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]
Fancy building apps for the newest versions of Office? Microsoft has updated its Office Developer Tools suite for Visual Studio 2012.
Last year I made the decision to upgrade to Visual Studio Express 2012 For Windows Desktop. Last week I dumped it for Express 2010. I wish I could say there were many reasons why I went back, but there’s only one — Express 2012 killed my productivity.
The original plan for Microsoft was to discontinue the Express series, at least for regular desktop apps, with the VS Express 2010 products satisfying the “legacy” requirements of developers. Of course, everyone but Microsoft thought this was an insane idea and eventually, Microsoft relented, releasing the “Windows Desktop” flavour of VS Express 2012.
Gamification. The word sends shivers of revulsion down my spine. Yet, as I stare at the list of claimable accolades for Visual Studio Achievements, a “motivational” extension for Visual Studio 2010 that allows coders to garner points by completing certain excessive programming tasks, I can’t help but wish I owned a copy of Microsoft’s latest IDE.
We’re so used to the typical combination of black text/white background in our office apps that we’re practically blind to it. Yet, the simple act of switching these two variables could be the key to keeping headaches, eye-strain and tiredness at bay — or alleviating them completely.