Build 2013 and Visual Studio 2013 Preview

I fundamentally believe that there has never been a better time to be a software developer.  In our emerging world where every company is a software company, developers have the awesome role and responsibility of driving forward all kinds of innovation across many different industries.  Whether building apps for enterprises or consumers, whether harnessing the mobility and intimacy afforded by devices or the scale and economy enabled by the cloud, whether pursuing the art of development as a hobby or as a profession, and whether new to the game or a seasoned veteran, developers everywhere have the potential to build creative and compelling solutions that delight and transform the world.  We at Microsoft strive to ensure developers have the tools they need to thrive while doing so.

In that context, we have our Build 2013 developer conference this week in San Francisco, where approximately 5000 developers have gathered in person (with many thousands more watching virtually) from around the world to discuss the next generation of software development with platforms and tools from Microsoft.  These developers have built, are building, and will build amazing and innovative experiences for Windows, from the client to the cloud, doing so productively using the latest suite of development tools and services available in Visual Studio.

I’m excited to share several announcements we’re making today.

Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 Now Available

We launched Visual Studio 2012 in September 2012, and at that time we promised we’d provide more frequent updates to Visual Studio than we had in the past.  Since then, in November we released Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 (VS2012.1), and in April we released Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 (VS2012.2).  Both of these cumulative updates contained significant new features sets, spanning areas such as Windows desktop development, Windows Store development, line-of-business app development, SharePoint development, agile planning and teams, quality enablement, and more.

I’m happy today to announce that this morning we released the third update for Visual Studio 2012: Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 (VS2012.3).  VS2012.3 is an incrementally smaller update than its two predecessors: it includes a few new capabilities, but is focused primarily on bug fixes.  You can find a detailed list of included fixes in the associated Support article.  If you’ve already installed VS2012.2, this update will install on top of it, and if you haven’t, this update includes all of the features from VS2012.1 and VS2012.2, so you can install it on top of either of those or on the RTM release and still get all of the value from those previous updates.  Note that it’s important to install this update if you need to be able to "round-trip" projects between Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013, or if you want to run Visual Studio 2012 on the Windows 8.1 Preview.

Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET 4.5.1 Preview Now Available

At TechEd North America 2013 a few weeks ago, we announced the next version of Visual Studio, and shared some of the progress we’ve made with Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server/Service in enabling the modern application lifecycle and DevOps.  We highlighted a few of the many new capabilities in the release, such as support for agile portfolio management, cloud-based load testing, a team room integrated with TFS, code comments integration with TFS, and Git support.

Continuing on that journey, today at Build 2013 we’re unveiling some of the significant advances we’ve made around building stunning apps for Windows.  And in that light, along with Windows 8.1 Preview being released, I’m excited to announce that Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET 4.5.1 Preview are now available for download, and as “go-live” releases.

Some of the improvements Visual Studio 2013 contains expand on capabilities introduced in the three Visual Studio Updates we’ve released since Visual Studio 2012 was launched, while many of them are brand new experiences designed with modern, connected, robust, and high-performance applications as a focal point.  While we’ll be exploring many of these improvements this week at Build, I want to highlight a smattering of the capabilities about which I’m personally excited.


Along with Visual Studio 2013, today we’re announcing .NET 4.5.1.  .NET 4.5.1 is a highly-compatible, in-place update for .NET 4.5 that ships as part of Windows 8.1. The .NET 4.5.1 Preview installs as part of Visual Studio 2013 Preview, is included in all installations of Windows 8.1 Preview, and is also available for separate installation into Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and the corresponding Windows Server releases.

Much of our work in this release of .NET is on improving the debugging and general diagnostics experience for developers.  As just one example, .NET developers have been asking for a feature that’s been available to C++ developers for a while: viewing method return values in the debugger, even if those values are never stored into any declared variable.  With .NET 4.5.1 and Visual Studio 2013, this capability is now built-in.  This is particularly useful when you write method invocations inline as parameters to other invocations:

As a more impactful example, one of the long-standing requests we’ve had from developers (who have provided thousands of requests on UserVoice) is to enable “Edit and Continue” for 64-bit; with .NET 4.5.1, this is now available, enabling you to change your running .NET code (whether in a 32-bit or 64-bit process) while stopped at a breakpoint in the debugger, without having to stop and restart the process and with it the debugging experience.

With all of the work we did for C# and Visual Basic in .NET 4.5 and Visual Studio 2012 to enable more productive asynchronous programming, I’m particularly excited about improvements we’ve made in this release to support async debugging (you need to be using Visual Studio 2013 on Windows 8.1 to get this capability, as the debugger relies in part on some new operating system support to enable it).  Previously, it could be very difficult for a developer stopped at a breakpoint to know the asynchronous sequence of calls that brought them to the current location.  Now in Visual Studio 2013, the Call Stack window surfaces this information, factoring in new diagnostics information provided by the runtime.  Further, when an application stops making visible forward progress, it’s often difficult to diagnose and to understand what asynchronous operations are currently in flight such that their lack of completion might be causing the app to hang.  In Visual Studio 2013, the Tasks window (formerly called Parallel Tasks in Visual Studio 2010 and Visual Studio 2012) now includes details on these async operations so that you can break into your app in the debugger and easily see and navigate to everything that’s in flight.

