Microsoft has announced pricing for Visual Studio 2013 as the company's flagship developer tools suite reaches formal launch on Nov. 11.
Visual Studio 2013 prices are unchanged from the corresponding Visual Studio 2012 products. Developers will have access to more features and value in Visual Studio 2013, at the same Visual Studio 2012 pricing, Microsoft said.
The only change from the Visual Studio 2012 product lineup is the reintroduction of a Visual Studio Professional 2013 upgrade SKU, for customers running Visual Studio Professional 2012. This will ultimately sell for $299, but will be available for $99 from the Microsoft Online Store through a time-limited promotion from Nov. 1, 2013, through Jan. 31, 2014.
Microsoft said the vast majority of its customers have chosen to buy Visual Studio with their Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscription, and those subscribers will automatically have access to Visual Studio 2013 when it is released in October. Visual Studio 2013 is expected to release to manufacturing (RTM) or release to the Web on Oct. 18.
Visual Studio 2013 provides powerful tools and services to help users create a new breed of applications or to modernize existing applications that provide users with the best experiences across multiple screens and devices, while remaining connected to the services and data they need.
S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, told eWEEK the new Visual Studio release may be the most comprehensive ever, partly because the opportunities for software developers are higher than ever before. And Microsoft has to cater to the needs of these individuals and teams.
Prior to the Microsoft TechEd 2013 conference in June, Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry told eWEEK that Microsoft would be announcing a new version of Visual Studio and focusing on new application lifecycle management (ALM) and DevOps features.
In addition to the Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server/Service support for agile portfolio management, cloud-based load testing, a team room integrated with TFS, code comments integration with TFS, and Git support that Microsoft demonstrated at its TechEd and Build conferences, Microsoft also highlighted several new programmer productivity features.
"One such feature is the CodeLens (Code Information Indicators) capability we introduced at TechEd," Somasegar said in a blog post. "This feature brings useful information about types and type members directly into the editor, information such as the references to a particular method, how many tests are referencing a method and how many of them are passing, who last checked in a change that modified a method, and how many changesets impact a method."
Overall, Visual Studio 2013 includes many user interface improvements based on customer feedback and Microsoft's core design principle of keeping the focus on the content to deliver an improved user experience, the company said. There are more than 400 modified icons with greater differentiation and increased use of color, a redesigned Start page and other subtle design changes throughout Visual Studio.
In addition, Visual Studio 2013 includes several improvements to help developers become more productive and stay focused when coding. Some features first appeared as experiments in the Visual Studio Power Tools extension before being refined and incorporated into Visual Studio. Productivity features such as automatic bracket completion, the ability to move code lines or blocks using keyboard shortcuts, and in-line navigation are now built-in, Microsoft said. And Visual Studio 2013 includes a new Team Explorer with an enhanced Home page that provides easier navigation to team collaboration features, including the ability to undock Pending Changes and Builds into a separate window.
Moreover, Visual Studio 2013 provides an ideal toolset for building modern applications that leverage Windows 8.1, while supporting devices and services across all Microsoft platforms. For instance, support for Windows Store app development in Windows 8.1 includes many updates to the tools, controls and templates, new Coded UI test support for XAML apps, UI Responsiveness Analyzer and Energy Consumption profiler for XAML and HTML apps, enhanced memory profiling tools for HTML apps, and improved integration with the Windows Store.