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Microsoft Announces VS11 Lineup, Changes to Express Editions

by Jeff Martin on May 24, 2012 |

Microsoft has announced the official product lineup for the forthcoming Visual Studio 11. While the hardware requirements for VS11 remain unchanged from VS2010, this new release will require Windows 7 or higher. (By comparison, VS2010 required Windows XP / SP3 at minimum).

As a result of these changes, VS11 will target .NET Framework 4.5 for managed applications and the VC11 toolset for native applications. Windows Vista will be the minimum operating system required in order for deployment of the final applications. Developers seeking to deploy their managed application to Windows XP will have to target .NET Framework 4.0. Those seeking to deploy native (C++) applications on Windows XP can do so by using multi-targeting. Note that this requires a side-by-side installation of VS2010 and for developers to exclude VS11-specific features.

The company has changed its approach to the Visual Studio Express series by switching from a focus on specific languages to one that targets specific platforms. The forthcoming VS11 Express platforms include:

  • Express for Windows 8
  • Express for Web
  • Express for Team Foundation Server Express
  • Express for Windows Phone (To be released in conjunction with the next Windows Phone update)
  • Express for Windows Azure (To be released in conjunction with the next Windows Azure update)

Each version will support multiple languages, including C#, C++, Visual Basic, and JavaScript.  Developers seeking to focus on a specific language can continue to use Express editions of VS2010 which will remain available for download:

  • C# Express
  • Visual Basic Express
  • C++ Express

Users of Visual Studio LightSwitch will find that it will be made part of VS11's core feature set, and will be included with VS11 Professional, Premium, and Ultimate.

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