For those of you who develop with JavaScript or C++ and who are eyeing this jealously, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve enabled similar async debugging experiences for both languages!

Beyond diagnostics support, .NET 4.5.1 includes performance improvements, such as support for on-demand compaction of the GC’s large object heap, and faster startup of apps when running on multicore machines.  It also includes support that will enable us to be more agile in how we deliver core capabilities for the .NET development experience in the future.

For more information, I'd recommend starting with Habib Heydarian’s Build talk “What's new in .NET Development”.  Build 2013 sessions will be available for viewing from Channel 9 within a day or so of the session.


One of the biggest requests we’ve had from C++ developers is for more C++11 standard support.  We initially released a CTP of such capabilities in November, and I’m happy to say that those capabilities are now included in Visual Studio 2013 (this is also an area in which we plan to continue investing beyond this release).  This includes C++11 features like delegating constructors, raw string literals, explicit conversion operators, and variadic templates:

This is only one of multiple improvements specific to C++ developers in Visual Studio 2013 (many of the improvements discussed throughout this blog post apply regardless of language).  For example, .NET developers have benefited from the debugger’s “Just My Code” feature for several releases; now in Visual Studio 2013, C++ developers have the option of “Just My Code” support as well, such that the debugger will hide information not relevant to the developer’s code (e.g. in the call stacks window, hiding frames in methods from the CRT), making it easier for the developers to focus in on areas that are most relevant to their debugging needs:

(Left: Without "Just My Code".  Right: With "Just My Code")

The Visual Studio editor includes several improvements specifically for C++, such as support for easily navigating back and forth between code files and their associated header files, and much improved capabilities around the formatting of C++ code:

Other improvements for C++ in Visual Studio 2013 include performance improvements to C++ AMP and the C++ auto-vectorizer; the C++ REST SDK, which is both included in Visual Studio 2013 and available as an open source project on CodePlex; debugging improvements, including mixed-mode debugging between JavaScript and C++ as well as the async debugging support I previously mentioned; improvements around Profile Guided Optimization; and more.

For more information, I'd recommend Tarek Madkour’s Build talk “What’s New in Visual Studio 2013 for C++ Developers”.  And if you’re interested in where things are headed, see Herb Sutter’s Build talk “The Future of C++”.


Whether using .NET or C++, we’ve improved the development experience for using XAML in Windows Store apps. In addition to some significant performance improvements for the XAML designers in Visual Studio and Blend, we’ve made many improvements to the XAML editor experiences in Visual Studio, including IntelliSense for data binding and resources, “Go To Definition” support for navigating styles, and code snippets. The design experience in Blend now sports guides that allow you to achieve pixel-perfect layouts, and Blend’s improved style editing experience allows you to edit styles and templates in the context of their usages. We’ve also have added design-time experiences for all of the new Windows 8.1 XAML controls like AppBar, Hub, and Flyout, and we’ve updated the Device panel to support authoring for the new view states.

As someone who really values snappy and responsive apps on my devices, one of my favorite new capabilities related to XAML is the XAML UI Responsiveness tool.  In VS2012.2, we introduced the HTML UI Responsiveness tool, focused on profiling the responsiveness of Windows Store apps implemented with HTML and JavaScript; now with Visual Studio 2013, the new XAML UI Responsiveness tool provides similar support for Windows Store apps implemented with XAML, so you can easily track down and fix glitches, freezes, and other performance anomalies in your modern UIs:

And for improved quality of your Windows Store apps, Visual Studio 2013 now also supports coded UI testing with XAML:

For more information about such improvements, the following Build talks should be helpful:

JavaScript and HTML

As with Visual Studio 2012, a lot of effort has gone into support for HTML and JavaScript in this release, in particular around building Windows Store apps (I’ll look at some developer tooling improvements we’ve made for web apps and sites in a subsequent post).  I’ve already mentioned some capabilities, such as the much improved support for async debugging of JavaScript, but the improvements go well beyond that.

To start, the core Visual Studio experienced around JavaScript has been enhanced.  For example, “Go to Definition” now supports navigating namespaces, IntelliSense includes notes about deprecated APIs, and the editor both supports identifier highlighting and includes a navigation bar that makes it easy to quickly jump around in the source.

We’ve also made notable improvements to the DOM Explorer and the JavaScript Console.  For example, the DOM Explorer now supports IntelliSense, search, direct editing, and inline styles, while the JavaScript Console has been augmented to support IntelliSense, object preview and visualization, and multiline function support.

Blend for HTML has also been enhanced this release.  For example, in addition to updates referenced previously when discussing XAML (e.g. rulers and guides for better laying out content), Blend now includes a timeline for animating changes to CSS:

We’ve also made big improvements around diagnostics for Windows Store apps, including but not limited to those implemented with HTML and JavaScript.

