Microsoft unveils Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online, takes development to the cloud

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Microsoft unveils Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online

At today’s Visual Studio event Microsoft took the wraps off Visual Studio 2013. But this was not the only new release; the company also took the opportunity to announce Visual Studio Online. 

Both of these releases highlight Microsoft’s commitment to life in the cloud, giving developers a new selection of tools for creating apps and services for both desktop and cloud environments. There are a number of key additions and improvements to be found in the suite, including the ability to debug Azure sites in the cloud.

For development teams, there are new collaborative features that make it easier to keep track of changes that are made to code, while individuals can benefit from the option to view code details from directly within the editor.

It is easier than ever to produce apps that are ready for deployment through the App Store, while new Release Management features allow for automated deployment and updating through the cloud.

But the big release today is undoubtedly Visual Studio Online. This includes Azure-hosted developer services such as hosted source control, work item tracking, collaboration and a build service — these are all available as public previews.

Visual Studio Online can be used in conjunction with the Visual Studio IDE on the desktop, and includes “Monaco”, a lightweight browser-based coding environment using standard-based HTML and JavaScript to build cloud services. What this translates into s the ability to make live edits to online application through a web browser from anywhere.

The great news about Visual Studio Online is that it is available free of charge for teams of up to five members — this eliminates one obstacle for small development teams looking to get started in app production for Windows platforms.

Soma Somasegar​, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Developer division, has posted full details of the new releases on his blog where he also talks about the collaboration between Microsoft and Xamarin which will make it easier to develop for multiple platforms including iOS and Android.

Today’s raft of releases is rounded off with Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 which included not only bug fixes and enhancement, but also improvements with compatibility between Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio Online.

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