Visual Studio 2019 Release Candidate (RC) now available

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John

Today we’re sharing a Visual Studio 2019 Release Candidate (RC) – one of the final steps before general availability on April 2 at the virtual launch event. You can download the RC at visualstudio.com/downloads. As always, check out the release notes for the RC for all the details.

Explaining the Release Candidate

With this release, we’re introducing two product “channels”: the release channel and the preview channel. Starting today, Visual Studio 2019 RC is available in the release channel (visualstudio.com/downloads) and Visual Studio 2019 Preview 4 is available in the preview channel (visualstudio.com/preview). Both versions can be installed and used side-by-side and, right now, both channels contain the same bits.

Starting April 2, the release channel (RC) build can be upgraded to our generally available (GA) release, which will be ready for production use. The preview channel will continue to offer an early look at upcoming features, just as you’ve become accustomed to in Visual Studio 2017.

With today’s releases, we encourage you to install either Visual Studio 2019 RC side-by-side with your existing Preview installation, or start using the RC if you haven’t checked out the Preview releases. Visual Studio 2019 RC, as was the case with RCs of previous versions of Visual Studio, is a supported release and comes with a go-live license, but keep in mind that we’re still finalizing things and some workloads remain in preview until April 2. As mentioned, the RC can be upgraded to (GA) on April 2.

To help explain the two channels between now and GA (and beyond), we’ve put together this chart:
Visual Studio 2019 product channels

Visual Studio 2019 Editions

On the download or preview page on visualstudio.com, you’ll find that you can now choose to download the Community, Professional, or Enterprise edition for either channel. Up until now, only the Enterprise edition was available in the Visual Studio 2019 preview channel. If you have an Enterprise license and would like to keep using Visual Studio 2019 Preview, you can simply update to Preview 4 in the Visual Studio Installer. For everyone else, you will have to switch to the edition you’re licensed for, either in the preview (Preview 4) or release (RC) channels. We recommend that you first install your licensed edition, and then uninstall the current Visual Studio 2019 Preview if installed.

Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise have different features. For example, Enterprise has IntelliTrace, Live Unit Testing, Embedded Assemblies for mobile apps, Real Time Architecture Validation, and others – features we continue to hone. A couple of items I’ll call out that are a bit newer in Visual Studio 2019 Enterprise:

  • The Snapshot Debugger, which enables you to debug production applications in Azure with minimal disruption, adds support for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Virtual Machine Scale Sets (VMSS).
  • In a future release of Visual Studio Enterprise 2019 will add a preview of Time Travel Debugging (TTD) integrated with the Snapshot Debugger. TTD enables you to record a process and then accurately reconstruct and replay the execution path. You can rewind and replay each line of code however many times you want, helping you isolate and identify problems.

For Visual Studio Community 2019, we’re making the References, Application Insights (Requests and Exceptions), and Test (Test Status and Tested By) CodeLens capabilities available, which were only available in Visual Studio Professional and Enterprise previously. This means that any Visual Studio 2019 user can can now get specific insights and information about the code, right within the code editor.

Reaching the home stretch together

We’re incredibly grateful to all the users who have been trying out Visual Studio 2019 since the first preview and have been giving us feedback every step of the way. While our generally available release on April 2 only marks the beginning of Visual Studio 2019 releases, we still encourage everyone to install Visual Studio 2019 RC and help us ship the best of Visual Studio to date. Let us know of any issues you run into by using the Report a Problem tool in Visual Studio or head over to the Visual Studio Developer Community to track your issue or suggest a feature.

I hope you all tune in online on April 2 for the virtual launch of Visual Studio 2019, which will be a fun celebration together with you, the community. You can also attend one of the many local launch events happening between April 2 and June 30. I hope you continue to share your feedback in future releases, so Visual Studio continues to be your development environment of choice. Thank you!

94 comments

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  • Avatar
    Mike Diack

    There are significant graphical glitches (clipped text, warning icons with no explanatory text) in the upgrade window (e.g. upgrading a VS 2013 c++ code base to the v142 build toolset and SDK).Text is clipped/written on top of buttons. A ! exclamation icon on yellow with no explanatory text. I have raised feedback on this. Similarly, my long standing bug bear about the C++ background analysis failing to show up even the simplest memory leak via malloc or new, raised as a feedback item (with steps on how to reproduce it – basically do malloc and then forget a free), is bounced back as not enough info from the team. Sorry all, but:This release looks rushed and lacking polish at the moment.Most of the comments about the title bar have been ignored, yet it’s marked as done, and likewise the new blue theme which is purple (and the old shade of blue is not included as an “old blue” type theme).Looking at the volume of blog posts and comments about it, you could be forgiven that it was the only thing changed in this version!

  • Avatar
    Mike Diack

    Question re: MSDN documentation: When will the VS2019 specific documentation be online on MSDN?I tried looking at documentation relating to changes in VS 2019:(example: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cpp/error-messages/compiler-warnings/compiler-warnings-by-compiler-version?view=vs-2017 ) to look at the evolving state of compiler warnings. I then decided to try a VS2019 version by changing the last character to 9i.e.https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cpp/error-messages/compiler-warnings/compiler-warnings-by-compiler-version?view=vs-2019only to find that page doesn’t exist.Likewise there are many other pages missing (e.g. Breaking changes etc.) If RC is now “go-live”, I’d expect there to be some MSDN documentation online to support it (even if it’s incomplete/tagged WIP). Similar example, try to find the MSDN list of C++ compiler options for VS2019. The same list as VS 2017 appears (dated 2016!) ….