For more information on building Windows Store apps with HTML and JavaScript, the following Build talks should be helpful:


I’ve already mentioned multiple improvements to the diagnostics capabilities of Visual Studio, such as support for async debugging, the new XAML UI Responsiveness tool, 64-bit “Edit and Continue”, and “Just My Code” for C++.  Visual Studio 2013 also now sports a brand new Performance and Diagnostics hub, which makes it easy to find performance and diagnostics tools in one convenient location.

A new tool available from the hub is the Energy Consumption tool.  Battery life is of primary importance to device users, and just as resource consumption of an app in the cloud has an impact of the cost of running that application, so too does the resource consumption of an app on a device have an impact on the battery life of that device.  To assist with this, Visual Studio 2013 includes a new Energy Consumption profiler, which enables developers to estimate how much power their app will cause the device to consume, and why, e.g. a particular region of code utilizing more CPU time than was expected, or a particular pattern of network calls resulting in the device’s radio needing to turn on more frequently than was expected.

Another area of investment has been around managed memory analysis.  Often, developers have an application running in production, and they want to understand what .NET objects exist in the process; this is particularly important when trying to track down a possible memory leak.  Visual Studio 2013 now includes support for analyzing managed heaps, such that a .dmp file can be loaded into Visual Studio, enabling the developer to “Debug Managed Memory”:

The developer is then able to explore the .NET objects in the process, and even compare two different dumps of the same app:

For more information, I suggest the following Build talks:

Connected IDE and Connected Apps

In the past, I’ve talked on this blog about connected apps, with native front-ends that connect up to back-end services in the cloud.  Visual Studio 2013 is one such application, a connected IDE that, for example, knows your identity and will roam/synchronize your settings (e.g. UI theme, keyboard shortcuts, text editor configuration, etc.) from one installation to another via backend cloud services.

Visual Studio 2013 also makes it much easier for you as a developer to create your own connected applications. One key area of investment in this release is around Windows Azure Mobile Services and making it easy to provision, configure, develop, and deliver back-end services for your mobile apps.  From within Visual Studio, you can now easily create new Mobile Services and edit them using the full power of the Visual Studio IDE:

 For more information, I'd suggest starting with the following Build talks:

Developer Experience

We’re continually examining how developers work and what improvements we could make to the core developer experience in the Visual Studio IDE to improve productivity.  Visual Studio 2013 includes several such enhancements.

One such feature is the CodeLens (Code Information Indicators) capability we introduced at TechEd.  This feature brings useful information about types and type members directly into the editor, information such as the references to a particular method, how many tests are referencing a method and how many of them are passing, who last checked in a change that modified a method, and how many changesets impact a method.

Another such feature meant to streamline a developer’s productivity is “Peek Definition.”  Visual Studio already supports “Go To Definition,” which opens a new document window to host the file containing the definition for the referenced symbol, and as of Visual Studio 2012 supports opening this in a “preview” window.  Now in Visual Studio 2013, Peek Definition gives developers the option of viewing inline as part of the current document the file defining the target symbol.

As another example, based on one of the Productivity Power Tools we previously released, the scrollbar for the editor has also been enhanced to show information at a glance about where edits in the file are currently pending, where the last save to the file made changes, where breakpoints are defined, where bookmarks are set, and the like.

I'd recommend Cathy Sullivan’s Build talk “What’s New in the Visual Studio 2013 IDE” for more information about such improvements.

Start Exploring

Beyond the new Visual Studio 2013 application lifecycle management capabilities outlined at TechEd a few weeks back, this post only scratches the surface of what’s new in Visual Studio 2013 Preview.  From new Windows Store app templates, to Python support in Visual Studio, to F# support for portable libraries, to enhancements to ASP.NET (such as the new “One ASP.NET” unified experience), to the latest Office Developer Tools, to significant performance improvements across the IDE… there is a lot more to explore.  And there are many great Build 2013 sessions to help you do so.

You can download the Visual Studio 2013 Preview today, start learning about what it has to offer, and provide feedback to the team about the direction we’re heading and the experiences enabled.  I'd also suggest following the developer tools blogs at for more details about these releases.


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Comments (79)

  1. Tristan says:

    Disappoint. I suggest to call it VS 2012.4

  2. Jon says:

    Download links for the Update 3 Web installer are broken

  3. blaz says:

    I may have misunderstood, but does the VC2013 compiler shipped today really have the exact same C++11 support as your Nov 2012 CTP nine months ago? Really?

  4. Alastair says:

    I was hoping for more C++11 support than what was available in the November CTP.

    "this is also an area in which we plan to continue investing beyond this release"

    This is exactly what was said last year by Herb Sutter about VS 2012.

    Being a C++ developer tied to Visual Studio is getting increasingly frustrating especially when we compare C++11 support against Clang and GCC.  I guess we need to look forward to VS2014 or VS2015 before we get similar standard support.

