First Visual Studio 2022 Preview Focuses on Testing 64-bit Support

The first preview for the landmark Visual Studio 2022 edition is out, focusing on 64-bit support as opposed to new features.

Microsoft made wave in announcing that VS 2022 was going to be the first 64-bit edition of its flagship IDE in April. "Visual Studio 2022 will be a 64-bit application, no longer limited to ~4gb of memory in the main devenv.exe process," said Amanda Silver, a program management exec in the Developer Division in an April 19 blog post introducing VS 2022. "With a 64-bit Visual Studio on Windows, you can open, edit, run, and debug even the biggest and most complex solutions without running out of memory."

Microsoft demonstrated 64-bit benefits with a GIF video showing the IDE open up a solution with some 1,600 projects and about 300,000 files:

VS 2022 Opening 1,600 Projects and 300k Files.
[Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] VS 2022 Opening 1,600 Projects and 300k Files (source: Microsoft).

In a new June 17 post announcing VS 2022 Preview 1, Microsoft said it's meant to test and tune its 64-bit scalability, a huge change that affects every part of the IDE. Microsoft appealed to early-adopter developers to help out with the effort, saying "we need your feedback."

"We would particularly love to hear about your experiences working with very large and complex solutions in Visual Studio 2022," said Justin Johnson, a senior program manager on the Visual Studio Release team. "Before the 64-bit upgrade, customers with this kind of solution would sometimes experience issues with Visual Studio as it ran out of memory to use in the main 32-bit process. During early testing of Visual Studio 2022, the same customers were able to run the IDE for days, even with solutions containing 700 (or more!) projects."

The 64-bit version -- at all levels: Community, Pro and Enterprise -- can be downloaded and installed alongside previous VS versions.

With the laser focus on testing the game-changing 64-bit functionality, some VS 2019 features aren't included in Preview 1, including:

  • Web Live Preview
  • Instrumentation profiler
  • Azure Cloud Service project support
  • T-SQL debugger
  • Web Load Test and TestController/TestAgent
  • Azure DataLake
  • Coded UI Test
  • DotFuscator
  • Incredibuild IDE integration
  • IntelliCode find and replace by example
VS 2022 IntelliCode Preview 1 Upgrade
[Click on image for larger view.] VS 2022 Preview 1 IntelliCode Upgrade (source: Microsoft).

Likewise, most new features and performance improvements will have to wait until Preview 2. One exception to that is an updated IntelliCode -- the AI-assisted upgrade to IntelliSense code-completion tech -- which can now automatically complete up to a whole line of code at a time.

It also comes with the .NET 6 SDK (preview) and includes basic support for .NET MAUI projects, with a separate installation required for the latter.

VS 2022 Preview 1 .NET MAUI Support
[Click on image for larger view.] VS 2022 Preview 1 .NET MAUI Support (source: Microsoft).

.NET MAUI stands for .NET Multi-platform App UI, described by Microsoft as a framework for building native device applications spanning mobile, tablet and desktop. That latter item is key, as Microsoft has also described it as "the evolution of Xamarin.Forms extended from mobile to desktop with UI controls rebuilt from the ground up for performance and extensibility."

Also, Preview 1 swaps out the current WPF XAML Designer for .NET Framework with a new WPF XAML Designer for .NET Framework that's based on the same architecture used for the WPF XAML Designer for .NET (.NET Core).

As far as what new features will debut in Preview 2, Microsoft didn't say explicitly, though hundreds of developers have sounded off on what they'd like to see, and we have covered the top 10 feature requests.

Because Visual Studio 2019 v16.11 -- now in preview -- will be the last of the 2019 series, the new 64-bit version is being called Visual Studio 2022 v17.0, according to Preview 1 release notes.

A high-level, overall view of what's in store for Visual Studio can be found in the roadmap documentation.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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