he said. "So when you have this plethora of new technologies coming, we want to make sure that we work very, very closely with the partners and development teams to have the best tools to take advantage of the latest and greatest platform features."

As a second area of focus, the Visual Studio 2012 team created tools that can help development teams collaborate effectively and deliver quality software in an application lifecycle management environment that facilitates continuous improvement.

"Sometimes, you hear this described as build, measure, learn. Sometimes, you hear it described as continuous improvement," said Somasegar."Whichever way you want to describe it; it is really a high level of agility of what you build, and more importantly, how you deliver that to your customers and how you learn from that and continuously get better at it."

The Visual Studio team also did a bunch of work to create a comfortable and productive development environment, which was a third area of focus, according to Somasegar. For example, new functionality enables developers to get back to the task at hand without losing context.

"You spend the vast majority of your time in the one place that you feel very good about," he said. "If you take that analogy and say, what is the home for the developer? I say that the home for developers is the development environment because that's where they spend 6 hours, 10 hours or 16 hours day-in and day-out. And so we want to make sure that developers, when they are staying in their home inside the development environment, have a comfortable environment."

With the release of Visual Studio 2012, Microsoft feels good about the progress that it's made towards these three goals, according to Somasegar. The Community Technology Preview of the first Visual Studio 2012 Update is expected this month. Microsoft plans to release the Visual Studio Update later this year.

About the Author

Kathleen Richards is the editor of and executive editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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