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

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 8 and 2 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Looks like the previous post with approximately 1,000 negative comments has been completely ignored in favor of posting more unpopular announcements. Linux and Mac OSX are looking more and more attractive every day!

  • So you're not going to offer a better C++11 support for those developers that use the Express Editions? Seems it's time to start looking for a new IDE after all...

  • When my co-worker warned me against the Microsoft stack over the open source stack, he said that MS has too much power over all the technologies I use develop.

    I thought then that he was just being extreme.  MS would never want to harm their customers...

    Well, it looks as if MS thinks they have consolidated enough and now they are going to use their stack monopoly to try to FORCE metro, Win RT and windows 8.

    He seemed crazy at the time, but now I realize I should have listened a bit closer.

    MS, it is not too late to be benevolent instead of tyrannical.  Listen to the cries of your cowering subjects:

    "Add XP support", "restore the UI to its former non-metro glory" and "don't force express developers to only create metro apps".

    Please, choose the path of good before it is too late... Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your public image.

  • Steve Teixeira, please address the questions raised here.

  • Are you listening?  

    The most comments of any post on this blog were posted to the previous post.  Yet there is not even a word about it in this post...

    Please let us know if comments don't matter (and maybe even turn them off) if you are not going to respond to them.

    Also, if you truly plan to leave all XP Developers with "Target" abilities (ie Visual Studio 2010) then you should mark visualstudio.uservoice.com/.../2723735-make-net-4-5-work-on-any-os-that-supports-4-0 as "Status DENIED".

    That way I get my votes back and everyone knows what your plans are.

    Please do this as User Voice needs to work both ways for us to think that it makes even the slightest difference it what you develop.

  • Microsoft, you're trying to cash in money for the ability of writing desktop apps? How are you going to attract new developers to your platform? Newcomers won't be able to learn non-Metro parts of the supported programming languages. Newcomers should also start with GUI-less apps, not Metro apps.

    No one will go along with this nonsense. Windows 8 is destined to fail. In an attempt to save Windows 8 by forcing the developers to write Metro apps, you have also guaranteed that your second main product Visual Studio 11 is destined to fail.

    It's obvious that this mess will result in a big financial disaster for Microsoft. I hope the shareholders will fire the ones who are responsible.

  • I am sorry to say that despite the features in .net 4.5 it is all pointless if it can't run on 25% - 40% of all computers that are in the world (See en.wikipedia.org/.../Usage_share_of_operating_systems for the stats)

    Why do I want to make my app on a system that removes so many potential customers from my user base.

    Not buying VS 11 is a net profit in 2 ways.  By not having to pay to upgrade to VS 11 I save $$$, and I get to keep all those XP Customers (saving lost income).


    Microsoft knows this.  They are willing to accept lost sales for VS 11, angry developers, and fewer apps for .Net 4.5.

    They are willing to accept all this if it gets them just a few more developers that fall into the Win RT pit.

    If you are thinking of jumping on the Win RT band wagon, beware!  Microsoft has a bad habit of pushing new technologies hard and then dumping them with no warning.  (Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Linq To SQL, Silverlight etc).  

  • Microsoft Visual Studio providing more reasons to pirate software everyday. I use a pirated of VS2010 because of poor pricing policy in Australia and 2011 I now suspect will be equally as bad and on top of that the express editions can no longer develop desktop programs only "metro" apps.

  • >>>/apple/


  • Repent, the end is nigh!

  • VS Express 2010 is the last free version for Gadgeteer and .NETMF people?

  • No desktop development makes the Express editions completely worthless.

    And having to chose between XP support *or* new features from C++11 or C#5/.NET 4.5 when half the planet still uses XP means we just won't be able to use the new features, so there's no reason to buy the new version.

    All editions of VS 2010 (including Express) are a better choice.

  • generally, I like the functionality provided by VS11, however, the UI is utterly inefficient to me. I tried several time to find the comment block button, and still couldn't find after 30 mins. what's worse is that all the files/button is marked as single color, which is very hard to discern what's important and what's not!

    please, please make the UI of VS more recognizable!

  • What happened to all of the rah rah about native developers not sitting at the back of the bus any longer?

    It seems like Microsoft is using developers to enforce some sort of a mandatory upgrade path for XP users.

    What I really resent is that this latest attempt at manipulation doesn't seem based upon a technical reason.  Instead it really looks like this is a business decision to force users to upgrade by proxying developers as their "stick".  I've read that several people were able to hack around this nonsense without access to the source code, so I'm pretty sure that Microsoft could provide a version of VS 11 with MFC and a CRT that all "magically" works on XP without requiring cockamamie multi-targeting.

    I find the noncommital tone in "we are evaluating options" offensive and weasel-like.  I can't begin to understand the foolish decision to force the XP issue onto our plate followed by misrepresenting the tradeoffs involved in multi-targeting.  Give us something definitive like what exactly will be in the RTM and when.  Don't play word games with us, it's insulting.  Better yet, release the damn thing without such a ridiculous restriction.

    There are serveral reasons why the proposed workaround of multi-targeting that makes it unfit for consideration:

    AFAIK, multi-targeting is effectively compiling with VS2010 (just like previous versions of multi-targeting).  That means I won't get to use or benefit from any of the C++ compiler improvements in VS11.  So why would any C++ developer pay for such an upgrade?

    I still have to have a whole other copy of VS2010 installed to use it?  Why not just keep my existing copy and not waste money on something that doesn't add any value to my workflow?

    You have a shiny new UI and a bunch of .NET stuff you'd like to sell me?  In case you don't know me, I'm one of those C++ devs that has been writing code for Windows since it was a 16 bit non-preemptive OS.  I'm also the same dev who has been learning and using the C++11 features avidly.  Until recently, I was proud to talk about how compliant the VS compiler has been since VS2010 SP1.  I don't really need a new UI and I don't care about improvements to .NET.  I'm not alone either.

    Who exactly is your target market that you're mentioning C++ too?  It sure isn't going to be the C++ developers like me that are maintaining code that is over a decade old and still in use by many loyal, paying customers - users that also remember your operating systems when it used to be installed via floppies.  Yeah, those customers will totally understand me telling them they need to upgrade their computers to run a new OS just to run my software.  Thanks a lot guys.

    One of the reasons Microsoft is a dominant force because it had a strategy of trying to make developers happy.  It seems like you have forgotten where you came from.

  • I agree completely with tfiner, and couldn't have said it better.  Come on Microsoft!  This is ridiculous.

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