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 5 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Now, let's get WinXP targeting with the VS11 compiler, and you will have a successful product.

  • Please add F# to the Express SKU.  It is a super language and excluding it from Express will not do anything to help eradicate the perception that it is a beardy, elite, functional only indulgence.  It is relevant to all devs and I would have thought to students too.

  • Just to add, I pay for MSDN.  I don't want F# in Express for me.  Do it for our children!

  • This is stupid, the whole post is structured like it was a good idea based on community feedback, as opposed to them fixing a stupid mistake that the community pointed out.

    The very idea of not supporting desktop apps with express editions initially was truly awful, what about open-source, hobbyists and those first learning? Now, if only they started to listen about the start button and various other gripes.

  • I'm actually not going to be working on any Windows 8 applications anytime soon.

  • ***** - Five stars for the team!!!!

  • But why? Unifying your OS and forking VS? This is simply stupid.

  • Thank you (although this should've been there in the first place!).

    Now bring  back XP targeting support and all will be well.

  • I want MORE CAPS!  Can we get MORE CAPS!  I need MORE CAPS!

  • This is a sensible decision - thank you. (In fact, allowing developers to use C#, VB and C++ in the same version of Visual Studio Express makes this an even better deal.)

  • What would it take to have Visual Studio F# Express?

  • Finally some good and praise worthy news amongst the mess that Windows 8 and VS 2012 is otherwise.

    Kudos for doing this, but please work hard to improve desktop support in Win 8 - as we're all clamouring for that support to be better, and re-intro XP support to VS 2012.

  • Thank you for making the right thing here.

    If you now add back support for Windows XP, which you have lost, VS11 might once again become viable in my shop. Not stellar, but at least viable.

  • What about XP targeting support? Don't get me wrong, this is great news, but VS2012 is unusable for me without being able to target XP (and no, using the VS2010 toolchain is not a solution).

  • Great news!

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