Microsoft News : Download now Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET Framework 4.5 Beta

Description :

Microsoft has released the Visual Studio 11 Beta with .NET 4.5 Beta for download.

What’s new in the Visual Studio 11 Beta? 

Plenty. One of the more significant changes that the Internet has been arguing about lately is the decision to suck away all of the color from the UI in order to increase focus on code. While the new monochromatic approach (that’s present in terms of both UI colors and iconography, which has also been simplified) is cleaner, it is quite bland and depressing. Surely they could have added some additional color to the mix without taking away from the focus on the code.

Beyond this user interface aesthetic change, they also introduced a variety of features and user experience improvements to help boost productivity while developing. Here’s a quick rundown of the main improvements :

Hubs : 

To improve the method of navigating through code, Visual Studio now has new versions of the Solution and Team Explorers. In the Solution Explorer hub, various tool windows – Class View, Object Browser, Call Hierarchy, Navigate To, and Fine References – were integrated into one explorer. Something similar was done with the Team Explorer.

Pivots : 

Following up on the aforementioned new "Hubs" feature, you are now able to switch the relationship or pivot without switching to another tool window.

Multi-Instancing : 

Multiple instances of the Solution Explorer can now be created, with each instance displaying something different/unique about the content at hand. So say, while browsing through code, a developer can duplicate the current instance of the Solution Explorer to maintain that active view.

Preview Tab : 

The new preview tab works to minimize the amount of windows created while working on a project; basically, every time a developer does something that would trigger a file to be opened as a "side effect", the file will be opened in the preview tab. You’ll be able to do anything to a file while it is inside of a preview tab, such as edit the content, or convert the tab into a "regular" tab by clicking a button, double-clicking on the file, or dragging the tab.

For a complete and detailed rundown, there are two posts on the Visual Studio MSDN blog that delve into the changes and new features, and provide an in-depth overview of how they work.

You may download the new Visual Studio 11 Beta through Microsoft here.

.NET Framework 4.5 Beta :

Now with .NET Framework 4.5, Microsoft .NET has been enhanced significantly to enable developers to be as productive as possible while building rich, reliable and high-performance software in managed code.

Following are some major improvements in .NET Framework 4.5 :

Languages : 

To help developers deliver responsive clients and scalable servers, the C# and Visual Basic languages now have built-in support for writing asynchronous code almost as easily as if it were synchronous. And to help developers tackle data-complex problems, F# integrates Type Providers to make data access trivial in F# programs and components.

Performance : 

The Common Language Runtime has been overhauled to provide better performance, in particular for server applications and services. With additions such as background server garbage collection, multicore background JIT compilation and profile-guided optimization, managed applications can now start faster and run with better throughput and lower latency.

Networking : 

With the proliferation of devices and continuous services in the cloud, .NET Framework 4.5 builds upon the high-quality networking libraries already available in .NET to further enable the development of increasingly connected applications. New support spans from modern HTTP libraries to WebSockets to support for contract-first service development.

Beyond such areas, many additions have gone into improving the .NET Framework end to end. There are improvements from regular expression processing to better support for compression standards, enhanced support for HTML5, developer productivity enhancements in Entity Framework, optimized mobile experiences through ASP.NET, and more, ensuring .NET Framework 4.5 has something new for all developers building for the client and the cloud.

*by andreascy*