Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 Announced
Brian Harry, Microsoft product unit manager for Team Foundation Server, announced in a recent blog post that Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2012 Update 4. Harry explained that the "primary motivation" for the update "is addressing compatibility and migration/round-tripping issues between VS 2012 and VS 2013 and the various platform releases to make adoption of VS 2013 as smooth as possible."
Accordingly, Harry wrote, the "planned timing [for the update] will be around the same time VS 2013 releases." He noted that the update will be an opportunity for Microsoft to make available any other Visual Studio 2012 fixes that might crop up between now and the update's release. "A release like this … becomes a vehicle to deliver anything else that would be valuable/important to deliver in that time frame," Harry wrote. "So, for instance, Update 4 will also include a roll-up of fixes for all important customer [issues] reported by the time it locks down."
He noted that Update 4 would be a targeted release, rather than introduce big new capabilities. "Update 4 will be a very scoped release just focused on these compatibility fixes and key customer-impacting bug fixes," Harry wrote. "We will not be delivering significant new features in Update 4."
The first Release Candidate (RC1) for the update was made available on July 30. According to Harry, there will be "several release candidates, and it's still early in the process." RC1 contains "less than half the fixes that will ultimately be in the [Update 4] release," he added.
Bug fixes in RC1 focus on Team Foundation Server (TFS) and LightSwitch. A Microsoft Support Knowledge Base article listing the fixes includes changes to TFS functionality in the areas of Administration and Operations, Build Automation, Version Control, Work Item Tracking, and Web Access. LightSwitch fixes affect the display of applications' localized strings.
"We have validated [RC1] for production use and we wanted the name to clearly reflect that," Harry wrote, explaining the "Release Candidate" designation. "So, if you've got a specific issue that's addressed in this release, installing it would make sense. Otherwise, I would just wait a little bit for a later Release Candidate."
Harry noted that he doesn't expect for there to be a Visual Studio 2012 Update 5 after the Update 4 release.
Katrina Carrasco is the associate group managing editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.