Microsoft has pushed Visual Studio 2015 and .Net 4.6 out of the door ahead of the imminent launch of Windows 10. The giant of Redmond will be hoping that developers of the next few years spend an awful lot of time in the environment it has just thrown open.
The new tools shouldn't surprise anyone, as Microsoft has been testing the waters with a steady stream of preview releases over the past year. Developers got their first look at the new version of Visual Studio with the release of the Community Technology Preview last June and Redmond has been piling on new features in successive previews ever since.
One major shift with this release is that while the Visual Studio IDE remains a Windows application, Microsoft is much more focused on enabling developers to build applications using multiple languages, operating systems, and platforms.
In addition to providing tools for building apps using Windows 10's Universal App development model, VS2015 also supports cross-platform mobile development for Windows, iOS, and Android; .Net development for Windows and Linux; writing server-side code in Node.js, Python, and other languages; and even deploying applications to Docker containers from within the IDE.
"It's all about delivering on the developer's choice," Microsoft tools boss S "Soma" Somasegar told The Reg in a phone briefing.
The new tools also include the latest versions of Redmond's compilers, including improved support for C++ 11/14/17 and new compilers for C# 6 and Visual Basic .Net 12 based on the .Net Compiler Platform, aka "Roslyn."
Improving developer productivity is another area of focus for VS2015, including improvements to code editing, refactoring, debugging, and diagnostics. The combination of VS2015, Team Foundation Server 2015, and Visual Studio Online also offer a suite of integrated DevOps services including source control, build automation, continuous deployment, load testing, and so on.
"Pretty much every developer, and more importantly, every development team today will tell you that they want to live in an agile world," Somasegar said. "They'll tell you that they want to live in a fast 'build, measure, learn' loop."
Version 4.6 of .Net, on the other hand, includes ASP.Net 4.6, Microsoft's web development framework, and developers can also play around with the preview version ASP.Net 5.
Both Visual Studio 2015 and .Net 4.6 are available for download now, and Microsoft is holding a virtual launch event that will stream online beginning on Monday at 8:30am Pacific time (1530 UTC).
Some other pieces of the puzzle aren't quite here yet, though. Notably, Microsoft has "nothing new to share" on Project Astoria or Project Centennial, and Team Foundation Server 2015 won't ship until "next month." ®