Release Candidate of Windows Server 2012; Visual Studio 2012 Professional; and .NET Framework 4.5 Now Available for Download

Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Professional released today is now "officially" re-branded as, what it was previously known as Microsoft Visual Studio 11. Also, released alongside, is the .NET Framework 4.5 Release Candidate.Here's some of the feature enhancements:"Feature Enablement - This is a new capability in Web Access that allow you to enable new features (like […]

Visual Studio 2012 Professional

Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Professional released today is now "officially" re-branded as, what it was previously known as Microsoft Visual Studio 11. Also, released alongside, is the .NET Framework 4.5 Release Candidate.

Here's some of the feature enhancements:

  • "Feature Enablement - This is a new capability in Web Access that allow you to enable new features (like Code Review, feedback, the Taskboard, etc) in your process template without having to break out your favorite text editor and start hand editing your process template XML.
  • Query launcher in Pending Changes - added a Queries drop down to pending changes allowing you to launch a query and then drag & drop a work item into the associated work items list.
  • Changes to Version Control context menus - made some changes to move some of the less frequently used version control menu items into a tear off menu. Of course if you want them back on the main menu, you can use VS menu customization to move them back.
  • Color, theming, and icons - made some additional improvements to our colors and theming - a particularly good example is Source Control Explorer in dark theme.
  • Keyboard accessibility for drag/drop in backlog - use Alt + Up arrow or Alt + Down arrow to move items around in the backlog.
  • Improved upgrade guidance - Check the current draft out here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=245977
  • Improved TFS database restore - You no longer have to figure out how to use SQL Management Studio to restore one database at a time. The new wizard can easily restore all of your TFS databases at once. You'll find it on the welcome page of the upgrade wizard.
  • Improved Task Board for touch - made a bunch of improvements to make our task board more touch friendly.
  • Filter for areas/iterations in Web Access - added a simple filtering ability to the Web Access pages that show them to filter them to just the ones that apply to your team," informs VS team blog.

Also, Visual Studio 11 ALM Rangers Readiness RC "Gig" solutions are now available for download from CodePlex.

Visual Studio 11 ALM Rangers RC

Visual Studio 11 ALM Rangers RC

The Beta Power Tools available today will work with the RC build. "The next time we'll update the Power Tools will be along with the final release," the team said.

Also, the team has added a new category on the Visual Studio Gallery for Storyboard Shapes.

MSDN subscribers can download the released products here.

Download Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate here, or download Visual Studio 2012 RC, Team Foundation Server 2012 RC, and .NET Framework 4.5 RC here.

In this episode, Jason Zander shows off a number of features that have been added to Visual Studio 2012 since Beta, including:

  • IDE updates [02:55]
  • Web site optimization (bundling/minification) [07:00]
  • Web publishing [10:35]
  • Enhancements to Blend for designing both XAML [16:00] and HTML apps [20:30]
  • Data support in LightSwitch [29:45]

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC)

Microsoft has also made the download links for its server operating system Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate live. The new RC comes in two flavors, 64 bit ISO and VHD.

"The next release of Windows Server, Windows Server 2012, will offer businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware, cloud-optimized infrastructure. It securely connects across premises and helps IT Professionals to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently," Microsoft stated.

The ISO (available at the link below) comes in several languages Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish and the VHD comes in English only.

Microsoft notes, that Windows Server 8 (now Windows Server 2012) has nearly 300,000 downloads to date of the beta release.

Download Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate on TechNet.

Also, available today is the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Windows Server 8 Beta Compatibility Cookbook, that provides information about changes to and new features of the Windows 8 client and server operating systems.

"It provides guidelines for developers to verify the compatibility of their existing and planned programs with the new operating systems. It assumes that the reader is familiar with previous versions of Windows," Microsoft stated.

This information applies to the following operating systems: Windows 8 Consumer Preview Windows Server 8 Beta Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows 7 Windows Server 2008 Windows Vista Windows Server 2003.

Download the Windows 8 RP and Windows Server 2012 RC Compatibility Cookbook here.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Release Preview enables IT administrators to manage roles and features that are installed on computers that are running Windows Server 2012 from a remote computer that is running Windows 8 Release Preview.

Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8 Release Preview includes Server Manager, Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins, consoles, Windows PowerShell cmdlets and providers, and command-line tools for managing roles and features that run on Windows Server 2012.

In limited cases, the tools can be used to manage roles and features that are running on Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008. Some of the tools work for managing roles and features on Windows Server 2003.

Download RSAT for Windows 8 here.