Microsoft Rolls Out Visual Studio 2013 Update 2, Other Dev Tools at TechEd 2014

The company today unveiled a series of new goodies for developers

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.

At the same time, developers can choose from several languages to build these universal apps, including C#, JavaScript, and C++.

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.

Support for Apache Cordova is also being offered, which, according to the company, should help “developers to easily build multidevice hybrid applications using their HTML and JavaScript skills.” This basically means that devs can now build apps for Windows, iOS, and Android with .NET and Xamarin or hybrid applications with Apache Cordova.

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.

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