Microsoft Updates Developer Tools for Windows 8 and Azure Push

G00239735

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Summary

Microsoft aims to boost the Windows 8 ecosystem and cloud-based Azure development with the launch of Visual Studio 2012.

News Analysis

Event

On 12 September 2012, Microsoft released the latest version of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server to align with the upcoming release of Windows 8 and improve the development environment.

Analysis

The release of Visual Studio 2012 addresses developers' current and future needs, and responds to Gartner's identified Nexus forces of social, mobile, cloud and big data. Microsoft’s developer division is responding to these trends while also working to support its latest technical releases. The company is also showing that it understands the developer challenges that disrupt productivity, including interruptions, the ability to draw a correlation between faults and associated code, and a demand for support of the latest technologies.

There is also recognition and support for the need among developers for continuous quality, integration and improvement. Understanding these issues will ensure they build the right system or application in the first place. Along with the challenges of working to a broad portfolio of software development kits and application programming interfaces, Visual Studio 2012 reflects this environment by offering agile principles in Team Foundation Server.

Microsoft is, again, tweaking the pricing and packaging, with three core development SKUs (in addition to the free Visual Studio Express offerings) and a product specifically for testers. With the exception of the base Visual Studio Professional 2012 edition, all editions come with Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) access. Each MSDN-included product also has access to Team Foundation Server. As you move up the product ladder, additional features such as lab management, peer code review, user interface test automation, visualization and modeling are added to the core environment (see www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/compare ).

Recommendations

  • Microsoft development shops: Adopt Visual Studio 2012 based primarily on plans to support Windows 8 and other advancing Microsoft platform strategies. This will include development of cloud applications on Azure. However, if you are targeting current or some “older” Microsoft technologies, including Windows Phone 7.5, keep prior versions of Visual Studio deployed to cover these platforms.

  • Users of Team Foundation, especially those utilizing or moving to Agile: Consider adopting the latest version of Team Foundation Server and the newly refactored tools to provide support for the new version of Visual Studio, as well as every version back to v.6. The benefits of improved ease of use, storyboarding, support of Git for disconnected use, and improved testing facilities all point to this being the “classic Microsoft Version 3” release where everything comes together to deliver on the promise.

  • MSDN users: Evaluate the changes to bundling to determine which package best fits your needs.

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