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Steven Borg (Mugshot)

As I arrived to the Visual Studio 2012 launch, I wasn’t sure if I was entering a technical launch or a nightclub…  I rolled up to the line of valet parkers in black suits, walked down the purple carpet, was welcomed with an easy registration and a swanky leather bag, and entered into the dark foyer. Since this was in Seattle, there were four latte stands.  And since the VS2012 color is purple, there were purple pastries!  I was surprised by how many of my Microsoft product group friends, Microsoft field, and local customers from outside of Seattle flew in to attend the event. The main event room was intimate (about 200 people) and welcoming.

Soma Somasgar kicked things off with the keynote.  Very polished presentation which laid out the reasoning behind the launch and the trends in business that VS 2012 is addressing.

Then Jason Zander took the stage for a deeper dive into some of the more technical aspects of VS 2012. Orville McDonald delivered demos and gave us insights into some crazy cool, deep features. He even showed us how to debug the graphics rendering pipeline in a Windows 8 app.  Great session, and Orville is a phenomenal presenter.  Very engaging demos.  Worth a watch online!

Next keynote was Brain Harry talking about the ALM features of VS 2012, supported by Nicole Herskowitz on demos.  Brian’s a great presenter, and he’s so incredibly authentic.  He doesn’t shy away from talking about the struggles he’s had, or the features they just couldn’t get into the product… yet.  Brian walked through the common software lifecycle delivery impediments, such as Misunderstood Requirements, Loss of Context and Lack of Feedback, and the like.  Nicole followed up with a set of excellent demos in Visual Studio showing the features that help remove those impediments.  Occasionally she did a back-and-forth demo with Brian.  It’s a tried and true strategy for showing off how features in Visual Studio map to business benefits, and they pulled it off flawlessly.  Nicely done by the both of them.

The afternoon continued with a great panel and afternoon break-out sessions.

You may already have downloaded VS 2012, so the “launch” may be a bit of old news.  But here are some new features and products that were announced yesterday. 

Complete News List for Visual Studio 2012

  • Visual Studio 2012 Update 1

With Visual Studio 2012, Microsoft will deliver continuous value to customers, adding new capabilities year-round. These update releases will be aligned with core software development trends in the market; ensuring developers and development teams always have access to the best solution for building modern applications.  Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 will offer new capabilities in four main categories including added support of agile teams, continuous quality enablement, SharePoint and Windows development.

  • Availability of Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop extends the Visual Studio tools offering for desktop applications by providing developers with Express tools for building powerful Windows Desktop applications in C#, VB.NET and C++. This offering enables developers to get started on building Windows desktop applications quickly and for free.

  • New F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web

F# Tools for Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web provides developers with a free add on with Visual Studio 2012 that enables development of F# on ASP.NET, Azure, and Cloud.

  • Team Foundation Server Power Tools for Visual Studio 2012

Team Foundation Server Power Tools provide development teams everything they need to get the most out of their Team Foundation Server 2012 installation, including advanced backup tools, extensions for Windows Explorer as well as PowerShell, and a process template editor. Team Foundation Server Power Tools will be available

  • Continued Strong VSIP Support

Visual Studio 2012 launched with 72 sim-ship partners delivering over 100 products demonstrating strong ecosystem support for Visual Studio and the developer community.

  • New Community Language Packs

Visual Studio is now available in the following 10 languages: English, Japanese, French, Chinese – Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, German, Korean, Spanish, Russian, Italian.  There are also language packs that can be added to support additional languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Turkic languages, and others.

If you missed the live launch event webcast streaming of the day, the recordings should be available within the week. Stay tuned!

Did the launch leave you with questions? Are you starting to plan your move to Visual Studio 2012? Is your organizational ALM strategy baked and your team on-board to embrace the “new normal”?

As always, we’re here to help! With a variety of Executive Briefing Roundtable events across the nation, along with multiple educational webcast events and personal one on one training sessions, our aim is to help you embrace the new normal and what it means for your organization. Visual Studio 2012 will help make your ALM strategy come to life!

Shoot me a personal note at Steven.Borg@nwcadence.com when we can be of assistance.

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