Visual Studio 2013 Launch: Announcing Visual Studio Online

S Somasegar


Today, I’m very excited to launch Visual Studio 2013 and .NET 4.5.1.  I am also thrilled to announce Visual Studio Online, a collection of developer services that runs on Windows Azure and extends the development experience in the cloud.  Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online represent the beginning of a new era for Visual Studio, combining a powerful desktop IDE with rich developer services in the cloud.

As a part of our Cloud OS vision, Visual Studio 2013 and .NET 4.5.1 enable developers to build modern applications.  At a time when the devices and services transformation is changing software development across the industry, the developer is at the center of this transformation.  Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio Online, MSDN and Azure offer the most complete experience for modern application development for the cloud.

To summarize some of the key news we shared today:

  • Visual Studio 2013 and .NET 4.5.1 are available globally, and provide the best tools for modern application development on all of Microsoft’s latest platforms
  • Visual Studio Online is a new offering, providing  a rich collection of developer services in the cloud that work hand-in-hand with the Visual Studio IDE on the desktop
    • Hosted source control, work item tracking, agile planning, build and load testing services that were part of Team Foundation Service are now available in public preview as part of Visual Studio Online
    • Visual Studio Online Application Insights is a new service that provides a 360 degree view of your applications health, based on data about availability, performance and usage
    • Visual Studio Online “Monaco” is a coding environment for the cloud, in the cloud, offering light-weight, friction free developer experiences in the browser for targeted Azure development scenarios
  • Microsoft and Xamarin are collaborating to help .NET developers broaden the reach of their applications to additional devices, including iOS and Android
  • Visual Studio 2012 Update 4 is available today

You can get in-depth coverage of all of the Visual Studio 2013 launch details and announcements on Channel 9.

Visual Studio 2013

Visual Studio 2013 is the best tool for developers and teams to build and deliver modern, connected applications on all of Microsoft’s latest platforms.  From Windows Azure and Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows 8.1 and Office 365, Visual Studio 2013 provides development tools that help developers build great applications.  Support for live debugging Azure sites from Visual Studio means you can set a breakpoint in a running service in the cloud, and step through it directly from Visual Studio.  The new Cloud Business Application project type lets you build next-generation business applications leveraging Office 365 and Azure.  And features like Energy Profiling and UI Responsiveness diagnostics make it easier than ever to build 5-star applications for the Windows Store.

For individual developers, Visual Studio 2013 brings great new developer productivity features.  Features like Peek Definition and CodeLens provide key information about your code right where you are working in the Visual Studio editor. 

And for teams, Visual Studio 2013 and Team Foundation Server 2013 offer new capabilities from Agile Portfolio Management to support for Git source control to the new Team Room feature.  In partnership with Windows Server and Systems Center, we’ve enabled some great DevOps scenarios for on premise development.  And we’ve integrated new Release Management features to automate deployment and do continuous delivery on the cloud.

For more on what’s new in Visual Studio 2013, .NET 4.5.1 and Team Foundation Server 2013 see What’s New.

Visual Studio Online

Today marks the beginning of a new era for Visual Studio with the availability of Visual Studio Online. 

Visual Studio has evolved over the years.  Starting with an integrated developer environment for the desktop, Visual Studio expanded to also include team development capabilities on the server with Team Foundation Server.  We are now taking the next step, extending the Visual Studio IDE with a collection of developer services, hosted in Azure, which offers the best integrated end-to-end development experience for modern applications.

Today, we are announcing the availability of a broad range of developer services as part of Visual Studio Online.  Several services that have been available in Team Foundation Service are now in public preview as part of Visual Studio Online:  hosted source control, work item tracking, collaboration and a build service.  The elastic load testing service we released in limited preview earlier this year is also now available in public preview as part of Visual Studio Online.  In addition, we are announcing two new Visual Studio Online services: Visual Studio Online Application Insights and Visual Studio Online “Monaco”.

Visual Studio Online is free for teams up to 5 users.  The combination of Visual Studio Express and the free plan for Visual Studio Online make it simple for developers to get started in a friction-free way.  Visual Studio Online is also included as part of MSDN subscriptions.  New Visual Studio Online subscription plans, including access to the Visual Studio Professional IDE, are also available starting today.  You can check out the plans, and get started with VS Online at

Visual Studio Online is made up of many services, including the following:

Hosted Source Control

Visual Studio Online provides developers with hosted source control, using either Git or Team Foundation Version Control (TFVC).  The sources for your Visual Studio Online projects are readily available to sync to your desktop when you are logged into Visual Studio.

