A look ahead at the Visual Studio 11 product lineup and platform support

A look ahead at the Visual Studio 11 product lineup and platform support

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Today, we want to share the final product lineup and specifications you can expect to see for the next release of Visual Studio. This also includes system requirements and platform you can develop for with Visual Studio 11.

Product Lineup

In addition to the product line up announced previously we will also be releasing Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone as part the Visual Studio family. Visual Studio 11 Express products are designed to be simple and easy for building modern applications on the latest Microsoft platforms, including Windows 8, Windows Phone, Windows Azure and for the Web. Express products support multiple languages, specific to each platform. For example, the Express edition for Windows 8 allows developers to use C#, Visual Basic, C++ and JavaScript. It also provides best-in-class tools for creating Metro style apps for Windows 8, including tools such as Blend, app profiling, unit testing and more. To see the full product line up, please visit the Visual Studio product website.

If you would like to use a language specific Express edition (C# Express, Visual Basic Express, or C++ Express) without specialized tooling for the latest platforms, you can use the Visual Studio 2010 Express editions, which will continue to be available as free downloads.

A common question that we’ve received since the Visual Studio 11 Beta release is related to tooling support for Windows Phone and Windows Azure. To make sure customers have the latest tools with the latest platform offering we’ll be releasing Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone with the next release of Windows Phone. Similarly, Windows Azure tooling will be available in conjunction with the next Windows Azure update. Until then, you can continue to use Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone to create Windows Phone apps, and Windows Azure SDK for .NET (with Visual Studio 2010) to create Windows Azure cloud services.

Finally, LightSwitch, which launched last year as an out-of-band release, is now officially part of the Visual Studio 11 core product family. LightSwitch features will be available through Visual Studio 11 Professional, Premium, and Ultimate editions. For more information, please visit the LightSwitch team blog.

System Requirements

As you have seen in our earlier series on Visual Studio 11 performance, we’ve made some significant investments in performance this release. We are excited about the feedback we’ve received so far and have been working to make the experience even better for RC. We are happy to announce that Visual Studio 11 hardware requirements will be the same as Visual Studio 2010’s. If you are working now with Visual Studio 2010 you can enjoy the new performance improvements in Visual Studio 11 without any additional hardware investment.

Visual Studio 11 leverages core capabilities that are only present in the latest versions of Windows. For this reason Visual Studio 11 requires Windows 7 or higher to run.

Platform Targeting Support

To help you take advantage of the latest features, the default target for applications created with Visual Studio 11 will be set to .NET Framework 4.5 (for managed apps) and the VC11 toolset (for native apps). Both will allow your apps to run on Windows Vista and higher. However, if your app needs to run on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, you can still use multi-targeting to make sure your application will run on those platforms too.

Managed developers can target your new or existing applications to “.NET Framework 4” or the “.NET Framework 4 Client Profile”, both of which have the ability to run on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. (This will also work for earlier versions of the .NET Framework, such as .NET 2.0, .NET 3.0 and .NET 3.5.) Note that when you update your app to target .NET Framework 4, you can continue using the new Async features by installing the Async Targeting Pack for Visual Studio 11. Tooling innovations such as new designers for desktop applications, enhanced support for HTML5, JavaScript and advanced tools like Page Inspector for web development all work for .NET Framework 4. New tools for quality enablement (such as Exploratory Testing) or team collaboration (such as agile planning, Intellitrace in production or stakeholder feedback) are all available for.NET Framework 4 as well. You can find additional information on managed multi-targeting on MSDN.

C++ developers can also use the multi-targeting capability included in Visual Studio 11 to continue using the compilers and libraries included in Visual Studio 2010 to target Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. Multi-targeting for C++ applications currently requires a side-by-side installation of Visual Studio 2010. Separately, we are evaluating options for C++ that would enable developers to directly target XP without requiring a side-by-side installation of Visual Studio 2010 and intend to deliver this update post-RTM. You can find more information on C++ multi-targeting here.

For details on today’s announcement visit the Visual Studio 11 website.

The Visual Studio Team

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  • Please add 5 and 1 and type the answer here:
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  • $500 entry level?  I paid half that for this 2010 Pro as an upgrade.  How is paying twice as much, less?  Oh, right, I'm not fluent in redmondian.

  • RE:  "Separately, we are evaluating options for C++ that would enable developers to directly target XP without requiring a side-by-side installation of Visual Studio 2010 and intend to deliver this update post-RTM"

    My vote would be to support XP in the VS11 distributable binaries for MFC and MSVCRT.  Then we can build native apps in VS11 using all of the C++ 11 goodies we keep hearing about!  Would love to see this delivered post-RTM - I'm willing to wait...

  • Wait... what? Did I read that the express editions do not support developing non-metro apps? I was looking forward very much to the release of VS11 but this is really a punch in the face. I know Microsoft is pushing metro like crazy but I never expected that you'd leave all desktop hobby developers behind like this. I'm very disappointed with this decision and I really hope it changes before release. :(

  • ...will actually run on Windows Phone. That would be awesome.

