Microsoft's Visual Studio 11 lineup adds Windows Phone, Azure tools

Company claims system requirements will be the same as those of Visual Studio 2010 despite performance increases

Microsoft on Friday shared final product lineup and specifications expected for its upcoming Visual Studio 11 IDE, featuring accommodations for the Windows Phone mobile OS and Windows Azure cloud platform.

As part of Visual Studio 11, the company will be releasing a version of Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone. Visual Studio Express products are intended to be easy to use, offering free, platform-specific tooling. "To make sure customers have the latest tools with the latest platform offering, we'll be releasing Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone with the next release of Windows Phone. Similarly, Windows Azure tooling will be available in conjunction with the next Windows Azure update," the Visual Studio team said in a blog post.

[ Microsoft recently made changes to the Visual Studio 11 interface, impacting areas such as coloring and icons. | For more analysis on software development, subscribe to InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. ]

The Visual Studio Team also said system requirements for Visual Studio 11 will be the same as they were for the predecessor Visual Studio 2010 release. "If you are working now with Visual Studio 2010, you can enjoy the new performance improvements in Visual Studio 11 without any additional hardware investment," the team said.

Visual Studio 11 offers such capabilities as support for the Metro-style applications. Metro, which is a highlight of the upcoming Windows 8 OS, offers a look and feel suitable for tablets, smartphones, and PCs.

Microsoft is listing its full Visual Studio 11 product family on its website, featuring Ultimate, Premium, and Professional editions. Visual Studio was released as a beta technology on Feb. 28; a release candidate is planned as well. Microsoft has not said when Visual Studio 11 will be generally available.

In other Visual Studio 11 developments:

  • The platform will feature new JavaScript tooling support, such as more responsive IntelliSense capabilities, said Microsoft vice president Jason Zander in a recent blog post. The JavaScript editor has been rewritten and supports modern third-party libraries. JavaScript has been improved and the JavaScript Console allows programmatic access.
  • Microsoft said LightSwitch, launched last year as a simplified self-service development tool for quickly building business applications, has become part of the Visual Studio 11 core product family.
  • The default target for applications developed with Visual Studio will be .Net Framework 4.5, for managed applications and the VC11 toolset (Visual Studio C++ language tools) for native applications.

This article, "Microsoft's Visual Studio 11 lineup adds Windows Phone, Azure tools," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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