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Microsoft today announced Visual Studio 2019, the next version of its integrated development environment (IDE). Release timing will be shared “in the coming months,” with the company simply promising “to deliver Visual Studio 2019 quickly and iteratively.” The news comes days after Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub.

Microsoft launched Visual Studio 2017 in March 2017 and Visual Studio 2017 for Mac in May 2017, and says it has become “our most popular Visual Studio release ever.” Since those initial releases, the company has published seven updates, improving solution load performance, build performance, and unit test discovery performance.

Last month at its Build 2018 developers conference, Microsoft showed off two new Visual Studio previews: IntelliCode and Live Share. The former uses AI to offer intelligent suggestions that improve code quality and productivity, and the latter lets developers collaborate in real time with team members who can edit and debug directly from Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code.

Once out of preview, both of those features will not be exclusive to Visual Studio 2019. In fact, Microsoft isn’t yet ready to talk about the next release in detail. All we have is a name (which presumably confirms the year of release), some early hints about improvements, and the confirmation to expect more AI:

Because the Developer Tools teams (especially .NET and Roslyn) do so much work in GitHub, you’ll start to see check-ins that indicate that we’re laying the foundation for Visual Studio 2019, and we’re now in the early planning phase of Visual Studio 2019 and Visual Studio for Mac. We remain committed to making Visual Studio faster, more reliable, more productive for individuals and teams, easier to use, and easier to get started with.

Expect more and better refactorings, better navigation, more capabilities in the debugger, faster solution load, and faster builds. But also expect us to continue to explore how connected capabilities like Live Share can enable developers to collaborate in real time from across the world and how we can make cloud scenarios like working with online source repositories more seamless. Expect us to push the boundaries of individual and team productivity with capabilities like IntelliCode, where Visual Studio can use Azure to train and deliver AI-powered assistance into the IDE.

As before, Visual Studio 2019 previews will install side by side with Visual Studio 2017. This is great for trying out new functionality without messing with your production workflow.

Visual Studio 2019 also won’t require a major operating system upgrade, Microsoft promised. Visual Studio 2017 worked on Windows Server 2012 R2 (and later), Windows 7 (and later), and Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11 (and later).


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