  5. Eric Battalio says:

    @blaz, @Alastair, the "What's New for Visual C++ in Visual Studio 2013 Preview" is not yet live, but it lists the following C++ 11 features: default template arguments for function templates, delegating constructors. explicit conversion operators, initializer lists and uniform initialization., raw string literals, and variadic templates. It also includes rvalue/lvalue ref casts.

    See…/visual-studio-2013-preview-now-available.aspx for links to the MSDN topics. They go live soon!


  6. Kat says:

    Yay, another "Highly compatible" framework update that will mean we have to test ~50 web applications before we can update the production servers.

    What is wrong with new standalone versions instead of this incremental rubbish?

  7. Herb Sutter says:

    This post was a summary, and only of today's Preview build. As mentioned in the post, I have a talk on Friday that's all about VC++ and the ISO standard. It'll be webcast live, or available later on demand.

  8. Joe says:

    Can you restore the icons from visual studio 2010? Even with the color add on, I find the Visual Studio 2012 UI to be hideous.

  9. Jonas says:

    Funny, I'm actually surprised at how much VS 2013 introduces. Async debugging is of course big, C++11 as well, and much improved DOM code assistance like IntelliSense. They're all impactful improvements for various programming languages.

  10. LS says:

    @ Kat – I'm with you.  After they went through the horror that was overlaying 4.0 with 4.5, it looks like MS decided to thumb their collective noses at developers AGAIN with an in-place upgrade.

    For our projects, we backed them down to 3.5 code to avoid all of the "is 4.0 or 4.5 installed?" issues.  Now that they are doing another in-place update, there is a very good chance that our shop will look at 3.5 as the ending point of MS dev.

    The problem now becomes not how we deal with VS and overlaid frameworks, but one of which platforms do we target in the future and MS is looking less and less likely with every release.

  11. Eric says:

    MS gave its user community the middle finger earlier this week by refusing to consider bringing back a heavily used feature that was removed in VS 2012 (…/3041773-bring-back-the-basic-setup-and-deployment-project-).  Now I'm supposed to get excited about new features in VS 2013?  Sorry, but I'm done with Visual Studio.

  12. @LS and @Kat – Thanks for sharing your concerns.

    Please take a look at our 4.5.1 announcement post (…/announcing-the-net-framework-4-5-1-preview.aspx). It talks about how we’re looking at .NET Framework updates going forward. We’d appreciate your feedback on it. In fact, your scenario is one of the ones that we have in mind.

    We’ve put a lot of effort into ensuring that the .NET Framework 4.5.1 is a highly compatible release. We’ve tested it with a lot of workloads, including with external companies. Where we received reports of issues with the .NET Framework 4.5, we broadly distributed fixes quickly.

    I assume that you are making reference to .NET Framework deployment as it relates to client apps. You can always redistribute the .NET Framework version that you depend on. Many developers do that. If you do that, then you’ll know that you have the right .NET version. As a fall-back, we always include the .NET version that you need in your app.config file. In the case that this version isn’t on the machine, we’ll ask the user to install that particular version. That’s a last resort, but ensures that there is a good end-to-end experience for .NET apps on customer machines.

    Also, if you feel that there is some guidance missing that would help your company adopt 4.5 or 4.5.1, we’d like to know about that. You can contact us @

    Thanks — Rich Lander [MSFT]

  13. BlueRaja says:

    I can't tell from the pictures – have the godawful monochrome icons from VS 2012 been fixed yet?

  14. LS says:

    @ Rich – 4.5.1 is not just enhancements, there are bug fixes.  We can't control which versions of the runtime that our customers have installed.  It is the EXACT same scenario that we went through with 4.0/4.5.  There are many hundreds of posts on uservoice about this and thousands of votes.

    You have once again put developers in an untenable position.

    If you don't mind sharing, what was the thought process in making 4.5.1 overlay 4.5 after the very angry responses from developers over the exact same situation with 4.0/4.5?  The reason I ask is that, as an outsider (i.e., one who does not work for MS), it sure looks like MS likes treating developers like a red headed step children and it is cool to abuse them.

  15. SB says:

    "this [C++ features & support] is also an area in which we plan to continue investing beyond this release"

    Nope. You people said that about 2012 and it turned out to be untrue. I don't see why we should believe you this time. In fact, I'll say it plainly: I don't believe you.

    It's difficult to justify the need for Microsoft developer tools when it's clear that developers are no longer important to Microsoft. There are alternatives with far better language support.

  16. sanne says:

    this is the end of micro$oft

  17. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan says:

    As usual, not a single problem I have has been fixed or improved by a new version of Visual Studio. You want to help real world developers? Quit "dead ending" platforms. Unmanaged VB6 should have worked in Windows Forms to ASP or WPF should have been a one button click issue. (Yes, the models are different. No ***** Sherlock). Forms of automated migration were still possible. How about making Winform hosting in WPF actually *work*? And whither Silverlight?  Or WPF? No. I know they're not "going away" but if they're not actively supported by Microsoft, they might as well do so.

