Visual Studio 2017 can be downloaded now

Visual Studio 2017 editor

The new Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 was released this Tuesday (March 7) and can now be downloaded from Microsoft’s web site:

> What’s new in Visual Studio 2017 & Download links

The Community version of Visual Studio 2017 can be downloaded and installed for free. Visual Studio Professional 2017 and Visual Studio Enterprise 2017 are also available for download, but if you want to use them you need to purchase them.

System requirements for Visual Studio 2017 can be read on this page.

The new Visual Studio 2017 will be released on March 7

Visual Studio 2017 Logo

According to Microsoft, the new Visual Studio 2017 will be released on March 7. Visual Studio 2017 is the latest version of Microsoft´s powerful suite of development tools. The first version of Visual Studio was released 1997, so Microsoft will also celebrate Visual Studio’s 20th anniversary when the new version of Visual Studio is released.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 includes enhancements to code navigation, IntelliSense, refactoring, debugging, Azure etc. And Xamarin is now integrated in the product which means developers can build Android, iOS and Windows apps directly from Visual Studio. The installation of Visual Studio is also faster and you only need to install the features that you need. Microsoft has also added new features to the C#, C++ and VB languages.

A detailed list of all new features and improvements in Visual Studio 2017 is available here:

> What’s New in Visual Studio 2017
> Visual Studio 2017 Release Notes

Visual Installer 2017 is compatible with Visual Studio 2017
Visual Installer 2017, that we released last week, is fully compatible with Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Basic 2017 (VB 15). This means you can import solution files and project files, that is saved with Visual Studio 2017, to Visual Installer.

The limit of 512 shortcuts in the Start menu is gone in the latest Windows 10 update

As you probably know, the Start menu is back in Windows 10. But there has been a limit in the Start menu that sometimes have affected installations made by Visual Installer (and other setup tools). The Start menu could only contain up to 512 shortcuts and tiles. And you don’t need to install so many applications before you reach the 512 limit. Many applications can have sub levels with lots of shortcuts, so you can reach the limit faster than you may expect.

When the Start menu reach the 512 limit, no more shortcuts will be added to the menu. The shortcuts will be created in the hard disk in the correct place (by the setup program) but they are not shown in the Start menu.

But Microsoft has now fixed this problem
Microsoft has increased the limit from 512 to 2048 in the latest official update of Windows 10 (the “Threshold 2” update). The distribution of the update will start this week, and soon all Windows 10 users will be able to have up to 2048 shortcuts and tiles in the Start menu.

If you participate in the Windows Insider Program, you may already have downloaded and installed a version of Windows 10 that handles up to 2048 items in the start menu. The problem with shortcuts and tiles were fixed in build 10547 that was released in September. But with the beginning of this week, all users will have access to an update that fixes this problem.

More information
If you want to read more about the 512 limit, you can read the following article on the web:
> Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

If you want to know how to count the number of items in the Start menu you can read this blog post on our blog:
> How to count the number of shortcuts and tiles in the Start menu in Windows 10

A first look at Windows 10

Windows 10 - LogoEarlier this week Microsoft presented their next operating system: Windows 10. Their last client operating system, Windows 8, has not sold as expected, so Microsoft has worked hard to develop a replacement, and with Windows 10 Microsoft expect to have an OS that will attract their customers. Windows 10 was designed with especially business users in mind, because they were very reluctant to upgrade to Windows 8.

The Start menu is back!
One of the biggest news in Windows 10 is the return of the Start menu. In Windows 8 the Start menu was removed, but people never get used with that, so in Windows 10 the Start menu is back. Microsoft has also improved the Start menu so it is more feature rich than before. You can now customize the contents of the Start menu after your needs. And there is also a powerful Search function included in the menu. From the Start menu you can launch both traditional desktop apps and modern Windows Store apps (former “Metro” apps).

Windows 10 - Image 1

Some other new features in Windows 10 are:

Virtual desktops
In Windows 10 you can have more than one desktop at the same time. And you can switch between the desktops in an easy way. These desktops are called virtual desktops and when you use them you can for example place applications that are connected in a logical way on the same desktop. For example all Office applications on one desktop and Visual Studio and other development tools in another desktop.

Windows Store apps can be run on the traditional desktop
Windows Store apps (the modern style apps) can now be run on the traditional desktop. The apps can also be resized and moved on the desktop, in the same way as traditional desktop applications. And the apps can also be launched from the new Start menu.

Continuum
In Windows 8 the touch-optimized Start screen was always shown, also on a desktop computer where a mouse and keyboard were connected and no touch-screen was available. This was not optimal for users that always run desktop apps. Windows 10 is much smarter. It detects the state of the computer and presents the right user interface depending on whether a keyboard and mouse is connected or not, and if the display is touch-sensitive or not. So if you run Windows 10 on a traditional desktop computer, the traditional desktop is automatically shown from start. Microsoft calls this new feature for Continuum.

Quad snap
A new useful feature is the “quad snap” function that allows four windows to be snapped onto the same screen. All windows will obtain the same size. This is a very useful feature, especially on large screens, if you have four applications running simultaneously, and you want to view the contents of the four application windows at the same time.

Improved search function
In Windows 10 the search function has been improved. You can search directly from the new Start menu, and you can choose to search for files on your local computer or for files (or web pages) on the Internet.

Windows 10 - Image 2

This was a first look at the next operating system from Microsoft – Windows 10 – and we will publish more details on our blog in the following months, when Microsoft releases more details about the new Windows.

New Windows 8.1 will be released on October 18th

Windows 8.1, an update to Windows 8, will be released on October 18 according to Microsoft. Some of the new features in Windows 8.1 are that the Start button comes back, SkyDrive gets improved, VPN support is extended, Internet Explorer 11 is included and the Start screen becomes more flexible. It will also be possible to boot directly the traditional desktop in Windows 8.1 which was not possible in Windows 8 in an easy way.

Related information
> Start button back in Windows 8.1
> Article: Why Were the Start Button & Start Menu Removed in Windows 8?
> Article: New Keyboard Shortcuts (Hot Keys) in Windows 8

Paul Allen about Microsoft Windows 8

Paul Allen is a co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, along with Bill Gates, and for a few months he has used and tested a release preview version of Microsoft Windows 8, the latest operating system from Microsoft. He has run the operating system both on a desktop PC and on a tablet (Samsung 700T). In a blog post on his web site he gives us his opinion about the new Windows 8:

> Paul’s take on Windows 8

The blog post also contains some useful tips about how to use Windows 8; for example how to use the new Start screen (that replaces the Start menu) and the Charms bar. If you plan to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 8 we recommend you to read this blog post. Paul Allen explains what is good and bad in the new Windows 8.

Start screen

Charms bar