Visual Studio 2013 RC Now Available

It will RTM the same day Windows 8.1 hits general availability.

Visual Studio 2013 is now available as a "go-live" Release Candidate (RC), along with two other key technologies for Windows developers: the .NET Framework 4.5.1 and Team Foundation Server 2013.

Corporate VP of the Developer Division S. Somasegar announced the news on his blog. He said that VS 2013 will Release To Manufacturing (RTM) when Windows 8.1 hits general availability on Oct. 18. A "Virtual Launch" of VS 2013 is scheduled for Nov. 13.

VS 2013 can be installed on top of the previous preview version, or side-by-side with Visual Studio 2012. Windows Store app development with VS 2013 RC requires the Windows 8.1 RTM version. Because of that, it's good news for developers that Microsoft reversed course and is allowing MSDN subscribers to download the latest version of Windows 8.1 for test and dev. Initially, Microsoft wouldn't make Windows 8.1 available to developers prior to GA.

Somasegar went into detail on some of the new features in VS 2013 RC that weren't available in previous versions. One significant upgrade is that IntelliSense, Visual Studio's autocomplete feature, has been added for data binding to the XAML editor. Somasegar wrote that "This works with a DataContext defined in the markup, or with a design-time DataContext for cases where the context is provided in code-behind."

TypeScript users will be glad to hear that VS 2013 RC includes the most recent version of TypeScript tooling, labeled v0.9.1.1. TypeScript extends JavaScript in ways that allow developers to build more complex, more sophisticated applications than is possible with standard JavaScript.

Another new feature -- only available in VS 2013 Ultimate -- is CodeLens, which Somasegar called a "head-turner" when Microsoft has demoed it. CodeLens gives deeper context into items like the number of references in a project and source control changes. A new addition to the VS 2013 RC for CodeLens is Lync integration, including information on a piece of code's author and type of change made. It works for both C# and Visual Basic.

VS 2013 RC is available for download in five versions:

  • Express
  • Test Professional
  • Professional
  • Premium
  • Ultimate

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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