    Does it occur to anybody at Microsoft that developers invest a lot of money, time and sweat into these technologies, and that "Recode" is the WRONG ANSWER?

    Given the fact that whatever Microsoft is coming up with this year will probably disappear one day, tell me again what would motivate me to invest one more second in a Microsoft technology, as opposed to say…Java?

  18. Stephen says:

    >> we’ve made many improvements to the XAML editor experiences in Visual Studio

    Does this mean that WPF will get these improvements?  I know WPF is no longer "blessed" but there is no way that a store app even can get close to meeting the needs of a normal enterprise.

  19. Alex says:

    where is full c++11 support?????? buy clang!!!

  20. MFH says:

    Wait a moment! When you released VS2012 you said that there will be an update with more C++11 standard conformance! Now you're telling us, that we have to buy VS2013 to get that features?!

    Thanks MS for believing in the "C++ renaissance"…

    The sooner Clang gets ported to Windows the better…

  21. Joe G says:

    "This includes C++11 features like delegating constructors, raw string literals, explicit conversion operators, and variadic templates"

    But still not feature complete C++11 support. So still *years* behind gcc and clang.

    And you're boasting about that?

  22. Is there going to be proper upgrade pricing or will it be the case as it was with 2010 in that you had to purchase the full product AGAIN. If that's the case I will do what I have done with 2012 and pirate it. If Microsoft are happy to commit daylight robbery I am happy to pirate again. It would also be pleasant if the UI blended properly with the windows 7 interface not look like a badly fitted window like it does now.

  23. Alan says:

    Is VS 2013 a free update to VS 2012 or does Microsoft really expect us to pay another $700+ for full C++11 support?!

  24. SB says:

    @Alan, "Is VS 2013 a free update to VS 2012 or does Microsoft really expect us to pay another $700+ for full C++11 support?!"

    What do you think?

    Meanwhile, std::thread is still BROKEN even after three updates to 2012. It still leaks. Still broken. I haven't looked yet but I'm assuming std::atomic is also still BROKEN and still generating the wrong code for an atomic load on x86.

    Apparently if we want a c++ library that's less broken we need to buy 2013 less than a year after we bought and installed 2012.

    And the kicker? 2013 is hardly "full" support for the C++ language spec. It's more support than the still brand new 2012, but not full.

    This is shameful behavior, Microsoft. It is indefensible.

  25. "We also plan to ship ISO images for the RTM version of future Visual Studio updates, in addition to the existing distribution mechanism we already provide. We hope you will enjoy this additional option for downloading Visual Studio Updates."…/announcing-availability-of-isos-for-visual-studio-updates.aspx

    Okay… so where's the ISO image for Update 3?

  26. Marcel says:

    Is there anything planned around updating the code review tooling? As a former MSFT employee, I really miss CodeFlow. The current code review tools are disappointing as they do not support iterations on the review itself. Having all CodeFlow functionality in Visual Studio would make the higher SKUs worth their price, IMO.

  27. mike says:

    VS 2013 = VS 2010 sp2 with lots of crap

  28. Qualification Needed (I fixed it for you) says:

    …never been a better time to be [an Apple] software developer.

    There.  Now it follows.

  29. Edwin Yip says:

    Like the DOM explorer. If mainly for writing web front, may I suggest my LIVEditor? It's mainly a combination of a lightweight code editor (with html/css intelliSense), a Webkit-based browser and a html inspector (find and go to applied css styles). Website:

  30. Arash16 says:

    Async Debugging features and Peek Definition are Awesome.

  31. So after all the promises about upcoming C++11 compliance in 2012 updates, you will force us to pay AGAIN for Visual Studio less than one year after 2012 release?!

    How could we believe in your C++ renaissance broken promisse now?

    Before .NET existed, adding C++ extensions for COM support was more important than standards compliance, then came .NET and Managed C++/C++ CLI were more important than standards compliance, out comes WinRT and guess what C++/CX is more important than standards compliance!!!

    How can we put money into this company products if open source compilers, community driven mostly, are able to achieve standards compliance way better than whatever Microsoft's Marketing department decides to support.

    At least have the decency of offering VS 2013 updates for free to all that believed in you and bought VS 2012.

  32. Arnstein says:

    @Gigaplex, please read "Install instructions" on this page for information on how to obtain the ISO image for VS2012.3:…/details.aspx

  33. Mop says:

    Would be useful to host images somewhere other than SkyDrive (which I think is what corresponds to). Lots of corporate environments block such file sharing resources.

  34. h7o says:

    …"From new Windows Store app templates, to Python support in Visual Studio"

    Hey, when you are saying: Python Support in Visual Studio, do you mean PTVS 2.0 (which is in beta now)? Or do you mean that Python is now fully Integrated in Visual Studio without needing to install extra stuff. Or what do you mean? I am very interested in that!

  35. ThomasX says:

    > In our emerging world where every company is a software company, developers have the awesome role and

    > responsibility of driving forward all kinds of innovation across many different industries.

    Let's all drive forward by bringing back setup and deployment projects!

