16 Aug 2012

Microsoft has made RTM versions of Visual Studio 2012, Team Foundation Server 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 available to MSDN and TechNet Subscribers.

The download links

Free Express tools for Windows Desktop and Windows Phone are expected later this fall according to Microsoft Corporate Vice President S. Somasegar, head of the Developer Division.

Visual Studio 2012 is the key development tool for designing Windows 8 styled apps (formerly Metro).  Visual Studio 2012 also supports Office 2013 and Windows Phone 8 development but the tools for the upcoming Office and Windows Phone platforms is not part of the current downloads according to Jason Zander, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Visual Studio team.  A preview of the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2012 was released last month when they introduced Office 2013 along with the new Cloud App model for extensibility across client applications and the Web in Office and SharePoint 2013.

Visual Studio 2012 will also help developers build touch-enabled apps that will shine on coming Windows 8 devices.  The new development platform also embraces a wider range of programming languages and models, supported things like JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, Python, F# and C++.

Microsoft is also hosting a Visual Studio 2012 Virtual Launch event on September 12th that will be streamed worldwide.  Somasegar and Zander are hosting the event.

Note that Visual Studio 2012 requires .NET 4.5 which is an in-place upgrade.  This has caused a few issues with some developers with "Targeting .NET 4" and bug fixes in .NET 4.5 that may cause problems in applications that run on Windows XP as one example.

.NET Framework 4.5 requires Windows Vista SP2 or higher, either 32-bit or 64-bit editions, 512MB RAM and a 1 Ghz CPU.

Visual Studio 2012 will be available to purchase through the Visual Studio product website in the next few days as well.  Downloads related to Visual Studio 2012 are located here, which also include 90-day trials of the related products.

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