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Visual Studio 2012, TFS 2012, .NET Framework 4.5, and Windows Azure SDK for .NET RTW; Windows 8 RTM Enterprise 90-day Trial; WCF Data Services 5.0.2-rc Prerelease

Visual Studio 2012, Team Foundation Server 2012, and .NET Framework 4.5 released to the web this morning for immediate download. The official launch of Visual Studio 2012 will take place Sept. 12 with a virtual event.

Visual Studio 2012 offers hundreds of new features, an integrated toolset that enables users to build apps that run on everything from tablets to desktops to phones, and can connect to the cloud. You can develop applications for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, with new versions of Windows Azure, SharePoint and Windows Server.

Features such as scrum and faster build cycles, and collaboration features are supported throughout the new Visual Studio.

Visual Studio 2012 also includes a number of user interface enhancements that aim to make things easier for developers.

For example, “the team embraced the design language appearing across Microsoft’s products to give users a more modern experience, and simplified graphics make for fewer distractions. They added productivity features such as debugging tools and a code clone analyzer, a tool that helps locate duplicated code sections.”

And, “a comprehensive search capability enables developers to quickly find what they’re looking for across commands and configuration options, tool windows and open files. The new workflow “hubs” combine common tasks into one simplified window,” Microsoft stated.

Another big change is Visual Studio 2012’s embrace of wide-ranging set of programming languages and models including JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, Python, F# and C++ are all supported.

According to Somasegar, the biggest opportunity lies with Windows 8, the latest version of Windows operating system that comes with a store for apps dubbed “Windows Store,” which is open for business, the message for developers is simple, he says: “Start building.”

“With the number of people running Windows worth of 1.3 billion,” Microsoft offers developers who choose to build apps for Windows 8 worldwide reach.

Furthermore, in addition to the Blend tools that ship with Visual Studio 2012 RTM, today, Microsoft also released a new Blend + SketchFlow Preview for Visual Studio 2012 that addresses some top Blend customer requests, including support for WPF, Silverlight, and SketchFlow.

It’s also worth noting that the Windows Azure SDK for .NET for both Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2010 has been updated today as well and you can download versions for either Visual Studio 2010 SP1 or Visual Studio 2012.

LightSwitch is a powerful tool available for building business applications for the Desktop and the Cloud — and is now available as part of the Visual Studio 2012 Professional, Premium and Ultimate installations.

“LightSwitch includes a variety of improvements in Visual Studio 2012, such as a new theme, the ability to access data from any OData source as well as create OData services, Active Directory integration, and new business types,” Microsoft informed.

Adding, “they’re also working on support for HTML clients, which will be available as an add-on to VS2012.”

Here’s the 13 short videos showing each of the new features in just a few minutes. There are also 5 new videos of Entity Framwork as well.

Below is a list of top 12 of Visual Studio 2012:

  1. Develop for Windows 8
  2. Develop for the Web
  3. Develop for Windows Phone 8
  4. Develop for Windows Azure
  5. Develop Business Applications
  6. Develop Games and other 3D Applications
  7. Take advantage of the latest language advancements
  8. Performance, Reliability, and Compatibility Improvements
  9. New IDE Productivity Features
  10. Improve your code quality with enhanced testing tools
  11. Reduce cycle times using tools for agile practices
  12. Deliver Cloud-Based Services with Smoother Collaboration between Operations and Engineering

Here is a photo gallery of the above top 12: (via)

visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 1visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 2visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 3visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 4visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 5visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 6visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 7visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 8visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 9visual Studio 2012 Screenshots 10

MSDN Subscribers can download now at the MSDN Subscriber Download Page, and volume licensing customers will be able to download Visual Studio 2012 on the Volume Licensing Service Center.

Those, who want to download Visual Studio 2012 free trial versions, or to download the free Express versions, head over to the the Visual Studio product website.

The Visual Studio 2012 will be able in stores in the next month or so, as well as some availability to purchase through the Visual Studio product website in the next few days.

