1537_Win8Logo_01_008485DD   vs2012logo

Today marks another huge milestone on the road towards getting Windows 8 out to the world and Visual Studio (for building Metro style apps) out to developers and designers. I’m so excited I don’t know which one to talk about first! But this is a developer blog, so I’ll start there. :)

This afternoon, we announced the availability of the Release Candidate for Visual Studio 2012 (note it finally has a name!), Team Foundation Server 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5. They are available for download now.

There is a clean upgrade path from Beta to RC so if you’re using an earlier build of the same product edition (e.g. Express for Windows 8, Professional, Ultimate, etc.), you do not need to uninstall Beta first. Simply run the RC installer which will uninstall the right Beta bits and lay down the RC bits all at once.

As with the beta, Visual Studio 2012 RC ships with a “Go Live” license. This means that you can use the product to build apps that run in production. For more information on the “Go Live” terms and how to get support if you need it, please visit the Visual Studio 2012 RC website.

As part of RC we’ve made numerous improvements to Visual Studio including performance improvements across the board, updates to the UI based on customer feedback and enhancements to existing features. For the full lowdown on this release, check out the blog posts by S. Somasegar and Jason Zander.

Now, the Windows 8 news. Today on the Building Windows 8 blog, we announced the availability of the Windows 8 Release Preview in 14 languages. Windows 8 is entering the final stages of development and is on the road to general availability.

The Windows 8 Release Preview delivers new Bing apps, including ones for Travel, News and Sports and has many other cool new features including

  • Improvements to Mail, Photos and People apps since Consumer Preview;
  • Increased personalization options for the Start screen;
  • Improved multi-monitor support;
  • find and download apps through the Windows Store;
  • New Family Safety features and enriched privacy and security controls when browsing online, including Do Not Track capabilities being turned on by default with Internet Explorer 10; and
  • Enriched support for touch with Internet Explorer 10, including a new capability with Release Preview called “flip ahead” that allows users the option to flip between pages with the swipe of a finger, as well as a touch-friendly  Adobe Flash Player now fully integrated into IE10; IE10 is also the first browser to enable Do Not Track “on” by default, giving customers more choice and control over their privacy

If you’ve been on the fence about trying out Metro style app development, climb down and start heading towards an awesome app future!  Go download the Windows 8 Release Preview, load up the Visual Studio 2012 bits and give them a run.