On Thursday, Microsoft unveiled plans to make the beta flavor of its code-named “Visual Studio 11” available for download on February 29th, and also announced a series of details on the product.
When released, Visual Studio 11 will offer an integrated solution for both individuals and development teams of any size to be productive at all times.
Moreover, the software offers great collaboration capabilities, so that people could easily come up with compelling applications.
“We undertook building ‘Visual Studio 11’ with a focus on offering today’s software developer the very best environment for efficiently building applications — for both businesses and consumers,” said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president, Developer Division, Microsoft.
Visual Studio 11 was meant to deliver a simplified user interface to help all developers easily remain focused on their work, while also enjoying easier access to the tools they need.
S. Somasegar notes that the team also focused on ensuring that app builders could come up with software capable of seamlessly working on more than a single device.
With Visual Studio 11, developers will benefit from “an integrated development experience that seamlessly spans the entire lifecycle of software creation,” Microsoft notes.
Whether it comes to planning, code creation, user interface design, deployment, testing, insight and analysis, or validation, “Visual Studio 11” will offer support for them all.
Not to mention that the new beta release of “Visual Studio 11” also comes with support for Windows 8 and for web development (the same as Visual Studio Express for Windows 8 and “Visual Studio 11” Express for Web).
Microsoft also mentions “Visual Studio 11” Team Foundation Server (TFS) Beta, which was designed as the collaboration hub on which the Visual Studio ALM is based. It can easily track projects from start to finish.
Through TFS, the software delivery process will be automated, and developers will receive access to the tools they require for the management of software development projects throughout the IT lifecycle.
Microsoft also announced TFS Express, which is meant to offer core developer features, including Source Code Control, Work Item Tracking, Build Automation and Agile Taskboard. It will be released for free for individuals and for teams of up to five members.
Some of the main features packed in the new Visual Studio 11 include: Reduced toolbar commands. To help free up precious workspace, Microsoft has reduced the number of default commands that show on toolbars in the user interface. These commands can still be accessed through the drop-down menus or added back onto the toolbar if the user wants them, but now the default work area is significantly larger. For example, the cut, copy and paste toolbar commands were removed because research has shown that most developers use the keyboard shortcuts instead.
Simplified graphics. “Visual Studio 11” eliminates the use of color within tools except in cases where color is used for notification or status change purposes. Now, the user interface competes far less with the developer’s content. Other user interface graphics, such as line work and iconography, also have been simplified to be less distracting.
Comprehensive search. “Visual Studio 11” features a comprehensive search capability, allowing developers to quickly find what they are looking for within commands and configuration options, tool windows, and open files.
Workflow hubs. New workflow hubs combine common tasks into one simplified window. Rather than force developers to interact with two or more tool windows to get tasks done, ”Visual Studio 11” streamlines common tasks so that many can be accomplished from within a single window.
Preview Tabs. Developers can view the contents of documents using new Preview Tabs, which get reused as the developer works. As a result, developers no longer end up with large numbers of extraneous documents open as a byproduct of common tasks such as debugging or browsing results.