Microsoft has decided to phase out project.json files over the next year or so, slowly returning to the standard .csproj style file.
MSBuild, the command-line tool used to build Visual Studio solutions and projects has been released to GitHub under an open source license. This paves the way for non-Windows systems to build .NET-based applications without requiring Visual Studio to be installed.
The recently released Android++ in closed beta enables you to build Android apps using Visual Studio with support for zero hardware restrictions, MSBuild, LLVM, GCC in addition to integrated GDB debugging.
T4 Editor 2.2.0 enables you to create a library of reusable snippets in addition to an ability to make use of project properties with include and assembly directives, which works not only in the standard IDE but also in the msbuild host. It also includes support for Visual Studio 2013 Preview, new template gallery and F1support for directives.
MSBuild has been renamed to Microsoft Build Tools. This new package includes Microsoft's C# and Visual Basic compilers, making all 3 freely available and independent from Visual Studio or the .NET Framework.
The recently released WiX 3.7 includes support for MSBuild, self update and reference counting
Simon Cropp has released an IL weaving tool that wires property changed notifications into automatically implemented properties. IL weaving is a technique in which the IL code in an assembly is rewritten to add functionality.
MSBuild Extension Pack is a collection of MSBuild tasks providing reusable components to perform common build tasks. The recently released version 188.8.131.52 has over 240 tasks including WMI interaction, tokenizing files, and interaction with BizTalk.
Like the open source projects that inspired it, Microsoft's MSBuild framework was designed with extensibility in mind. Three years after its release, that decision is really starting to pay off in terms of the number of additional tasks available.
Gallio is an automation platform targeting .NET test frameworks. Instead of each test framework creating its own toolset, including an automation API and test runner, Gallio seeks to provide a neutral, extensible platform with tools and automation services that can be leveraged by any test framework.
Microsoft released the final RTW version of the Web Deployment Projects add-in for Visual Studio 2008. This add-in uses MSBuild to package pre-compiled ASP.NET web applications and sites for deployment.
The Database Publishing Wizard is a popular add-in for Visual Studio, which supports deploying a local database to a remote host. The Visual Web Developer team announces that the wizard will be integrated in Visual Studio 2008.
Robert Pickering has been hard at work trying to turn F# into a production-grade language. Since that means tool support, he has developed a MSBuild provider and a #Develop plug-in for F#.