Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop

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With Visual Studio 2012, we strive to provide the best development experience across all Microsoft platforms. This includes enabling developers to bring to life the richness of Windows desktop applications - whether you are learning to build your first app or whether you’ve been developing on Microsoft platforms for many years.

A few weeks ago, we shared our plans for the Express editions of Visual Studio 2012. As we've worked to deliver the best experience with Visual Studio for our platforms with Windows 8, Windows Phone, and for Web and Windows Azure, we heard from our community that developers want to have for Windows desktop development the same great experience and access to the latest Visual Studio 2012 features at the Express level.

Today, I’m happy to announce that we will add Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop to the Visual Studio 2012 family. This will bring to the Visual Studio Express family significant new capabilities that we’ve made available in Visual Studio 2012 for building great desktop applications.

Adhering to the core principles we’ve set for our Express products, Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop will provide a simple, end-to-end development experience for developing Windows desktop applications targeted to run on all versions of Windows supported by Visual Studio 2012. With this new Express edition, developers will be able to use C++, C#, or Visual Basic to create Windows desktop and console applications.  Developers will also get access to new advances available across the Express family in Visual Studio 2012, such as the latest compilers and programming language tools, integrated unit testing, and the ability for small development teams to collaborate via Team Explorer and TFS Express.

Planned for release in the fall, Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop will provide a great learning environment for students and other new developers getting started.  It will enable a friction-free solution for existing developers to bring their desktop apps forward with the latest toolsets.  And it will enable developers working on open source applications to target existing and previous versions of Windows.

Desktop development has always been a core part of Windows. With Visual Studio 2012, we continue to extend those desktop development capabilities and provide a great development experience for developers building desktop applications.



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  • Please add 8 and 2 and type the answer here:
  • Post

  • Now Windows SDK does not ship a compiler at all, will VC Express ship with a 64bit compiler?

  • The original decision wall utter crap.

    Thankfully you corrected it. Now please give me Blend that will make new projects!

  • This is a relief to a great many from the announcement that vs2012 Express would only support WinRT applications. While WinRT is a great advancement in using C++ for UI code at even a beginner level, and i hope to see something similar for desktop applications in the future, However, developing only WinRT applications leaves the student, hobbyists, and professionals moving from other platforms to windows with the inability to explore what all Windows as a platform truly has to offer to a developer. Thank you for this announcement!

  • @Joe: "Why does there need to be a separate product for Desktop? This is stupid. You need to simplify your products. This is why Apple is stomping you, but, you don't get it. Removing the ability to build desktop applications from Express was stupid to begin with."

    Have you ever -tried- to use Xcode for C++ native development?  Even with the relatively decent clang compiler their IDE is in the stone age.  VS is -leagues- ahead.

  • Thanks for the update. Perhaps you'd like to reply to my other post and confirm you're bringing back:

    1. the command-line build functionality (cl.exe, link.exe, nmake.exe, msbuild.exe ideally). This allows us to use mingw, cmake and similar cross-platform tools effectively.

    2. the same functionality in the Windows SDK as before. This ensures that we have a highly controlled build environment from the command line, not just the fancy GUI. Anybody running a build farm needs to build for multiple windows versions using different SDKs, not different Visual Studio versions.

    Kudos for doing the right thing, disappointing that it took a huge public outcry to reverse what should have been a common-sense decision to maintain and grow the windows ecosystem.

    FWIW Apple has done exactly the same screwups recently, charging for XCode 4.2 in the App Store, and finally seeing sense and allowing installing the GCC/LLVM toolchain to be installed separately.

    Looking forwards to seeing more of these common sense decisions coming up.

  • Can 64-bit binaries be produced with VS2012 Express for Desktop?

    With VC++ 2010 Express, you could install the Win7 SDK to get 64-bit compilers. Now that the SDK doesn't include the compilers, does VS2012 Express for Desktop include the 64-bit compilers by default?

    Or is only available for $$$ (which would be BAD)??


  • Like many above, I too am interested in 64-bit support on Exprss.

  • Wow, I'm so excited! A huge "thank you" to Microsoft for listening to its users and adding desktop development back into Visual Studio Express. I'm looking forward to building .NET desktop applications in Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop.

  • Yeah, I would agree that developers should and always developer window applications. Regardless of the metro user interface. In order to achieve best results with Visual Studio 2012 express or even professional - it's more of a requirement to still have freedom to develop software applications for both metro and desktop.  It's great to alter and introduce a new style, however it's less effective when forced upon - right? If someone forced you to eat a cheese burger but you rather eat a veggie - you'll be less likely to feel happy.  Keep up the development work but truly listen to what consumers and developers really need. Thanks! I'm just keeping Visual Studio 2010 on for now, til I see great positive changes soon before the release of 2012 version. :)~

  • Fantastic!  Thanks.  The VS express tools are a lifesaver for me, C# and .NET are such an easy path to productivity that it would be a shame to cut off access to those of us doing ad-hoc desktop apps for specific niche applications that wouldn't support the cost of buying the full development tools.

  • Download, where, when???

  • Guys, thank you! It would've been truly tragic if you didn't release a Desktop App version.

  • Thank you.

    I was preparing to switch to QT Creator using the MinGW compiler.

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