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 2 and 3 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Yeah! Thanks for listening!

  • Great :) you're doing the right thing.

  • So I assume this also means that the Windows SDK will still come with a free  compiler?

    A lot of people rely on that to run their build server, for example.

  • Normality has been restored.

  • What the heck is a "desktop app"?  What's wrong with calling them "programs"?

  • Please do not forget the correspondence to Windows 7, either.

    Can't the back provide a little comparatively cheap? Thank you for your consideration.

    Probably, an after color will be good in the ability to choose now to a slight degree.

  • Good move.

    Though I don't use express, I think this sends the message I want to see.

    Well done.

  • Great news! I hope that it will also be possible to use Nuget from within this version (so far only the Web Developer Express and Windows Phone Express editions seem to allow Nuget usage - plus all version one needs to pay for, of course).

  • This is great news, but was it necessary to make us jump through the hoops ?

  • Thanks !!! Fantastic.

  • Excellent news. I use express versions, at home, for learning purposes and develop open source libraries.

    Keep pushing the .net community :)

  • "Guys, I would like to hear why a few of you are so interested in XP support."

    1. Our customers are still using it.

    2. We need to produce versions that are compatible with the OSes that our customers are using.

    3. We have no muscle to force the users to upgrade.

    "I would strongly suggest that we add pesky messages in all of our apps to remind people what added functionality is available in the newer OS's that cannot be offered in XP.  That way, we will keep pressing our users to where we ultimately need them to be, but doing so with a nudge, instead of a hammer over their heads."

    If you're targeting corporations, then the users often aren't the ones making the software purchasing decisions.  Annoying them with "upgrade your os" messages won't do anything but annoy them.

  • clueless

  • @Chief Scientist: Trust me, if it were up to me, I would ditch XP in a heartbeat. But I can't since XP is still so widely used (between 20% - 40% according to various sources, for our app it's about 25%).

    Yes, we could drop XP even now, but we'd just lose money. People will just switch to some other application that does more or less the same thing.

  • Haha... why's that? Cold feet about Metro? :p

    A welcome insight and change, of course.

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