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Shaping the Future of Visual Studio

| by Jeff Martin Follow 4 Followers on Mar 15, 2017. Estimated reading time: 1 minute |

Taking a page out of the Windows Insider's Program, Microsoft has started an early access program for Visual Studio.  Called Visual Studio Preview, the program allows anyone interested in the future of Visual Studio to participate.  Installers have been provided for each of the three major Visual Studio editions (Community, Professional, and Enterprise), which allow developers to see how new features function in their tool.

Microsoft recommends that developers select the preview edition of VS that corresponds to their installed version of VS2017.  For example, if you use VS2017 Community edition, select the Community edition of the preview.  At present, the biggest new feature in VSP is the addition of the Python workload, which was removed from the release of VS2017 due to time constraints in the final days of development.

The Python workload adds support for that language to Visual Studio.  Python becomes a first class citizen with IntelliSense, source control management through Git and Visual Studio Team Services, and remote debugging included.

As this is preview software, Microsoft notes that this is not licensed for the development of production software.  However, to facilitate feedback and to take advantage of Visual Studio's new installer system, it is possible to install VSP side-by-side with your current copy of VS2017.  Visual Studio Preview is available for download today, and the available release notes provide full details on bugs and workarounds in the current version.  

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