Visual Studio 11 Beta sneak peek given by Microsoft, set for release soon

Microsoft has offered a sneak peek at the upcoming Visual Studio 11 Beta and .Net 4.5 beta, which is set for release on the 29th of February, the same day Windows 8 Consumer Preview is expected to be released.

As ZDNET reports, Visual Studio 11 beta will be available under a go-live license on February 29th, alongside Windows 8 Consumer Preview and .Net 4.5 beta. Part of the beta will include the Team Foundation Server beta and Team Foundation Server Express, which includes new core developer features such as source-code control, work-item tracking, build automation, and agile task-board. The SKU will be free for up to five users.

Visual Studio 11 is aimed at developers who want to create Windows desktop apps, Direct X-based apps and games, and client Web apps. Visual Studio 11 will also be useful for developing .Net Framework 4.5 server apps, Windows Azure apps, and SharePoint apps.

Visual Studio 11 will have support for asynchronous programming in C# and Visual Basic; support for state machines in Windows Workflow; and more tooling for HTML5 and CSS 3 in ASP.Net. Visal Studio 11 will also have Metro styped templates on building WinRT based applications using JavaScript, C#, VB, and/or C++.

“Visual Studio 11 offers an improved developer experience that includes a simplified user interface designed to keep developers focused on their work, with fewer distractions and easier access to the tools they need,” Microsoft stated in an official press release. Microsoft has refreshed the interface to make it easier for a developer to find and use core functionality quicker than before. Visual Studio 11 has the following new features:

  • 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.

No word yet on when Visual Studio 11 will be released, but those wanting to try out the beta will have to wait until February 29th, which is only a few days away.

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