Top 5 New Features in Visual Studio 2012

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Here now from the new home office in Layton Utah is this week's Top 5 List.  Today's category, Top 5 New Features in Visual Studio 2012.

  1. Metro UI Development Support  - Visual Studio 2012 includes support for new project templates for building Metro UI apps for multiple devices and Windows 8.  Support includes XAML, C#, VB, and HTML5/Javascript apps.  If you want to build a Windows 8 app, you might need to run VS 2012 on Windows 8 for WinRT support.

  2. Game Development Support  - Game development support is included in Visual Studio including first rate debugging of multithreaded XNA games.  It also includes visual designers for 2D and 3D gaming.

  3. Semantic Code Analysis  - Visual Studio 2012 has come a long way from FxCop.  Code Analysis features in VS 2012 include semantic code analysis, i.e. not just syntax but the actual logic of your code.  This allows for better refactoring including my personal favorite feature, finding copy/paste code and refactoring to use inheritance.

  4. Team Development Improvements - Many of the new features for teams center around the upcoming Team Foundation Server 2012 release.  These include performing code reviews, an enhanced diff tool, and offline workspaces.  There have also been some very nice improvements in Agile/Scrum management with the new TFS Scrum Project template.

  5. HTML5/CSS3 Support - Visual Studio 2012 includes support for HTML5 and CSS3 for both Metro UI apps as well as web based applications.  Of course VS 2012 will include ASP.NET MVC4 and Razor support.  But perhaps best of all is the improved support for Javascript including Intellisense and debugging features.

So what feaures are you anxiously awaiting?  Hit the comment links below and let us know.

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Paul Ballard

is a Chief Architect specializing in large scale distributed system development and enterprise software processes. Paul has more than twenty years of development experience including being a former Microsoft MVP, a speaker at technical conferences such as Microsoft Tech-Ed and VSLive, and a published author. Prior to working on the Windows platform, he built software using a vast array of technologies including Java, Unix, C, and even OS/2.