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Microsoft regularly operates in mysterious ways (Windows 8, anyone?) with one of its more intriguing — and recent — manoeuvres being the acquisition of SyntaxTree. The company is best known for UnityVS, a Visual Studio extension that allows developers to debug games created with Unity 3D in Redmond’s popular IDE. A month after SyntaxTree’s integration into the mothership, Microsoft has released an updated version of UnityVS, renaming it to “Visual Studio Tools for Unity” (VSTU), while also removing the $US99+ price tag.
Just as TechEd North America 2014 kicks off, Microsoft has officially released Update 2 for Visual Studio 2013. The big addition here is the ability to work on universal Windows apps, which can use most of their code across Windows, Windows Phone and (eventually) Xbox.
Visual Studio 2013 was released a few days ago and with it, updated Express editions for hobbyists and those who don’t require the full spectrum of features the commercial product provides. Unfortunately, VS Express 2013 for Windows Desktop shares a problem with its 2012 predecessor — the removal of the Exception Assistant.
Inevitably, preview releases break some software, and Windows 8.1 is no exception. Developers building Windows Phone 8 apps may experience problems using the emulator on a Windows 8.1 preview system, but there’s a workaround.
Until recently, updates to Visual Studio have required a live net connection. However, Microsoft has announced that Visual Studio 2012 Update 2 has been released as an ISO image that can be downloaded and installed offline. Microsoft plans to ship ISO images for the RTM version of future Visual Studio updates, in addition to the existing distribution mechanism.
The Visual Studio 3D Starter Kit, designed to make adding 3D functionality to games and apps easier, has been extended to include support for Windows Phone 8. (Hey, anyone tempted to build a 3D game and enter it in our apps competition?) Full details and install instructions at the link. [Visual C++ Team Blog]