Visual Studio 25th Anniversary2022-03-17T13:17:32-07:00
Once upon a runtime
Share your favorite Visual Studio memories with #MyVSStory by March 17 and your tweet could be featured on our stream!
64 bits and counting
Visual Studio 2022, the first true 64-bit version, releases in November. For developers who work with very large projects, this change nearly eliminates their pain points with out-of-memory exceptions. This version adds Hot Reload capabilities, which can deploy code changes into running apps without needing to stop and recompile. A more sophisticated IntelliCode now suggests entire lines of code. After 25 years, Visual Studio remains the most-loved, most-trusted IDE for professional developers.
Faster and easier than ever
Visual Studio 2019 now includes full LiveShare integration, offering developers a powerful and indispensable way to work on code together. IntelliCode starts offering coding recommendations, using machine learning and artificial intelligence to help support developers on every line. With the goal of helping developers get to their code even faster, this version of Visual Studio introduces the Start Window to quickly navigate between recent projects.
Getting even better with every update
Visual Studio 2017 (initially referred to as “Visual Studio 15”) ships in March, and continues to add new features and functionality in later updates. During its lifecycle, this version of Visual Studio takes on new features like EditorConfig support, toolsets for .NET Core and Docker, and Xamarin. The debugging and IntelliSense experiences get several improvements. This is the last version of Visual Studio with support for Windows 10 Mobile projects.
Roslyn lights up the IDE
Visual Studio 2015 replaces the old .NET compilers with the new “Roslyn” compiler platform. As part of the Roslyn upgrade, Visual Studio adds a light bulb indicator to the margin of the code editor to help developers spot and perform common tasks more easily. In an industry first, Visual Studio 2015 offers a JSON editor with JSON Schema and SchemaStore.org support.
Color makes a splash
Visual Studio 2012 ships with approximately 50 million lines in its source code. It offers better syntax highlighting, which developers love. It also removes the color from some tools and icons, which developers do not love. Many, many developers report that they rely on these colors to find their place or distinguish between similar elements, something the redesign didn’t account for. After hearing the feedback, the color comes back. Some developers also have strong objections that the menu bar in this version, which uses all capital letters, is too hard to read.
For Visual Studio 2010, the IDE shell is entirely rewritten using WPF. The product team makes numerous improvements to the user interface and user experience, with better support for multiple monitors and open windows. Database support now includes IBM D2 and Oracle, in addition to Microsoft SQL Server. Web developers now have integrated Microsoft Silverlight support, including an interactive designer.
Visual Studio for free
Visual Studio Express releases as a free version with a simplified IDE and a smaller feature set, designed for beginners to get up and running quickly. Visual Studio 2005 ships with even more support for .NET development, plus new features for databases and web apps. While Visual Studio itself remains a 32-bit application, this version introduces compiler support for 64-bit architectures and a new task-based build platform, MSBuild, that uses an XML-based project file format.
Our first truly unified IDE
Visual Studio .NET ships, introducing both C++ extensions and managed code through the .NET Framework. This third major version of Visual Studio supports C# and .NET for WinForms desktop apps and ASP.NET web apps. This is the first Visual Studio with a unified shell, which presents some unusual UX challenges for the product team: basic commands like “File > New” aren’t the same in Visual Basic and Visual C++. Getting everything to work together requires each menu item to be re-negotiated.
Visual Studio 6.0
The second version of Visual Studio ships under the name “Visual Studio 6.0.” (To coincide with the flagship product Visual Basic 6.0, and to avoid a misconception that developers may think “Visual Studio 2.0” is a downgrade by comparison.) This is the last version that includes Visual J++, and the last that runs on Windows 95 or Windows 98.
The original Visual Studio
At the beginning of the “programmable web”, and determined to compete in the Java tooling space, Microsoft bundles its developer tooling for multiple languages into one package, containing Visual C++, Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro, Visual InterDev, and Visual J++. The result, Visual Studio 1997, is essentially an installer for a collection of separate products, beginning the journey toward a fully integrated development environment.
Check out the event sizzle reel
Every release there’s more functionality… As Visual Studio continues to grow — we’re at 25 years now — I can’t wait to see how powerful this tool is when it gets to 50.
— Zach Fuller, Principal Product Lead, Visual Studio 2022 user.
Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. This includes all Microsoft events and gatherings, including on digital platforms, where we seek to create a respectful, friendly, fun, and inclusive experience for all participants.
We expect all digital event participants to uphold the principles of this Code of Conduct, which covers the main digital event and all related activities. We do not tolerate disruptive or disrespectful behavior, messages, images, or interactions by any party participant, in any form, at any aspect of the program including business and social activities, regardless of location.
Microsoft will not tolerate harassment or discrimination based on age, ancestry, color, gender identity or expression, national origin, physical or mental disability, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable local laws, regulations, and ordinances.
We encourage everyone to assist in creating a welcoming and safe environment. Please report any concerns, harassing behavior, suspicious, or disruptive activity to Business Conduct Hotline (1-877-320-MSFT or email@example.com). Microsoft reserves the right to refuse admittance to or remove any person from any Microsoft event or digital platform at any time at its sole discretion.