Build 2013: Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET Framework 4.5.1 Available for Download Image Credit: Microsoft

Build 2013: Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET Framework 4.5.1 Available for Download

At Microsoft's Build 2013 developer conference in San Francisco this week, the company announced that the Visual Studio 2013 Preview and .NET Framework 4.5.1 are now available for download. The release preview comes after Microsoft's announcement at its TechEd North America conference a few weeks ago where the company announced the next version of the Visual Studio IDE. To learn more about this announcement, see "Visual Studio 2013 Emphasizes Agile Development & DevOps Collaboration."

Visual Studio 2013 and .NET Framework 4.5.1 Enhancements

With this release, Microsoft is providing developers with a taste of what to expect with Visual Studio 2013. In particular, this release includes several different cool features that I imagine many developers will find helpful for their debugging experience. Debugging capabilities include the following:

  • Visual Studio 2013 now lets you view method return values in the debugger even if those values are never stored into any declared variable.
  • A new Edit and Continue feature for 64-bit is now available that lets you modify your running .NET code that's stopped at a breakpoint without having to stop and restart the process.
  • This release now makes it easier for asynchronous debugging with the Call Stack window, which surfaces new diagnostics that's provided by the runtime. Furthermore, async features are also available to those who develop with JavaScript or C++.

Related: "Microsoft Build 2013: More Development Opportunities with Windows 8.1"

In addition, this release includes several different improvements for C++, XAML, JavaScript and HTML, and diagnostics development:

C++ 11 Standard Support. C++ developers will appreciate that Visual Studio 2013 now includes C++ 11 standard support, which includes helpful features such as delegating constructors, raw string literals, explicit conversation operators, and variadic templates.

XAML Enhancements. Microsoft is making the development experience easier for using XAML for developing Windows Store apps. In addition to several performance improvements for using XAML in Visual Studio and Blend, Visual Studio now includes IntelliSense for data binding and resources, Go To Definition support for navigating styles, and code snippets.

Similar to the HTML UI Responsiveness tool that was included in the VS2012.2 update, the new XAML UI Responsiveness tool provides support for Windows Store apps implemented with XAML. This lets developers easily locate and diagnose glitches, freezes, and other performance problems in your UI.

JavaScript and HTML Enhancements. Go To Definition now supports navigating namespaces, IntelliSense includes notes about deprecated APIs, and the editor includes identifier highlight and a navigation bar for easier code traversal. Several improvements have been made to the DOM Explorer and JavaScript Console. The DOM Explorer now supports IntelliSense, search, direct editing, and inline styles, and the JavaScript Console supports IntelliSense, object preview and visualization, and multiline function support.

Diagnostics Enhancements. Because battery life is an important concern to any end user, Microsoft has developed a new Energy Consumption tool that lets developers determine how much power their app will cause the device to consume. In addition, this tool helps developers see what part of their code tends to utilize more CPU time. Furthermore, Visual Studio 2013 includes support for analyzing managed heaps that lets developers run the Debug Managed Memory feature, which then lets the developer explore the .NET objects in the process.

Be sure to check out S. Somasegar's blog post on this announcement. To stay up-to-date on the latest development news, be sure to check out Dev Pro on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. Do you have something in mind for me to cover or want to talk about the latest dev trends? Be sure to reach out to me on Twitter by using the handle @blair_greenwood!

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