Picks – Happy 20th Birthday Visual Studio


Visual Studio was first released to the public in 1997, Visual Studio 97 was the first time many of the development tools from Microsoft were bundled together in this way, before that products such as Visual Basic, Visual C++, Visual FoxPro and Visual SourceSafe were available as separate products although products such as J++, InterDev and MSDN Library had been using a similar environment called Developer Studio. Visual Studio 2017 is released today, 7th March 2017 and is the latest in a long-line of Visual Studio development environments over the past twenty years, details of the latest version available including the free Community Edition are available at

Visual Studio had it’s first release in 1997 with Visual Studio 97 which was the first attempt by Microsoft at having the same development environment for multiple programming languages. Visual Studio 6 was released in 1998 with version of each programming language all being set to version 6.0 and was the last version before the .NET era. Visual Studio .NET was released in 2002 and introduced managed code development using the .NET Framework and also featured a brand new version of Visual Basic known as Visual Basic .NET that took advantage of the new framework. Visual Studio 2003 was released in 2003 and featured support for developing for mobile devices. Visual Studio 2005 was released in 2005 and also saw the removal of the “.NET” suffix from the name and introduced development for .NET 2.0 and a wider variety of project types. Visual Studio 2008 was released in 2007 and introduced developing applications using Windows Presentation Foundation including designer support. Visual Studio 2010 was released in 2010 and introduced development for .NET 4.0 plus a redesigned IDE to improve usability and many other improvements. Visual Studio 2012 was released in 2012 and introduced a new logo used in subsequent versions and support for building WinRT apps for Windows 8. Visual Studio 2013 was released in 2013 and improved many features based on customer feedback of its predecessor. Visual Studio 2015 was released in 2015 and added many more improvements and features. Visual Studio 2017, released on March 7th 2017, is the newest version of Visual Studio and offers support for .NET Core, Docker Toolset, Xamarin and many other improvements to the code editor and designers.

Visual Studio celebrated its twentieth birthday with the release of the latest version, Visual Studio 2017, featuring enhancements to code navigation, IntelliSense, refactoring, code fixes and debugging. It has a renewed focus to enhance efficiency of daily tasks with a modular installation, a faster IDE and new ways to view, edit and debug code. There are also a built in suite of Azure tools to easily create cloud-first applications that can be deployed to Microsoft Azure plus improved cross platform development with Xamarin to make it faster and easier to build, connect and tune mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows. Whether it is developing using the Universal Windows Platform, Web Development or even Game development you can do it all with Visual Studio.

Originally Published 7th March 2017

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