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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  • Thanks so much for listening! Desktop applications are crucial.

    A single SKU containing all the Express products would be pretty useful, as others have suggested. Making it easy to develop any kind of Windows application means more developer loyalty in the long run.

  • Great. I'm eager to get those products downloaded and installed into my computers.

  • Will these changes allow windows drivers to be built as well the express version?

  • This is good news....  now if we can use F# with it, live would be perfect.  If not, I'll use the shell version as in the past.

  • The current version is full of bugs that make it very hard to develop with.

  • I pay for MSDN so while not directly affected I think this is a good sign there are still people with common sense around and shows a continuation of support for normal development.  When you announced there wouldn't be a free version supporting desktop development it made me worry about the future of the platform and a lot of open source tools and programs I use from others.

    Congratulations and thank you for actually listening to people.

    Now, about the Windows 8/2012 start menu being so jarring and coming up right at login without any options...

  • Thank you for listening to the feedback on this, and most importantly, for actually acting on it.

    I know the express versions were fought for tooth and nail internally, and to undo all the good work would have been such a step backwards.

    Now we just need some positive action on the almost universally derided IDE UI changes, and VS2012 will be release that everyone can be proud of.

  • For goodness sake will someone at Microsoft shift the marketing people out of the way and put the engineers back in charge. May be then we'll get the VS 2012 interface right and also get the Start button and Windows key back for Windows 8.

    What happened at Microsoft, why won't you listen first time round ?

    Whoever made the original decision to can VS2012 Express Desktop does not understand where you have come from and what you stood for.

  • Thank you thank you thank you ^^

    Another question though, does this mean the new Express product is a single product capable of creating C++, C# and VB.NET desktop apps as opposed to previous versions where every language got it's own?

    And, will it run in Windows 7?

  • as a hobbyist developer who loves the express range of visual studio products, let me just say THANK YOU!!!

  • Thanks MS. I believe this is a good decision that benefits MS too. Open source projects can target new VS.

  • That's great news! Whether or not three editions are needed is a different question, but the availability of a free Non-Metro Desktop C#/C++ IDE is huge. Thanks for that!

  • Thanks, glad to know you guys listened. I was very disapointed with the previous arrangement, we need a free IDE to work on our open source and hobby projects.

  • Joe said "...this is why Apple is stomping you..."

    Erm, lulwut.

    Dude, geta clue :)

  • Thank you Microsoft for listening to your developers.

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