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Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 Available for Download

Today, I am excited to announce that Visual Studio 2015 and .Net 4.6 are available for download

These releases are the next big step in the journey we outlined last November to bring the productivity of Visual Studio and .NET to any developer working on any kind of application while also delivering a new level of innovation in developer productivity for all Visual Studio developers.

To celebrate today’s releases, you can join us online for the Visual Studio 2015 Release Event, check out 60+ on-demand feature videos or just dive right in and download Visual Studio 2015 now.

The Visual Studio Family

Over the last few years, the Visual Studio family has expanded to be broader than ever before.  And the reception from developers has been great to see.

At the core is the Visual Studio IDE that millions of developers around the world love and use day-in and day-out to build great applications.  Last year, we introduced Visual Studio Community - a fully-featured Visual Studio IDE which is free for non-enterprise development.  Since November, we have seen over 5 million downloads of Visual Studio Community, the fastest ever adoption of a Visual Studio product.

Two years ago, we introduced Visual Studio Online, bringing a rich collection of cloud-hosted developer services to the Visual Studio Family – from source control to agile backlog management to hosted build and application insights. Today, we have more than 3.2 million developers registered for Visual Studio Online.

And earlier this year, in April, we released a preview of the new Visual Studio Code, a refined code editor for Mac, Linux and Windows supporting cross-platform web and cloud development.  In the last 3 months, we’ve see more than 500k downloads of Visual Studio Code, with nearly half of those downloads on Mac and Linux.

It’s been great to see the excitement and passion around the whole Visual Studio family of products.

Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6

Today’s release of Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 brings hundreds of new features for developers building for desktop, web, mobile, cloud and more. 

Here I’ll highlight just a few of the big new things in Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6.  For more, check out Visual Studio release notes as well as the Visual Studio blog, the .NET blog, and Scott Guthrie’s blog.

Innovation in Productivity

As developers, we spend a lot of our time day-in and day-out in Visual Studio. So with every new release, it is our mission to deliver new innovation that provides the most productive developer experience possible inside Visual Studio. Visual Studio 2015 continues this trend, with improvements in productivity across debugging and diagnostics, code editing and refactoring, and programming languages.

Debugging and Diagnostics

Visual Studio 2015 unifies debugging and profiling into a single Diagnostics Tools window, bringing insights about the correctness and performance of your running application into context during development.  And with PerfTips, you even get performance information right in your code as you set breakpoints and step with the debugger.

Code Editing and Refactoring

In the editor, C# and VB developers can use the new Roslyn-based tooling, including Light Bulbs that proactively suggest potential fixes or code refactorings tooling.  With Roslyn’s code analyzers, developers can even customize the warnings and suggestions delivered inside the editor to meet their team’s needs.

We’ve also added a brand new XAML editor with tons of new features to easily navigate through code including Peek.

Programming Languages

Along with Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 come the final versions of C# 6 and Visual Basic 14.  With dozens of new language features that simplify common coding patterns, the new versions of C# and VB.NET offer a big step forward for .NET developer productivity.

Visual Studio 2015 also includes significantly improved support for C++ 11/14/17 along with TypeScript 1.5, F# 4.0 and tools for Python and dozens of other languages.

Openness for Web, Cloud and Mobile Development

Whether it’s developing for the web, the cloud or for mobile, developers are looking for flexibility and choice.  Visual Studio and .NET are providing this choice, offering the ability to target new platforms, to use new programming languages, and to take existing skills and applications to new environments. 

As one part of this, over the last 2 years we have been open sourcing many of the components of our programming stacks in Visual Studio and .NET – from Roslyn and TypeScript to CoreCLR and the Python Tools for Visual Studio.  On top of this, it’s easier than ever to work with open source technologies within Visual Studio.   

Web and Cloud Development

Along with .NET 4.6, we are also making available ASP.NET 4.6, the newest version of our Web development framework.  ASP.NET 4.6 adds support for HTTP/2 as well as support for the newest C# features and the new Entity Framework 6.1.3.  Visual Studio tooling for web development continues to expand to offer HTML and CSS tooling with up-to-date standards support and a much richer JSON editor.

Visual Studio 2015 also includes the latest Azure SDK providing one-click provisioning and deployment to Azure for web sites and cloud services, along with easy management of all or your cloud resources. Whether your application is using IaaS or Paas in Azure, built with .NET or Python or Node.js, or deploying to Windows or Linux or Docker containers, the cloud tools in Visual Studio 2015 let you easily integrate with Azure.