Since, developing great apps for Windows 8 is an important goal of this release. Therefore, in coordination with the developer tools releases, the RTM version of Windows 8 has released to the web as well.

For those, who don’t have MSDN, or TechNet subscriptions, Microsoft has made available Windows 8 Enterprise edition 90-day trial in 32bit and 64bit flavors and come in several languages.

“Microsoft is making this trial available for developers who are building Windows 8 apps and IT professionals who want to test out Windows 8 to see if it is suitable for their organization,” the software company said.

Note: The Windows 8 Enterprise evaluation version doesn’t support “upgrade” and expired once the 90-days are over. So, if you use the evaluation version, it is recommend installing it on separate drive or partition or in a Vitual Mode. This way you’ll be able to upgrade from your original OS to the Windows 8 RTM when it becomes available in October.

You can download Windows 8 Enterprise here.

And, to help those who’ve developed applications using pre-release versions of Windows 8, Microsoft is offering a Migration guide, that walks you through the basic steps for migrating your app to the new version of Windows and it also calls out the changes that made to the API surface so you can quickly see what, if any, updates you need to make.

Get the Migration guide here.

Developers should also note, that Microsoft is now removing apps with the word “Metro” in its name from the Windows Store- as the company recently, re-branded the term “Metro” to “Modern”.

Though, Microsoft is yet to officially announce the re-branding, but off late, Microsoft’s employees have already begun using “Modern UI Style” to describe the Windows 8 Start Screen and the term “Modern UI” to describe Windows 8 apps.

Microsoft updated an re-update its Windows Store certification documentation in the past 24 hours — now removing the clause about names containing “Metro”, instead, replacing it with a generic clause about apps infringing on other’s trademarks may be requested to be removed by the trademark holder.

For example, MetroTwit is a popular Twitter app that now faces the likelihood of being removed from the Windows Store due to its name containing the word “Metro.”

Don’t use names trademarked by others
Make sure to select a name for your app that belongs to you. If you use a name that doesn’t belong to you, the owner of that name could have your app removed from the store. If that happens, you would need to change the name of your app and all instances of the name throughout your app and its content before you can submit your app for certification again.

The latest update to the documentation reads, “Note Make sure your app name doesn’t include the word metro. Apps with a name that includes the word metro will fail certification and won’t be listed in the Windows Store.”

In time, Microsoft to help those interested in developing for Windows 8 posted a series of videos of the “Windows 8 Developer Camp,” developers event held at the Redmond campus.

The full-day event designed to share all the knowledge you need to start building apps for the Windows 8 store.

“We’ll begin by showing you how to use Visual Studio to code fast, fluid, immersive and beautiful Windows 8 apps in HTML5/JavaScript, XAML/C# and C/C++. Your existing investments in these languages carry forward, making Windows a no-compromise platform for developers,” Microsoft stated.

Check it out at Channel 9.

You can download tools for Metro style app development on this page — such as “Design assets; Sample app pack; Windows App Certification Toolkit for Windows RT; Live SDK; Remote Tools for Visual Studio 2012; Multilingual App Toolkit for Visual Studio 2012; Windows 8 Ads in Apps SDK.”

In addition, also announced today, is the WCF Data Services 5.0.2-rc Public Prerelease RC that includes a whole bunch of bug fixes.

The prerelease is only available on NuGet. To install this prerelease NuGet package, you will need to use one of the following commands from the Package Manager Console:

  • Install-Package <PackageId> -Pre -Version 5.0.2-r
  • Update-Package <PackageId> -Pre -Version 5.0.2-r

NuGet package ids are:

Also, a company called “Share Squared” are running a competition to win a full conference pass to the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas this November.

“The conference has a packed agenda of keynotes and breakout sessions to fill your head with knowledge of all things SharePoint. There’s something for a range of roles, including technical architects, developers, decision makers, power users and content owners. You don’t have to be technical to find something to interest you,” Jessica Meats said.

The prizes, including SharePoint Composer, an Xbox 360 and Starbucks gift cards.

You can enter the competition here.

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