    • Avatar
      Jamie YoungMicrosoft logo

      Hey SuperCocoLoco, thanks for the comment on this! We met on the title bar and theme work yesterday and we’ve a plan in place to solve some the feedback we’re hearing around these items. We are actively working on both areas looking at all the changes that have been suggested from everyone here and on Developer Community. We’ll get these changes to you soon and (of course) please drop us a comment, feedback item or suggestion once you’ve seen them to let us know what you think. 

  • Avatar
    SuperCocoLoco .

    It is very curious to see how Microsoft abandons its own technologies in favor of others from third parties. Microsoft now develops Windows applications in Electron instead of using his own technologies in Visual Studio. And example is the unusable and disaster of Skype 8 that nobody wants to upgrage or use and Microsoft inhability to fix for years. Blogs are designed in WordPress instead of Microsoft technologies. Web engine in Edge/Windows 10 are now change by the Google Chrome due to Microsoft’s inability to develop or maintain a decent engine. Now Cortana is no more a Virtual Assistant (due to Microsoft’s inability to develop it) and is now a skill or a tool to use Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (maybe Samsung Bixby in the future).   A lot of new Microsoft apps are developed by third party companies. Since 2012 all new features in applications they are of the style “new icons”, “emoticons added”, “cloud support”, “touch support”, “more cloud support”, “more touch support”, “new theme”, “combined title bar with menu bar”, “all caps menu” and many really necessary and widely used features have been removed, specially those not related to cloud, or related with all those who work locally or do not want to use the cloud. Microsoft is adding Skype 7 features to Skype 8 for more than a year and there are only two or three new features added in more than a year. What are Microsoft teams doing everyday at job hours? Testing Visual Studio 2019 Release Candidate, it seems to be more in alpha phase than in beta. Its also seems that Microsoft not use or develop in Visual Studio no more. Is it time to leave Microsoft’s ship? Microsoft is the first to do it.

    • Avatar
      Yann Duran

      I’ve also noticed these two disheartening trends:
      1) Microsoft using pretty much anything OTHER than Microsoft products these days. Just today I was astounded to find that the VS installer is actually an electron “application”.
      2) So much time and effort seems to go into adding “new features” into new versions of VS that:
          a) pander to the lowest common denominator (ie the attempt to dumb everything down)
          b) are just visual elements that seem to be changed for the sake of changing them, so they can be added to the list of “new features”
      How are customers supposed to have confidence in Microsoft products/technologies when more and more we see Microsoft not using them?

    • Avatar
      Rajen Kishna Microsoft logo

      Hi, as mentioned in the blog post, the previews are available in the preview channel and the RC is available in the release channel. These install side-by-side, so you can’t upgrade Preview 3 (or 4) to RC. You will be able to upgrade RC to the generally available version we will release at our launch event on April 2. Hope that helps clarify it!

  • Avatar
    Mike Diack

    Serious question – is anyone following up on the comments on this page?A number of people have made comments, both opinions and bugs and the silence has been mostly deafening…1) I raised some bugs (and have raised them as feedback items).2) People have commented on x64, themes, title bars etc.3) People have hinted (I’m not the only one), that the release of VS 2019 feels rushed to meet a time deadline rather than a quality standard/baseline.Case in point – you’d announced a release date before you’d even released the RC…4) I’ve raised issues about non existant documentation (release notes for Preview 4 are minimal), and lack of supporting MSDN docs now that the code is “go live”.And all there’s been is silence….. Anyone from Microsoft listening? If not, this suggests exactly why we’ve had the blue theme and title bar debacle – with MS marking the job as done, in spite of continued protestation from users.

    • Avatar
      Jamie YoungMicrosoft logo

      Hi Mike, we are listening 🙂 We are also definitely working on solutions to the feedback we’re hearing. On the title bar and theme work, we have been making measured improvements with each preview release (sorry to hear you think it’s a debacle) But we continue to listen and respond so thanks for opening up new tickets and issues, please keep at it.

      • Anthony Cangialosi
        Anthony CangialosiMicrosoft logo

        Hi Mike. When we release Visual Studio 2019 in April we are going to give you back the option to restore the title bar. You’ll find this in the ‘Preview features’ node under Tools->Options. Options under the Preview features node give users a way to restore the old experience for a period of time while we polish the new compact menu experience and learn from the experiences of a broader set of users.
        We continually work on improving startup and solution load time. The best way to for us to diagnose perf issues is to start with a feedback ticket where we can look at specific traces from your instance to help us improve VS.
        We’d like to hear more of your perspective on the UI and other changes. If you reach out to vsidefeedback_at_microsoft_dot_com we can setup a call to dig into your feedback and the  updates we’re thinking. You can also share a link to your feedback ticket at that email address and I’ll be able to loop in engineers from the team.