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Microsoft releases new preview of Visual Studio 2015

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February 24, 2015

Earlier today, Microsoft said it has released a new preview of its Visual Studio 2015 software, which looks to be a major release, according to what we're seeing.

To be sure, Community Tech Preview No. Six includes several cross-platform tools for its ASP.NET web application framework.

On the Windows side, this is the tool which supports Microsoft’s so-called universal app strategy, allowing developers to design and integrate a single app for Windows desktop, tablet and mobile.

Microsoft Office is on the way as a universal app, alongside an update to the traditional desktop edition and there are numerous other examples in the preview of Windows 10 on smartphones.

Microsoft is also embracing a cross-platform concept beyond its Windows OS. For example, Visual C++ can now target the open source Clang/LLVM compilers to create libraries and apps for Android and in the near future, iOS.

However, there is still no iOS support in this preview, but the Android compiler now does support Lollipop and there are improvements to the tools and templates.

There is no user interface framework supplied for native Android, so the intention is that developers build either libraries to support apps written with Java or other tools such as Xamarin, a third-party framework for targeting iOS and Android with Microsoft's C# language.

The updated Visual C++ also has a feature called Code Flow Guard (CFG), intended to thwart buffer overflow attacks, a very common security flaw largely exploited by even less sophisticated hackers.

Visual Studio also supports Apache Cordova, which lets you build cross-platform mobile apps with HTML and JavaScript.

New in this CTP is debugging support for Windows Phone 8.1. There are also improvements to the ASP.NET 5 tools in this preview.

ASP.NET 5 is the first release designed for cross-platform deployment, being built on Microsoft’s open source fork of the .NET Framework called .NET Core, though there is also an option to use the Windows-only .NET Framework.

In this preview, the visual tools are beginning to catch up with the changes, so you can now use a properties dialog box to set things like whether your app should use .NET Core or not.

The ASP.NET 5 templates now include Web API, for creating web services, as well as a starter web template that comes with default content describing how to build web applications hosted on Linux or OSX as well as Windows.

Source: Microsoft.

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