  • I'm glad to hear that there WILL be a post-RTM update to allow the VC11 compiler, CRT and MFC to target Windows XP.  Hopefully this post-RTM update will be only a month or two after RTM, since as far as many developers are concerned, it won't be available for their use until after this fix.

  • 'Managed developers can target your new or existing applications to “.NET Framework 4” or the “.NET Framework 4 Client Profile”, both of which have the ability to run on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.'

    So, is this official confirmation that the .NET Framework 4.5 will not run on Windows NT <6.0?

    'Desktop application development

    Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 provides tools for Metro style app development. To create desktop apps, you need to use Visual Studio 11 Professional, or higher. In addition, Visual Studio 2010 Express products - Visual Basic 2010 Express, Visual C++ 2010 Express, and Visual C# 2010 Express - will remain available for free download.'

    Wow. I guess Microsoft is keen to push Metro-style app development, but what a terrible decision. Did this order come from on high?

  • The list prices for 2010 Pro upgrade was $550.  Nothing obligates MS to discount the MSRP of their new version to match the best sale prices of the old one.

  • If MS expects one to pay for it, then yes, it is obligated to make it available for non-monopoly pricing.  Hear, hear!

  • So you've gutted express. That hurts. When has the "stick" approach ever worked? You wouldn't be able to handle the heat if you did it with one of the other 15 editions, so you did it to those who are least likely/able to fight back.

    Express was brilliant. It seemed like the people [inside devdiv] who 'get it' were winning. I bet they were fighting this tooth and nail and all they managed to get was a few links to the old versions. Express is powerful.

    I suppose you look it as a "doubling down" on WinRT. *sigh*

    But hey, you've made a concession for targeting XP. That's a nice sweeter for those who are left, I guess.

    It's pretty disillusioning and disappointing, that's all.

  • So, when corporations either don't buy VS 11 or are angry when they buy it not realizing that "target" means unsupported, what are you planning to do?

    XP has 20% to 40% of all the installed computers (according to Wikipedia). It is just insane to not have .net 4.5 not support that many computers.

  • No XP support is yet more evidence that Microsoft has abandoned the Enteprise developer.

  • @GregM:

    "I'm glad to hear that there WILL be a post-RTM update to allow the VC11 compiler, CRT and MFC to target Windows XP.  Hopefully this post-RTM update will be only a month or two after RTM, since as far as many developers are concerned, it won't be available for their use until after this fix."

    Huh? I only see the promise to allow multi-targeting to VS10 without having to install it. I don't see the promise to modify the compiler, CRT and MFC in VS11 to support XP.

    Microsoft, did I read it wrong? What do you mean by "options for C++ that would enable developers to directly target XP without requiring a side-by-side installation of Visual Studio 2010"? Are you still talking about multi-targeting (seems this way) or are you talking about modifying the compiler to support XP?

  • Very ambigious response with regards to XP targeting. Will a post-RTM update allow us to use the VS11 toolset (i.e. C++11 compiler/libraries, ConcRT, etc.) AND target XP?

    If you are merely making the VS2010 toolset available for VS11 without a side-by-side installation, you clearly have not listened to your customers. What use would that be? Why could we not just use VS2010..?

  • Guess we'll consider upgrading when this "post-RTM" update arrives. But then we might as well also wait and see if those "post-RTM" updates for C++11 support end up being more than just talk. Executive summary: there's nothing for us in VS11 at launch. Post-release? We'll have to wait and see, but your track record is bad. There weren't a lot of features added in VS10 post-release, after all.

    And let's not even get into the problem that your free compiler will no longer be able to make general-purpose applications. I feel sorry for everyone learning to program, who will no longer be able to make all the usual learning programs, which

    don't really require Metro, and which might involve such heinous crimes as background processing (computing digits of pi, or finding prime numbers, or whatever)

    You really know how to surgically remove value from a product, don't you?

  • Regarding VC++11 and XP targeting.

    This is frustrating. Post-RTM, how much later? And notice how they say they are still evaluating these options, it's not a sure thing. This evaluation has lasted for 4 weeks now. The low complexity (it's simple) of making XP targeting available does not justify delaying it for post-RTM.

    I also find it strange how .NET and C#/VB always get mentioned before native development and C++ in Microsoft's blog posts/articles/documentation.

    Now let's look at UserVoice items. All the top items are about C++ if we leave out the UI suggestions. It seems the .NET crowd only cares if the UI is ALL CAPS or not.

    It also seems that these native development conferences (GoingNative etc) are hosted only to give a false impression of C++ being valued at Microsoft.

    I'm going to start looking at the possibility of using MinGW. If it's enough for my needs, I'll never come back to VC++.

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