  36. Ish says:

    @Moondevil. Completely agree. Maybe MS will surprise us and announce a free upgrade to all those people who bought vs2012. Don't wish to sound negative, I love Windows 8 and Windows Phone but I worry MS are going to just get lots of very negative comments about vs2013 (especially from the C++ devs) unless they clear up pricing issues.

  37. Tom says:

    +1 for Stephen 26 Jun 2013 2:56 PM

    It's really needed that XAML improvements are ported to WPF also.

  38. Alex says:

    Is there any improvement for WPF in here?

  39. LCoder says:

    Joe +1

  40. smortaz says:

    @ho7 re Python in VS2013

    That is correct, the Python support is referring to PTVS (  Starting with 2013, PTVS will have a download template in VS where you can directly install PTVS and a Python interpreter of your choice with "two" clicks.  Whether PTVS will ever be physically in the box, that's TBD.  We have to weigh that against being a rapid-release OSS product…  we'll see & look fwd to customers' input.

    PS installation is pretty quick: see this video –

  41. Jon says:

    Have you replaced the awful monochrome icons and the all-caps menus yet? Features are great, but if the UI sucks no one will want to use it.

  42. Alan says:

    hmmm… still no answer to our question… do we have to pay another $700+ to get more C++11 support? clang/gcc here we come !

  43. Stephan T. Lavavej MSFT says:

    (I'm Microsoft's maintainer of the STL.)

    SB> std::thread is still BROKEN even after three updates to 2012. It still leaks.

    That's actually a spuriously-reported memory leak, not a physically-unbounded one. The problem was that constructing a std::thread needs to initialize an internal mutex, but only one for the lifetime of the CRT/STL. This initialization allocated memory, but didn't mark it as a CRT-internal block, causing it to be reported by the leak-detecting machinery. In VS 2013, we've fixed this, and we've added cleanup code to deallocate this memory at CRT/STL shutdown (this is irrelevant to the vast majority of programs which load/unload the CRT/STL exactly once, but it's still the right thing to do).

    SB> I haven't looked yet but I'm assuming std::atomic is also still BROKEN and still generating the wrong code for an atomic load on x86.

    In VS 2013, we've overhauled <atomic> to generate optimal code on x86/x64/ARM. (Previously it generated correct but highly inefficient code.)

  44. oneonce says:

    if I use C++ with VS whether has the function of UI Layout like Qt ?

  45. oneonce says:

    Use the Qt development process is much faster than just using VS

  46. Greg says:

    Best time to be a developer you have to be kidding, that thought died with VS 6.0. Microsoft is non-player in all modern "used" technology and offers zero compatibility. Visual Studio is about as effective as assembler with more bugs. Open you eyes.  Nothing speaks of productivity like waiting for a dev tool to start crash and start again. The advantage is we can catch up with all of our friends on facebook while waiting for Visual Studio to recover from a crash.

  47. SB says:

    Forgive my frustration, Stephan. But you have to understand, 2012 still smells like a new car. There are still bits of shrinkwrap here and there. And it's frustrating to see that even something like the std::atomic fix — which amounts to 2 or 3 very short lines — goes into the new-new product but not the new product.

    I physically cringed when I heard Ballmer going on about "rapid release cycles" during the keynote. Surely that can't apply to developer tools? Some of us can't get away with using the free version of VC. But even if we could, surely it's understood that adopting a new product annually is disruptive. It's certainly not cost effective.

    Decisions that should be made by developers, for developers are instead being made by marketing, for consumers. That's a terrible state of affairs. Someone at MS probably thinks this ia a great way to sell more copies of Visual Studio. But realistically, anyone who isn't strongly tied to Windows as a platform will be evaluating whether it might be time to exercise other options. And I think it's safe to say that C++ developers are the group most likely to have alternatives, given the wide spread of the kinds of work we do.

  48. h7o says:


    Thank you for the clarifications and the video link. It looks really good! 🙂

  49. RichardS says:

    I hope you fixed the icons. The 2012 changes to the monocrome were so ugly I can only assume they were created by the idiots who thought Windows 8 without a start button with that useless interface was what everyone wanted.

  50. Lino Barreca says:

    I skipped VS2012 because the UI was ugly.

    I'll skip VS2013 as well for the exact same reason.

    UI sucks, even with the updates and themes.

    I don't care if the debugging is slightly better and makes my life a bit easier if, at the end of the day, I had to deal with that washed colours user interface. I already have to stay 10 hours a day in a sad office, seeing 4 grey walls, I won't use a tool with those sad colours too. I'm not a robot. I simply can't deal with it. (maybe that's why I have some flower plants on my desk..but this is not relevant)

    I'll stick with vs2010 as long as my apps can run on newer platforms.

    My mood has definitely an higher priority than your crappy washed colours user interface.

  51. Lino Barreca says:

    BTW: I'm not an Apple fan.

    I don't need glossy user interface with reflections and shiny colours.

    But I find that using a 16 colours palette for all the environment/icons is just stupid.