Work Items and Agile Planning

Whether you are managing a project’s work item backlog or planning for the next sprint, Visual Studio Online provides tools to support you agile development process.   

Hosted Build Service

Visual Studio Online includes a hosted build service, making it easy to move your project’s builds to the cloud.  Build results are available in both Visual Studio Online and Visual Studio 2013, providing an smooth integrated development experience.

Every Visual Studio Online account provides 60 minutes of free build time per month, making it friction free to get started with hosted build. 

Elastic Load Test Service

Performance and load testing are important pieces of the application lifecycle, enabling validation and analysis of the behavior of the application under load. Load testing entails highly dynamic resource needs, quickly scaling up to simulate large numbers of concurrent users.  With the Visual Studio Online load testing service, this scalability can be offloaded to the cloud.  Visual Studio users get a fully integrated experience in the IDE for managing and running load tests.

The elastic load test service is available in public preview starting today.  Visual Studio Ultimate subscribers get 15,000 virtual user minutes per month as part of their subscriptions.

Application Insights

The new Application Insights service enables teams to support agile application delivery across an organization by providing visibility into how an application runs and is being used by customers. Application Insights collects live telemetry data across development, test and production environments and captures availability, performance and usage data, providing development teams with a 360-degree view of an application’s health. More than just a monitoring and analytics tool, Application Insights connects this valuable and actionable application data to the rest of your development lifecycle.

The Application Insights service is available today in limited preview, with initial support for .NET and Java applications running on Windows Server and Windows Azure, as well as Web and Windows Phone 8 applications.


As we look to extend the desktop IDE with services in the cloud, we naturally asked ourselves about whether it makes sense to offer a development experience directly in the browser.  The desktop IDE provides a rich, broad and integrated developer experience for a range of platforms.  But we believe there are some scenarios where we can offer light-weight, friction free developer experiences in the browser for targeted platform experience in the cloud.

Visual Studio Online “Monaco” is a coding environment for the cloud, in the cloud.  It complements the desktop IDE as a low friction experience that will help you get started, or make quick changes, to an existing cloud service.  And it is integrated with Visual Studio Online.

Today, we are releasing a preview of one of the experiences that “Monaco” will provide for Azure Websites. Developers will now be able to edit their sites directly from the web, from any modern browser, on any device.

“Monaco” is already being used as the technology behind other cloud-based developer experience, from Office 365 “Napa” development to SkyDrive file editing.

For more details, see the Visual Studio Online “Monaco” video series on Channel 9.

Partner News

With today’s launch of Visual Studio 2013, we have 123 products from 74 partners available already as Visual Studio 2013 extensions.  As part of an ecosystem of developer tools experiences, Visual Studio continues to be a platform for delivering a great breadth of developer experiences.


The devices and services transformation is driving developers to think about how they will build applications that reach the greatest breadth of devices and end-user experiences.  We’ve offered great HTML-based cross platform development experiences in Visual Studio with ASP.NET and JavaScript.  But our .NET developers have also asked us how they can broaden the reach of their applications and skills. 

Today, I am excited to announce a broad collaboration between Microsoft and Xamarin.  Xamarin’s solution enables developers to leverage Visual Studio, Windows Azure and .NET to further extend the reach of their business applications across multiple devices, including iOS and Android.

The collaboration between Xamarin and Microsoft brings several benefits for developers today.  First, as an initial step in a technical partnership, Xamarin’s next release that is being announced today will support Portable Class Libraries, enabling developers to share libraries and components across a breadth of Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms.  Second, Professional, Premium and Ultimate MSDN subscribers will have access to exclusive benefits for getting started with Xamarin, including new training resources, extended evaluation access to Xamarin’s Visual Studio integration and special pricing on Xamarin products.

Visual Studio 2012 Update 4

As I mentioned last month, since we released Visual Studio 2012 just over a year ago, we’ve seen the fastest adoption ever for a release of Visual Studio, with over 6M downloads. 

When we released Visual Studio 2012, we committed to delivering regular updates to provide continuous value to Visual Studio customers. In the last year, we have released 3 updates to Visual Studio.  Even better, over 60% of Visual Studio 2012 users are running the updates.

Today, we are making available Visual Studio 2012 Update 4.  Update 4 includes bug fixes and product improvements, as well as changes that ensure great compatibility between Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio Online.


Today begins a new era for Visual Studio, extending the desktop IDE with a collection of rich developer services in the cloud.  The combination of Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio Online, MSDN and Windows Azure provides the most complete experience for modern application development for the cloud in the era of devices and services.  Welcome to Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online!


S Somasegar
S Somasegar

Senior Vice President, Visual Studio

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