On top of this, developers can also use the preview of ASP.NET 5 in Visual Studio 2015.  ASP.NET 5 is one of the most significant updates to the ASP.NET platform we’ve done.  Because ASP.NET 5 runs on the CoreCLR, it can be deployed to your choice of platform, whether it’s Linux, Mac or Windows.  On top of this, ASP.NET 5 offers foundational improvements in rapid development, cloud configuration, dependency management and composability.

Mobile Development

Mobile development is increasingly about building mobile experiences that run across many mobile platforms.  Visual Studio 2015 includes cross-platform mobile development tools for building applications targeting iOS, Android and Windows, and offers developers choice in what languages and technologies to use to developer their mobile applications.

Many developers start by building mobile-ready browser based applications using responsive HTML, CSS and JavaScript.  Visual Studio 2015’s rich web tooling, integrated debugging and support for the latest web UI frameworks provide the tools needed to build great mobile-ready web sites.

If you prefer to build a mobile app experience that installs natively on the device, Visual Studio 2015 offers integrated tools for Apache Cordova, enabling you to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript (or TypeScript) to build cross-platform mobile applications that deploy to the consumer on enterprise store.  Visual Studio 2015 even includes a high-performance Visual Studio Emulator for Android for debugging and testing Android applications.

For developers who prefer the richness of .NET, Visual Studio 2015 enables building Universal Windows Apps to target the breadth of Windows devices, from desktop to phone to IoT or even HoloLens.  And by combining Visual Studio 2015 and Xamarin, developers can extend their .NET applications to also target iOS and Android.  With Xamarin, everything you can do in Java or Objective-C is available from .NET and Visual Studio.

On top of these, Visual Studio 2015 also provides cross-platform C++ development for shared components targeting iOS, Android and Windows as well as integration with game engines like Unity to easily build cross platform games. 

Visual Studio 2015 even includes a high-performance Visual Studio Emulator for Android for debugging and testing Android applications.

DevOps and Agility

Development teams today are focused first-and-foremost on being agile.  But increasingly, the trend towards embracing DevOps practices is becoming central to how teams think about creating an agile team and agile processes.  Visual Studio 2015, Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online provide integrated DevOps services that enable teams to continuously deliver, continuously monitor and continuously learn so they can optimize their agility.

These core capabilities across the DevOps spectrum are available in Team Foundation Server 2015 (RC2 available now with the final release available soon) and in the cloud-hosted Visual Studio Online service.

Team Foundation Server has been a great tool for .NET teams for many years, but over the last few years we’ve been increasing our focus on making sure Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online provide 1st class support no matter what language or platform you are targeting. 

Whether it’s Node.js or Java, iOS or Android, both Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online will provide comprehensive support for all of your teams’ developer service needs.


The agile boards in Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online are a critical tool for teams to track their work and progress on a day-to-day basis.  Team Foundation Server 2015 includes updates to the agile boards experience including customization, tagging, swimlanes and more.

Develop and Test

Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online have introduced introduce a new Pull Requests code review experience for Git projects, enabling faster developer collaboration earlier in the development process.

Build and Release

Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online include a brand new build system which provides a simple web-based interface for configuring pluggable, cross platform build workflows for your continuous integration pipeline.

Monitor and Learn

Just as important as getting code into production is understand and learning from you code in production.  Visual Studio 2015 provides one-click integration of Application Insights for both server and client projects, making it seamless to get rich and immediate insights on the performance, availability and usage of your applications – both during development and in production.

Visual Studio Partner Ecosystem

Just as important as the products themselves is the ecosystem of extensions available for Visual Studio that add support for new platforms, new workflows and new application types into the Visual Studio experience.  In just the last year, we saw over 13M downloads of extensions from the Visual Studio gallery.

Today we have 84 of our Visual Studio partners sim-shipping extensions supporting Visual Studio 2015.  And it’s easier than ever to integrate with Visual Studio, Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online to deliver new experiences on top of the Visual Studio family of products.


Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6 are an exciting next step for developer tools from Microsoft - combining new productivity for existing Visual Studio users with new platform support for developers targeting a wider range of platforms and programming models. 

I encourage you to join us online for the Visual Studio 2015 Release Eventcheck out 60+ on-demand feature videos or just dive right in and download Visual Studio 2015 now.  Thank you to all the Visual Studio users who have participated in the development of these products by giving us feedback and getting engaged in the developer community.  Welcome to Visual Studio 2015 and .NET 4.6.