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Initial details on Visual Studio Next leaked

Microsoft is apparently preparing a first public preview of the next version of its Visual Studio development environment. According to sources from ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley, the release, code-named Visual Studio 15, is already being tested by selected customers. Foley suspects that the software company will present the first public preliminary version at its Build 2016 developer conference, which will take place at the end of March.

According to screenshots from a tester called The Walking Cat, Microsoft will, among other things, simplify and accelerate the installation process. Users can choose to install just the Visual Studio Core Editor or to use the software to develop games with Unity, .NET desktop applications, or Python code. Microsoft wants to add further options to the installer.

In addition, according to Foley's sources, there is a new "Open Folder" function in the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) of Visual Studio 15. It should allow developers to navigate through basic code for which there is no Visual Studio project. MSBuild-based projects within a folder also receive full support for C # and VB Intellisense, as well as the ability to develop applications directly from the file link menu of the Solution Explorer.

Microsoft calls another new function of Visual Studio 15 "AnyCode". It also makes it possible to use source code that is not organized in projects or solutions. In a blog entry that has since been deleted, the developer Igal Tabachnik described AnyCode as "exciting news for those who want to quickly edit their code files without using a solution or csproj file".

The preliminary version of Visual Studio 15, which is currently only available to a limited group of users, includes TypeScript 1.8 and NuGet 3.4. NuGet now supports the latter in Linux and Apple environments. The preview also supports SQL Server 2016 and the latest features from Azure SQL Database.

Developers can install the Visual Studio 15 preview alongside Visual Studio 2015. The Final will probably be launched as Visual Studio 2016 - according to the name, Microsoft seems to be aiming for a release this year.

[with material from Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet.com]

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Stefan Beiersmann

Stefan has been supporting the ZDNet editorial team as a freelancer since 2006. When others are still asleep, he sifts through the news, so that the first news of the day mostly comes from him.