Microsoft used the TechEd North America 2014 conference in Houston to introduce the new Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, but also to announce support for Apache Cordova and to reveal a series of other tools aimed at developers.
The biggest change in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 is the support for universal apps, which can work on both smartphones and PCs running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1. Visual Studio 2013, which, according to Microsoft, has already seen 5 million downloads, offers support for three different UI frameworks that can be used to create universal apps, namely XAML, HTML, and DirectX.
Visual Studio Online has also received a number of improvements that include a new set of APIs and service hooks that can work with third-party services, Microsoft explained.
Microsoft also rolled out a preview version of ASP.NET vNext, which represents a preview of a new version of ASP.NET. This can be used by developers to optimize cloud and server workloads for maximum performance. “ASP.NET vNext will be a new Microsoft contribution to the .NET Foundation as an open source project,” the company explained.
Last but not least, Microsoft Azure RemoteApp is also available as a preview starting today, which basically gives companies the possibility to provide employees with access to a number of applications wherever they are.
“Available Monday in preview, Azure RemoteApp helps companies give mobile employees access to Windows applications across a range of devices. Combining Microsoft’s powerful Remote Desktop Services capabilities with the scale and cost-efficiencies of Microsoft Azure, RemoteApp will help end users stay productive on the go and enable IT to easily scale and meet customer needs,” Microsoft pointed out.
A Microsoft Antimalware service for Azure has also been launched to install an anti-malware engine for cloud services and virtual machines, while, starting July 2014, the company will begin install a new encryption technology for Microsoft Office 365 business customers to make sure that SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business files are completely secure.