    (at least you should provide a way to bring vs2010 icons back without resources hacking)

  52. joao correia says:

    this is all fine and dandy, BUT, are the interface icons still fugly? Is the UI still angry with the developer and COMPLAINS IN ALL CAPS ABOUT IT? HOW ANNOYING IS THAT? VERY MUCH!

    Please don't hide nice features under bad UI. It makes you look silly, like inventing an eco-friendly fuel and then announcing it while wearing a tinfoil hat.

  53. nutcat says:

    I use a Touch screen laptop w/win8 (lenovo yoga) why in the world doesn't the vs ide allow swipe scrolling while editing? I thought you were moving forward?

  54. Gunnar says:

    I miss VS2008. You removed the lipstick, now all is left is the pig.

  55. Stephan T. Lavavej MSFT says:

    SB> And it's frustrating to see that even something like the std::atomic fix — which amounts to 2 or 3 very short lines

    Actually, it was a massive overhaul. Diff 2012's xatomic.h against 2013 Preview's and you'll see. (This is the internal header which implements <atomic>.)

    > goes into the new-new product but not the new product.

    I just published a VCBlog post about this. Please see the FAQ at the end of…/c-11-14-stl-features-fixes-and-breaking-changes-in-vs-2013.aspx , specifically questions 4 and 5.

    > Surely that can't apply to developer tools?

    Actually, GCC follows a yearly release cycle (for X.Y.0, equivalent to a VC major version). Clang releases roughly twice a year.

  56. @STL

    > Actually, GCC follows a yearly release cycle (for X.Y.0, equivalent to a VC major version). Clang releases roughly twice a year.

    They don't cost between $700 and $13,299.00 per release!

  57. Bill Huggett says:

    I am a retired engineer but have followed Visual Studio over the years especially MFC. I trust this will be still ongoing in the new edition – also I would hope that Microsoft can provide special pricing for MFC to be included with the express edition of C++ (or even provide it F.O.C.

    Thank You for a great compiler

  58. simon says:

    can we please get the current editing filename in the titlebar!

  59. geo says:

    I wonder if they decided to fix the crappy monochrome interface.  also, better templates for creating sharepoint workflows would be great.

  60. geo says:

    @   nutcat  

    " I use a Touch screen laptop w/win8 (lenovo yoga) why in the world doesn't the vs ide allow swipe scrolling while editing? I thought you were moving forward?  "

    Probably the same reason they decided to enable touch scroll on every office 2010/2013 app EXCEPT InfoPath.  The one office app I really wanted touch scrolling, and they didn't enable it.  ugh.  

  61. I am so disappointed in the latest releases. When I tried to install the VS2013Express on my PC it said that the version of windows was too low. It is Windows 7 with every upgrade known to man. What version of windows is VS2013 meant to be installed on?

  62. Great stuff – but honestly, at some point, the concept of continuity also needs to be addressed:

    • Giveth, takeath: Setup and Deployment is only through ISLE in VS2012. Big deal for developers…so instead of spending time on the "next", some of us still have to deal with the changes to the "now".  Not everyone starts with *new* development projects – developers maintain existing ones too.  

    Please visit UserVoice:…/3041773-bring-back-the-basic-setup-and-deployment-project-

    • HTML and Javascript: Where is TypeScript? Does it fit into VS2013 cycle as "part" of the IDE or will it remain a separate/plug-in? What is the overall view on this great tool?

    Thanks for sharing!

  63. Take mercy on the English language … please stop using the words 'impact' and 'impactful' in technical articles. Replace them with something concise and articulate.

  64. Somasegar says:

    @JimmyT: Sorry to hear you’re having troubles with installation.  Did you try to install Express 2013 Preview for Windows, or Express 2013 Preview for Windows Desktop?  The latter should install fine onto Windows 7 SP1, while the former is focused on Windows Store apps and requires Windows 8.1.  If you’re trying to use Express 2013 Preview for Windows Desktop on Windows 7 SP1 and it’s still not working for you, it’d be great if you could file a bug at for the team to investigate.


  65. Paresh says:

    VS 2012 and VS13 design looking like going in reverse direction. the UI brings us back like in Black & While era.

  66. bhavanesh says:

    we asked Microsoft for frequent updates not frequent new software development tools

  67. Under VS2012 update 2 and VS2012 update 3 we could run the Test Agent on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003R2 VMs. The VS2013 Agents page says that Windows XP is supported but it throws an error on install saying it doesn't meet the min. OS requirements. We test our product on downlevel OS's and really need this to work. Is there anything we can do?

  68. Like how the Msft people simply ignore any comment on pricing and on the interface.

  69. roteague says:

    @S.Somasegar – It's quite telling how you, and all the other MS posters here totally ignore the complaints about the UI; you will address other issues, but not the UI. I Guess you guys never learn.

  70. Alster says:

    Microsoft needs to define and clearly say that this core company-wide design principles like Metro UI, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Phone, Office 2013, Visual Studio is here to stay definitely and has no intentions to  change it or design another beauty and productivity user interface, migrating all Microsoft products to this UGLY user interface.

