Visual Studio 2013 Preview
Written by Mike James   
Wednesday, 03 July 2013

One of the many announcements at Build 2013 was the preview of Visual Studio 2013 - ready for you to download and try out.

We already knew some of the details of the next version of Visual Studio but these were mostly related to what has become known as DevOps and lifecycle management - see Visual Studio 2013 Details Revealed.

Most of the remaining new features relate to Windows 8.1 but there is a new version of .NET 4.5.1. It is an in-place update for .NET 4.5. The improvements are mostly to debugging facilities and efficiency. 

You can now view the return values from functions even if these are not used, Edit and Continue for 64-bit .NET and view async operations in the Tasks window. 

The async debugging is also available in JavaScript and C++.

Talking of C++, the new Visual Studio includes more C++11 features including delegating constructors, raw string literals, explicit conversion operators, and variadic templates. It is also easier to navigate between code and header files. 

JavaScript support has also been extended, but again mainly with things like IntelliSense and editor improvements.

Since the news that Expression Blend Studio was being discontinued, Blend has been bundled with Visual Studio as a standalone product and is still available in VS 2013. Both XAML editors have been improved with better IntelliSense and other small changes. It is still odd to have Blend not fully integrated with Visual Studio. There are also some new controls - AppBar, Hub and Flyout which have been listed as part of the 5000 new APIs available in Windows 8.1. 

As you might guess there is closer integration with Azure and creating web services. 

Check out the video that showcases Visual Studio 2013:

 

 

Overall the upgrade to Visual Studio 2013 is underwhelming. However, we shouldn't beat Microsoft up over this too much as the release cycle is faster than before and, let's face it, Visual Studio is a good IDE without any additional features. All of the features that have been added are in the "nice" rather than "essential" category and most relate to building WinRT apps in one form or another. If you are an "old fashioned" Win32/.NET developer then you have to conclude that there is even less in the mix for you and very little guidance as to what to expect in the future. 

 

More Information

Visual Studio 2013 Preview Download 

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Visual Studio 2013 Details Revealed       

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