24 Feb 2012

1680.SolutionExplorer-2The last few hours have been a buzz of excitement for .NET developers as the covers have been lifted for the next releases of TFS, VS & .NET 4.5 – however there is a problem. There is SO much info wrapped in nice marketing & business talk you will spend hours trying to get through it all, so here are the crib notes. Following each note is a number in braces, this is the number of the source so you can go to it for more info if you wish:

  • .NET 4.5, VS 11 & TFS 11 beta’s will be available on the 29th Feb. [1]
  • You can use the products in production from beta (technically called a go-live licence) [2]
  • Visual Studio 11 has had a UI polish, similar layout but less toolbars by default, less colours (icons are monotone) & a touch of Metro like thinking (white space & typography) [2]
  • Five editions (or SKUs) of Visual Studio will ship: Express, Test Pro, Pro, Premium & Ultimate. Same as we have in 2010. [3]
  • TFS will have at least two editions, Express (think TFS basic but FREE) and another edition. We may have more than that. [8]
  • Visual Studio Professional and up will include Lightswitch! [3]
  • The architecture tool diagrams can now be read in professional & premium versions too (in 2010 it was premium only). Creation still requires ultimate. [4]
  • IntelliTrace is supported in production (still an ultimate only feature). [4]
  • Windows Phone 7 tools included with professional and higher editions of Visual Studio 11. [4]
  • Express will have two versions: Windows (WPF, WinRT, etc..) & Web (ASP.NET, MVC etc…). [5]
  • There are two themes for Visual Studio: Light (pictured above) & Dark which feels like a Expression Blend style. [6]
  • Quick launch is a new search feature allows you to search for any command or option in Visual Studio. [6]
  • Search has been added to most used tool windows, like solution explorer. [6]
  • ASP.NET MVC 4 has a bunch of evolutionary improvements, nothing to wet your pants on IMHO. [7]
  • ASP.NET Web API is a big new feature for both MVC & WebForms for building API’s for the web. Think services like WCF but built for the modern web. [9]
  • Visual Studio 11 is a code name – expect a name change by release. [10]
  • Workflow hubs in Visual Studio 11 allows you to focus on a task in a single place, rather than have to move around multiple windows. [11]
  • Preview tabs allow you to sneak a peek at documents without needing to actually open them. [10]
  • C# 5 (yes, it is version 5 of C# that is shipping with .NET 4.5 – who says this is confusing) has support for async. [10]
  • New code compare tool & UI that doesn’t suck. [11]
  • New code review tool support in TFS & Visual Studio. [12]
  • New mock up design tool that ships with Visual Studio/TFS that allows you to build mock user interfaces in Powerpoint. Think Sketchflow without the code or Balsamiq. [13]
  • New Visual Studio METRO’d logo [14]: VS11-Beta_h_c

Want to see some pictures of all of this? http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/developer/imagegallery.aspx



  1. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/somasegar/archive/2012/02/23/the-road-to-visual-studio-11-beta-and-net-4-5-beta.aspx
  2. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jasonz/archive/2012/02/23/sneak-preview-of-visual-studio-11-and-net-framework-4-5-beta.aspx
  3. http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/beta-products
  4. http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/features-chart
  5. http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/en-us/products/beta-express
  6. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/visualstudio/
  7. http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2012/02/19/asp-net-mvc-4-beta.aspx
  8. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/2012/02/23/coming-soon-tfs-express.aspx
  9. http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2012/02/23/asp-net-web-api-part-1.aspx
  10. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2012/feb12/02-23VisualStudioBetaPreview.mspx
  11. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ImageGallery/ImageDetails.mspx?id=2c8135ad-fefd-48c2-888f-83b6987a4e87
  12. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ImageGallery/ImageDetails.mspx?id=2a0b1cf8-9d74-4603-a2d1-03d8ef989a8c
  13. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ImageGallery/ImageDetails.mspx?id=240cbb53-9dd5-4262-b0cc-cdb9a57485d3
  14. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/imagegallery/images/products/developer/vs/logo_vs11beta_print.jpg


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