Microsoft has today announced the general availability of Visual Studio 2017. As we have seen over numerous previews, the company has bolstered its 20-year old service with new features for its 2017 iteration. Developers can download the new VS and Microsoft has kept pricing for the product the same as 2015.
The full roll out of Visual Studio 2017 does not come as a surprise. Microsoft confirmed last month that it would launch the service on March 7, while celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first VS.
Users coming from previous versions of Visual Studio can perform side-by-side installation. The suite runs on Windows 10 (1507 AND ABOVE), Windows 8.1, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Standard and Datacenter.
Visual Studio 2017 is different to previous versions and can install faster. This is because Microsoft allows users to customize elements that they want to use. Because of this, there are usually less components in VS 2017 installs. Microsoft says this allows the suite to start up around three times faster than Visual Studio 2015.
The company is also eager to talk up performance by claiming VS 2017 is significantly faster than its predecessor.
Visual Studio 2017 Features
Collaboration is a key focus of Visual Studio 2017. Microsoft has made the platform more adept at supporting teams. To this end, Microsoft recently updated the Team Explorer experience through the VS 2017 Release Candidate. Users will now find it easier to locate the projects to which they want to connect.
Furthermore, Microsoft has expanded the functionality of the service. VS now allows developers to build applications in .NET Core 1.0 and 1.0, Azure, and Docker containers.
Microsoft's own Xamarin app bridge tool is also deeply integrated into VS 2017. This allows dev's to simply create cross platform apps by removing difficult coding. Visual C++ for Linux Development is a popular extension and has been baked in to Visual Studio 2017.
Over the last month, Microsoft has made some announcements regarding VS 2017. Firstly, the company had to delay the integration of Python into the platform. With Release Candidate build 26127.00, Microsoft temporarily removed Data Science and Python Development workloads. This was because the company could not “meet all the release requirements.”
Today, Microsoft has launched a preview of Python and says full support will come in a near update.