Beyond Visual Studio, Microsoft is building more developer hooks into the next release of its browser, Internet Explorer 11, which is expected to be released with Windows 8.1.
Microsoft has completed "a major revamp" of the tools the browser provides to developers. The browser will come with a source-code editing tool, as well as a number of built-in diagnostic tools, Somasegar said. The idea is that the developer won't have to toggle back and forth between the browser and the IDE. A Web application or page can be run, and mistakes can then be fixed, directly from within the browser.
With .Net, Microsoft worked on improving performance of the runtime environment. It can also provide more diagnostic information on how much memory a .Net program is using, and provide more information in a dump report should a program crash. Also, once a developer chooses a particular platform for a .Net project, such as an ASP.Net project, .Net will only display the components that can be used on that platform.
Microsoft is also releasing a white paper that offers a road map of where .Net is headed. The paper will be "one cohesive document that talks about .Net as it relates to Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure," Somasegar said. "It is a comprehensive document that shows people how to think about the future as it relates to their current .Net investments."
When Windows 8 and Windows RT were introduced, many Windows developers voiced concerns about the future of .Net, due in no small part to how little the platform was mentioned in Microsoft's initial instructions on building Windows 8 modern applications.
Somasegar said Microsoft has always encouraged, and will continue to encourage, the use of .Net as a way for developers to write "managed code" for Windows 8 and Windows RT modern applications, as well as for Windows desktop applications.
In addition to issuing previews of Windows 8.1 and Visual Studio 2013 this week, Microsoft is also releasing a preview of the latest edition of the company's application lifecycle management software, Team Foundation Server 2013.
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