On Monday, Microsoft announced the immediate availability of Visual Studio 2015, the software giant’s full-featured software development IDE (integrated development environment). Concurrent to this release, Microsoft has also delivered the final version of .NET 4.6 and Visual Studio 2013 Update 5.
“This release is a significant milestone, and we’re all excited to see what you do with it – the mobile device applications you create and the services that you bring into existence,” Microsoft director of program management for Visual Studio John Montgomery writes in a post to the Visual Studio blog. “We hope these tools help you do something amazing.”
Since I know you’re eager to get started, here are the download links.
Visual Studio 2015 – Including Visual Studio 2015 Community, which is completely free.
Microsoft has made a number of improvements to Visual Studio 2015 since the RC (release candidate), which you can find out about here. But some of the big bucket improvements in this release—compared to VS 2013—include:
Cross-platform mobile device support. Without the need for any expensive add-ons, Visual Studio 2015 lets you use web technologies to “build production quality mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows using Apache Cordova,” as well as with C++ and Xamarin. It includes an Android Developer Kit, a Java Developer Kit, and a Native Developer Kit and Visual Studio Emulator for Android.
C++ improvements. Bjarne Stroustrup’s OOP programming language just won’t die, and in VS 2015 Microsoft says it has “delivered more C++11, C++14 and C++17 features,” added support for a number of mobile developer features: dynamic/static library generation, native-library applications, and Xamarin native applications targeting the Android platform, C++ code targeting iOS with advanced code authoring features, and more.
Debugging features. VS 2015 adds a laundry list of debugging and diagnostic improvements, including many that address user requests, like “lambda debugging, Edit and Continue (EnC) improvements, child-process debugging, and revamps the breakpoint configuration as well as introducing a new Exceptions Settings tool window.”
Blend for Visual Studio 2015. Now completely redesigned, the new Blend helps designers create XAML apps. Blend is now visually consistent with Visual Studio, supports Solution and Team Explorer, and includes numerous other improvements.
Node.js Tools 1.1 RC. This near-final version of the new Node.js Tools for VS improves performance, provides a new “Quick” IntelliSense mode, and has options to make it easier to work with browser-side code.
Game development improvements. Microsoft previously announced partnerships with three major gaming engines—Unity3D, Unreal and Cocos2d—letting developers create games in Visual Studio.
In addition to Visual Studio 2015, there are a few related items of note, too:
Visual Studio Code is the newest member of the VS family. “It is a free, light-weight code editor that runs on Mac OS, Windows, and Linux, that packs a punch with many mainstream features from Visual Studio such as IntelliSense, Debugging, Peek, and Code Navigation,” Microsoft says. You can download Visual Studio Code here.
.NET 2015. The .NET Framework 4.6 provides better performance with the new 64-bit “RyuJIT” JIT and high DPI support for WPF and Windows Forms, Microsoft says. You can find out a lot more here.
Whew. Lots of stuff here. 🙂
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