On February 29th, I announced the beta release of Visual Studio 11 and .NET Framework 4.5. It’s been encouraging to see the level of excitement around this release in the community, as well as the number of people who installed the bits and have been providing feedback. I’ve noticed some recurring questions about the release on my blog and other community channels, so I’d like to answer them here. I hope that you will find this information helpful as you use and evaluate the beta.

What are the supported operating systems for Visual Studio 11 Beta?

The supported operating systems for the Visual Studio 11 Beta products are available in the system requirements section of the respective Visual Studio 11 Beta download pages. Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8 is specifically designed for Metro style app development, and therefore requires Windows 8 Consumer Preview (x86 or x64). Other downloads, like Team Explorer Everywhere 11 Beta, include support for additional operating systems as well. I recommend visiting the Visual Studio 11 Beta download pages for complete details. Again, please note that these are the Beta product specifications. We do not have details available for RTM at this time.

If you’re installing Visual Studio 11 Beta on Windows 8, please note that due to dependent components between Visual Studio and Windows this release, Visual Studio 11 Beta needs to be installed on Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Windows 8 Server Beta, and cannot be run on Windows 8 Developer Preview.

What changes are planned for the Visual Studio 11 user experience post-Beta?

We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received on the Visual Studio 11 Beta user experience. You can find more information on these changes on the Visual Studio team blog. We are reading the comments and taking this feedback very seriously. The beta product is not the final experience and feedback from our community helps us to further evolve the experience to meet the needs of developers.

I’ve noticed that some of my Visual Studio 2010 icons changed after installing Visual Studio 11 Beta side by side. Is there any way to get them back?

Repairing Visual Studio 2010 will restore most Visual Studio 2010 icons back to their original images. The exception is .sln files which will keep their Visual Studio 11 appearance even after a repair.

What investments have you made in performance as part of Visual Studio 11 Beta?

With Visual Studio 11 we have made significant investments in improving the fundamental performance of Visual Studio. Key examples of improvements that have been made include lower Virtual Memory and responsiveness of Solution Load and Debugging. We’ve started posting specific examples and background information about these performance improvements on the Visual Studio team blog.  Making Visual Studio a high performing environment is something the entire team is committed to.  Performance is also something I believe requires a long term and continual investment.  So please do send along your feedback and let us know what you think. 

Why isn’t the installer customizable? Are you going to make it customizable for RTM?

We are currently investigating customization options. To give us more direct feedback, please feel free to weigh in on the User Voice thread on this topic.

What is the Visual Studio 11 roadmap leading up to RTM?

So far, we’ve shipped two pre-releases as part of the Visual Studio 11 product cycle, including Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview and last month’s Visual Studio 11 Beta. We expect to follow the typical milestones that will include Release Candidate (RC), Release to Manufacturing (RTM), and General Availability (GA).  The timing of those milestones will be based on feedback, so please do make sure to install the beta and send yours if you have not already done so.

What are the supported upgrade paths?

This information is available in the “Upgrade paths” section of the Visual Studio 11 Beta “Go Live” webpage.

Can I install Visual Studio 11 Beta in my production environment?

Yes, Visual Studio 11 Beta ships with a “go live” license, which supports use in production. For more information about the “go live” license terms, please visit the Visual Studio 11 product website.

When will I be able to submit my app to the Windows Store?

The Windows Store isn't open yet for general submission. However you can still use Visual Studio 11 Beta to package and test your app locally while you wait for the Store to open for general submissions. I recommend that you watch the Windows Store blog for updates on this topic.

Which of my existing projects can I open in Visual Studio 11 Beta?

You can find the full list of Visual Studio 11 Beta supported project types on MSDN. Projects built using earlier RTM versions of Visual Studio (such as VS 2010, VS 2008, VS 2005) can be opened in Visual Studio 11 Beta. Visual Studio 11 provides multi-targeting support, so that you can continue to target earlier versions of the .NET Framework. Furthermore, we’ve improved the project compatibility support so that once you open your existing Visual Studio project in Visual Studio 11 Beta, you can continue working on it from Visual Studio 2010 SP1. This is a huge time saver for teams collaborating between Visual Studio 11 and Visual Studio 2010 SP1. (Please note that projects built using the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview are not officially supported in Visual Studio 11 Beta, and may require copying over the necessary code files into a new project created in the Visual Studio 11 Beta.)

Can I use the Visual Studio 11 Beta to develop Windows Phone applications?

Visual Studio is designed to provide first class support for developing applications across the Microsoft platforms. However, the product cycles for Visual Studio and respective platforms are not always aligned. Given this, we don’t currently have Windows Phone support built into the Visual Studio 11 Beta. We are working closely with the Windows Phone team to enable this support, and you can find the latest information on this topic on the Windows Phone Developer blog.

Can I use the Visual Studio 11 Beta to develop and deploy Windows Azure applications?

For now, you will need to use Visual Studio 2010 for Azure development, which can be done side-by-side with Visual Studio 11 on the same machine. Detailed steps are available on the Windows Azure portal. Native support for the Azure SDK in Visual Studio 11 is coming in the future.

Stay tuned for.NET Framework 4.5 support in Windows Azure Guest OS families, which is also coming in the future. 

Does Visual Studio 11 Beta include the async/await features from the Async CTP and Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview?

You can use Visual Studio 11 Beta to build apps that use async/await with .NET Framework 4.5. However, you are currently unable to use Visual Studio 11 Beta to build apps that use async/await with .NET Framework 4 or Silverlight 5. You can find more details on this issue, as well as future updates, on the Parallel Extensions team blog.

Where is Blend?

In Visual Studio 11 Beta, Blend is included as part of the installation of Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8, Visual Studio 11 Professional Beta, Visual Studio 11 Premium Beta, and Visual Studio 11 Ultimate Beta.

 

Thanks again for all the great comments.  Please keep the feedback coming!

 

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