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Visual Studio 2022 Release Candidate Ships, Set for Nov. 8 General Availability

Microsoft shipped a Release Candidate and a Preview 5 of Visual Studio 2022 while also setting a Nov. 8 release date for the game-changing 64-bit edition of its flagship IDE.

The VS 2022 RC download can be used for production and will be updated to the v17 GA release next month. The Preview 5 download contains the latest bits that can be put through their paces before being updated to Visual Studio 2022 17.1 Preview 1 upon v17 GA status next month, not supported for production.

Microsoft published a Visual Studio 2022 Launch Event site for the big reveal, set to start at 8:30 PT on Monday, Nov. 8. It promises an event-long live Q&A, tips and tricks and other presentations -- ranging from .NET/ASP.NET to .NET XAML to games, cross-platform C++ development and more -- conducted by Scott Hanselman and other execs and program managers.

All the fanfare -- and downloadable digital swag meant to replace the goodies found at live events -- is meant to celebrate the first 64-bit edition of Visual Studio, giving developers access to gobs more memory to do crazy things like open up a solution with some 1,600 projects and 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).

"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."

The dev team has been adding functionality since then with a series of previews that added much-requested Hot Reload capabilities (making code changes that are reflected instantly in a running app during debug), along with updated icons and integration with Accessibility Insights to quickly address accessibility issues during development. Hot Reload and other features were explained in a video by Microsoft's Mark Downie.

Visual Studio 2022 RC and Preview 5 are available!
[Click on image for larger view.] Visual Studio 2022 RC and Preview 5 are available! (source: Microsoft).

Other new features include:

  • C++: Workloads will be supported with new productivity features, C++20 tooling and IntelliSense.
  • Azure: Cloud-based app development will be boosted by repositories that describe common patterns used in modern apps.
  • Debugging: Coming are performance improvements in the core debugger, with "features like flame charts in the profiler for better spotting the hot paths, dependent breakpoints for more precise debugging, and integrated decompilation experiences which will allow you to step through code you don't have locally."
  • Live Share: Real-time collaboration is improved with integrated text chat fostering quick conversations about code without any context switches.
  • IntelliCode: This AI-enhanced IntelliSense will provide better integration with daily workflows, anticipating what developers might want to do next in their coding so they "take the right action in the right place at the right time."
  • New support for Git and GitHub: "You'll notice a lot of built-in logic and checkpoints to guide you efficiently through the merge and review process, anticipating feedback from your colleagues that could slow things down."
  • Improved code search: Developers can search outside loaded scopes, helping them find results irregardless of what code base or repo they are in.
  • Mac: The team is also working to bring the Mac IDE up to par with the Windows IDE, something that has been a thorny problem in terms of reliability and other issues, addressed by switching to Windows internals. While multiple VS 2022 for Windows previews have been released, developers only got their first look at Visual Studio 2022 for Mac v17.0 on Sept 30, barely a couple weeks ago.

Of course, most of that stuff above is pretty much done, with the team recently just polishing things up and fixing problems rather than introducing new features. The release notes for Preview 5 shows only these new items of interest:

  • Adds Xcode support.
  • Fixes a bug where Project Overview pages, and panels in Diagnostic Tools and the Performance Profiler could appear very zoomed in with some multiple monitor setups.
  • Warn when x13, x14, x23, x24, and d16-d31 are accessed in ARM64EC code.
  • Improved support for edits with Hot Reload in test runs. The following actions are no longer rude edits and are now supported with hot reload in test runs: adding tests, adding data rows in theories, adding classes, and adding async methods.

The Nov. 8 release date comes shortly before the .NET Conf 2021 event (Nov. 9-11), during which the equally ground-breaking .NET 6 will debut. It's the culmination of a huge, years-long effort to coalesce all the disparate .NET components and frameworks into one umbrella offering for all types of development for all targets and platforms. As such, it will be fully supported by Visual Studio 2022.

.NET 6 RC 1 shipped last month, and RC 2 was announced Oct. 12.

More information can be found in the Visual Studio roadmap and the .NET 6 roadmap.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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