Visual Studio Update Brings Windows XP Client Support

| by Jeff Martin Follow 16 Followers on Oct 11, 2012. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

The delivery of Visual Studio 2012 marked the start of a more aggressive release cadence for the product line. Microsoft discussed its intent to provide more regularly scheduled updates so that VS could keep pace with the changes in the development world, and the first community technology preview (CTP) has been released to provide developers with a glimpse of the first update that is to be delivered later this year.

The changes being previewed are varied in their size and significance:

  • Build Applications targeting Windows XP

  • Support for debugging mixed managed and Native Windows Store Applications

  • Improvements for loading symbols and source

  • IntelliTrace collection for Sharepoint Applications

  • Memory Profiling for Java Script Applications

  • Shut down MSBuild processes when Visual Studio shuts down

  • The ability for the Test Explorer to group and filter unit tests

  • Enables building code maps to easily understand relationships and navigate between disparate locations (in your managed code Right click "Show on Code Map")

  • Visual Studio integration with System Center for IntelliTrace analysis of APM exception alerts

  • JavaScript Memory Analysis tool which enables developers to inspect the memory usage in their Windows Store Applications written primarily in JavaScript and be able to diagnose potential leaks


Foremost among the new features is the ability to target Windows XP. Users had previously requested support for WinXP and this update will provide it. This means one executable can be deployed to WinXP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 clients. Note that while this will enable the use of VS2012 tools and compiler, it does not enable support for for .NET 4.5 on WinXP. VS2012 itself still has a minimum OS requirement of Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2.

Beyond the above, the update improves testing support and makes changes to Team Foundation Server. Some of the highlights for testing include load testing and Coded UI support for SharePoint, and the ability to publish test results to TFS via the command line. As previously reported, the server file path limit will be increased to 260 characters.

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