    Microsoft needs to define and clearly say that has no intentions and anymore develop a desktop OS without Metro.

    Microsoft needs to define and clearly say about this things to allow users for searching another alternatives for other companies instead of waiting for Microsoft doing changes that will never come.

    All old Microsoft users need to undestand that Microsoft is no longer a software company. Is now a company of devices and services and no more a software company. In these messages, where we are discussing a software product (Visual Studio) and we are complaining that Microsoft does not listen to users. Well, all its ok, Microsoft no need to listen users about a software product because is no longer a software company. Is only a company of devices and services flat and fluid. I think that Visual Studio is only a tool for Microsoft that allow users develop apps that Microsoft serves as a service through Windows Store. And its more interested on align the design of this tool with our designs, instead on the productivity. But the main interest of Microsoft is not in our software, is in our devices and services flat and fluid.

    If all of us need a good software product to programming, developing and compiling applications, it is time to  search and find for a good software company. Not a devices and services company, flat and fluid.

    All our complaints here do not make sense for a company that is no longer a software development company.

    Thanks Microsoft for all the software you have developed until 2010. They've been really good products that have made ​​life easier for everyone. I've always really really liked all your programs from Windows 3.0 to Windows XP, although Windows Vista and Windows 7 started to decay and disappoint. You should not have left the initial development of Longhorn. Since Word and Excel 1.0 to Office 2010 from Visual Basic 3.0 and Visual C + + 4.2 to Visual Studio 2010.

    But for now, no need for devices or services. Goodbye Microsoft.

  71. @CraigAJohnson : Thanks for reporting this. We have identified it as an issue with the product and this should get fixed with the RTM version of VS2013 Test Agent. We will update the supported OS list to be consistent with current state of the Preview release.

  72. Hi Soma,

    Thanks for the v3 wpf fixes. Really liking vs2012. I have been using windows 8 from the preview days and love the performance. From watching build over the last few days the Windows 8.1 APIs along with the tooling looks far more mature – great stuff.

    In your channel 9 interview you said that vs2013 will be needed for 8.1 development. Did I catch that correctly? As a vs2012 user will I really be locked out of new style 8.1 development? I no longer have an msdn sub as cost was too high (after the 30% hike last year) and downgrading meant loosing perpetual rights to the existing bits voiding my investment. (Which seems to mean not so much in practice now!)

    After the major reset (win 7 to win 8) it looked as if vs2012 was good until at least next year with the updates, and so I never expected it to be deprecated so fast for new style windows 8 apps. Now the cost ramp (fresh msdn sub so soon to accommodate the rapid cadence + new touch enabled device (for example the surface pro is only just out in the UK) + Azure so soon is an insurmountable price precipice especially given the relatively slow consumer adoption and risk involved.

    I think in the early days of this new platform we need all the momentum we can get so this lock-out of vs2012 does not make any sense. Msdn subs used to be a no brainer but now with hardware to consider as well, all weighed against the exploding choices from much cheaper competitor offerings, open source and the growth of html5 their value is not so clear. Rapid cadence although a good thing looks like a push towards an Adobe style rental model which achieves the dreamed of lock-in but would prefer choice with greater longevity of the tools. Lock-out for lock-in!

    You make the best development IDEs hands down and I would love to continue using them long into the future, but for the first time I am seriously rethinking forward direction.

    Would appreciate some clarification.

  73. Dean J. says:


    Ballmer said at the keynote that MS was not wanting to ignore the millions of desktop apps out there.  This can't be true, because if it was then you would not have removed the "Setup and deployment" installer project ability from Visual Studio 2012.  If you say you care about the millions of desktop apps, then why take away a great tool for making the setups/installers for them??  This user-voice item has almost 6000 votes asking for you to please put it back:…/3041773-bring-back-the-basic-setup-and-deployment-project-

    To make it really bad, Microsoft declined it with some very generic words…basically not giving any reason whatsoever.  I've used VS to make installer projects for years and I haven't heard anyone say there was anything wrong with it.

    Please put it back.


  74. Ben says:

    What will be the cost to upgrade to VS2013 from VS2012? What is the cost from older versions?

  75. Aleksander says:

    Hello, I have a question about Visual Studio 2013 Release.

    Is there anyone can tell me if Visual Studio 2013 will be released back to the Windows 8.1 or long after him?

  76. Upgrading 2012 code to 2013 says:

    I downloaded Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Preview and opened my current Visual Studio 2012 solution in that. I have a cloud project in the solution. When I try to run the cloud project, it hangs just when the web role starts. I have a debug point in the Webrole Start method, and it is not hitting that.

    Can 2012 projects be migrated to 2013 just by opening (the log said all was ok! ) – can someone help.



  77. Multi-targetting says:

    The choice of making VS2013 upgrade WP7.x projects to WP8.x was very bad – now we have to use both VS2012 or VS2010 and VS2013 and also can't have the WP7 projects in the same solution cause VS2013 will choke on them?

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