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Visual Studio “15” Preview 4 Released

| by Jeff Martin Follow 16 Followers on Aug 30, 2016. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Among the first details of Visual Studio “15” that has emerged, one surrounds the program's installation process.  Throughout the years the program has added functionality, which resulted in a larger disk space footprint as well as a lengthier installation time.  With VS15, Microsoft intends to shorten the installation time for developers by allowing them to select only the features of Visual Studio that they want. 

Previews 1-3 of VS15 included a classic installer as well as Microsoft's improved installation program. Microsoft's confidence has grown to the point that in Preview 4, the new modular installer is the only one provided. 

Some of the other new features debuting in Preview 4 include a Lightweight Solution load option intended to speed the opening of solutions.  It is still an experimental feature, and as it is being actively developed there are not any metrics available to indicate whether or not it is faster than the default solution loading function.  Lightweight Solution load can be configured under Tools | Options | General.

Intending to make the VS15 core editor an all-inclusive destination for developers, VS15’s editor will support the following languages regardless of the modules installed.  This means a developer who has installed VS15 with the C++ workload can still benefit from PHP or Python editor support.

Supports only Syntax Colorization and Autocomplete:

Bat, Clojure, CoffeeScript, CSS, Docker, F#, Groovy, INI, Jade, JavaDoc, JSON, LESS, LUA, Make, Markdown ++, Objective-C, Perl, PowerShell, Python, Rust, Shaderlab, SQL, VB.NET, YAML

Supports Code Snippets (in addition to Syntax Colorization and Autocomplete):

CMake, C++, C#, Go, Groovy, HTML, Java, Javadoc, Javascript, Lua, Perl, PHP, R, Ruby, Shellscript, Swift, XML

Supports Navigate To (in addition to Syntax Colorization and Autocomplete):

C++, C#, Go, Java, JavaScript, PHP, TypeScript, VB

C++ Developers will notice that the VS15 installer now includes 4 C++ specific workloads:

  1. Windows Desktop Development with C++
  2. Linux Development with C++ 
  3. Game Development with C++
  4. Mobile Development with C++
  5. (Optionally) Universal Windows App

Note that as this is pre-release software, it should not be installed on critical systems.  However, it may be installed side-by-side with VS2015.  Note that installation on systems running Windows 7 SP1 will require the installation of the KB2952664 patch, which includes some telemetry services.  The installer is available now, and full release notes are available with the complete list of changes.

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