Visual Studio 2012 launch event

Visual Studio 2012

Visual Studio 2012 was officially launched overnight. Most people would have tuned into the virtual launch online, TechEd press were given a special briefing containing both information about what’s new. Also on hand were Xamling the development team that built the SBS On Demand app for Windows 8 and DevExpress who has built javascript and XAML controls for VS.

To start off, this release was most tested pre-release and most downloaded version of Visual Studio ever. We’re starting to see this trend emerge across all Microsoft software that testing is spreading a lot further and faster than pevious versions. While impressive, it’s not clear that all the feedback from users is actually looked at and implemented.

  • One of the biggest changes to Visual Studio 2012 was the interface change which was bound to create some controversy. Moving on from that VS now has some important changes.
  • PowerPoint Prototyping allows non-technical people to design
  • Business User Feedback can be fed from PowerPoint to Visual Studio via TFS
  • Context switch is expensive, often developers are interrupted. Developers can now use a suspend mode to pickup exactly where they left off. Breakpoints etc are pushed up to TFS.
  • Code review from peers before check-in.
  • New testing framework – Supports (MSUnit, Xunit, Nuunit, C++, JavaScript)
  • SCRUM Project Management – provides management with Metro-style UI to see projects – Project overview is touch enabled.

 The development of this release was based on identifying a couple of key trends in the market. The consumerisation of IT (Mobility & Devices, Personal) and Business Agility (Cloud Services, Big Data). Basically as more people utilise their own devices more and expectations grow, visual studio and the apps that are built with it need to accommodate this change.

In terms of workflow efficiencies, non-technical personnel can create mock-ups of what they need built using a PowerPoint, with flow-on tasks and comments being pushed to developers via team foundation server/services. Management can then access the status of projects using a metro-style UI that is touch enabled.


Alex Knight from XAMLing was on-board to discuss the development of the SBS On-Demand app for Windows 8. Amazingly, the app was developed by 2 guys in 2 weeks. As someone with an app in the store, I know the work that goes into it and that’s a very impressive turnaround time.

DevExpress showcased what a lot of people have been asking for, an example of how line of business apps will work using the metro design language. They have created around 80 new controls for VS developers to take advantage of, they are available for both split between JS and XAML.

Check out the gallery below for shots from the launch.


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