Oct 182013
 

In case you haven’t heard yet, Visual Studio 2013 (RTM) has been made available to MSDN subscribers this morning.  In case you aren’t already familiar with the different flavours of Visual Studio, here’s a link to the product comparison page at Microsoft.com.

One important change which I highlighted when I reviewed the Release Candidate version is that the product now prompts you to authenticate with a Microsoft Account (formerly Live ID, formerly MS Passport). This caused me some concern for those wishing to install Visual Studio in an environment with no Internet access, or with no ability to authenticate against Microsoft servers.

As I was exploring the product keys on MSDN, I noticed that there was a section for Visual Studio 2013.  Under each Volume License (VL) key was a static activation key and the following text:

“The product key is not embedded with Visual Studio 2013. When you launch the product, you can simply sign in with the Microsoft account associated with your MSDN subscription and your IDE will automatically activate. An added benefit of signing in to Visual Studio is that your IDE settings will sync across devices, and you can connect to online developer services. If you’d rather enter a product key, then simply bypass signing in and enter the product key found here by selecting Register Product under the Help menu. “

This is good news for those who prefer not to, or can not use a Microsoft account with Visual Studio 2013. 

Personally, I think that synching my IDE settings “across devices” is a pathetic “benefit” of locking Visual Studio to a Microsoft account; and I have no idea what “online developer services” are – aside from the ability to publish Windows 8 Apps and Windows Phone 8 apps to the app store.

Again, I entreat Microsoft: keep your marketing and licensing teams away from Developer Tools!

Aug 172012
 

It’s been a massive week for Microsoft.  We are really in full swing when it comes to the largest release cycle in Microsoft’s history.

It all began on Wednesday at 10 AM PST (Pacific) which is an appallingly wee-hours 3 AM AEST (Australian East).  Insomnia had gripped me, so with a glance at the clock, I decided to stumble online.  Just on the release time, my machine decided that it had to reboot owing to a security patch.

By the time the damned thing rebooted it was too late – MSDN/TechNet were being pummelled by eager subscribers all intent on downloading the RTM ISOs.  I simply couldn’t get launch an Akamai download.

In the end I had to wait until yesterday afternoon, when the queue had died down.  There is quite a lot to digest, including the dark horse, Team Foundation Server 2012.  Word on the grapevine is that Windows Server 2012 will also go RTM shortly as well.

There are quite a number of considerations confronting the subscriber – platform (x86 or x64), locale (US or UK English?), license (Retail, VL, MSDN) and flavour (Win 8 or Win 8 Enterprise, Visual Studio Ultimate/Professional or Premium?).  As one friend put it to me: “What’s the difference?”

For a good look at the differences, here are some helpful links:

Compare Flavours of Windows 8

Compare Editions of Visual Studio 2012

Noting that Windows 8 Enterprise has the features of Windows Pro but has extra support for large organizations.

There are also quite a few additional installation packages to compliment Visual Studio 2012 including the Test Agents (which I’ve mentioned in previous articles to do with establishing load testing), Intellitrace Collector, Remote Tools and the ever handy TFS Everywhere.

Once Windows Server 2012 joins the fray, we will have a very busy period indeed.  Much to write about, so little time.  You’ll also hear from me (with no undue level of verbosity) as I blog live from Microsoft Australia’s annual tech-fest, TechEd 2012 which is on the Gold Coast this year.

Enjoy the new releases and check back here for more, as I begin my long journey diving into the latest tech.