Microsoft's Visual Studio 2017 hits general availability

Microsoft’s latest IDE release is focused on multi-platform development

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IDG

Microsoft’s tools for developers hit another milestone Tuesday, when the company made Visual Studio 2017 generally available.

As the name implies, this is the next major release of Microsoft’s integrated development environment.

It’s aimed at providing tools for developers to create modern apps for the cloud, mobile platforms and more.

The software gained a Xamarin Forms previewer that lets users view a mobile user interface for iOS and Android apps as they’re writing XAML, an XML-based markup language developed by Microsoft.

Microsoft also added support for creating .NET Core 1.0 and 1.1 apps and improved tools for working with containers. In addition, users will be able to open a file in Visual Studio 2017 without creating a project or a solution, which can hold multiple software projects.

On top of the feature changes, Microsoft also reworked Visual Studio 2017 to start up, load and debug faster. Developers can also pick and choose which components they install, which should make that process faster.

People who still want or need to use Visual Studio 2015 can continue to run it alongside Visual Studio 2017. Those folks who have beta versions of Microsoft’s new IDE will have to update their software.

The Visual Studio 2017 installer should have an Upgrade button for those people who already have betas on their PCs.

Pricing for the different editions of Visual Studio 2017 remains the same as Visual Studio 2015. Microsoft offers a free community edition for individual developers and small teams, as well.

As part of the announcement Tuesday, Microsoft also unveiled the next beta version of Visual Studio for Mac, a major update to Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017 and new functionality for Visual Studio Mobile Center.

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