Microsoft’s Connect(); event brings some big news for developers this year. In addition to the release of .NET Core 3.0 and the availability of Windows Forms, WPF, and WinUI in open-source format, the software giant is announcing the first preview of Visual Studio 2019. The next version of Visual Studio was first announced back in June, but it’s now available to test for those interested.

There are a few key changes in this release, starting with a new start window which is designed to work better with online repositories such as GitHub, Azure Repos, and others. You can still open or create a new project though, so you don’t have to worry about that. Other changes in the UI include a new blue theme, and a more compact title and menu bar. Microsoft says it’s working to optimize the menu bar even more, too.

There’s also a new search experience in Visual Studio 2019, which replaces the Quick Launch box in previous versions. The search box lets you find settings, commands, and install options, and it also supports fuzzy searching, so you can find the results you need even when you misspell words.

Visual Studio 2019 also brings improvements to development itself. Code refactoring has been improved to keep the code clean and easier to maintain. There’s a document health indicator and a clean-up option too, so it’s easier to identify issues with your code. Improvements are also being made to IntelliCode, so that auto-complete suggestions are more contextually-aware, not just in relation to the APIs in use but also to the rest of the code in the project.

Microsoft is also integrating Visual Studio Live Share directly into Visual Studio 2019. The feature, introduced late last year, allows multiple people to work together on the same code in real time. With the integration, it will also be easier to start a Live Share session as well as manage the people working with you. Live Share support will also be enabled for any project, app type, and language.

Lastly, Microsoft is introducing a new experience for pull requests, allowing you to review, run, and debug them from within VS2019. For now, the feature supports Azure Repos, but support for GitHub will be added in the future.

Visual Studio 2019 will also be the first to support building applications for any platform using .NET Core 3, but the team promises to continue improving cross-platform C++ development as well.

If you’re interested in trying the future of Visual Studio, you can learn more about VS2019 and download it from here. If you have any issues or questions regarding this release, you can always head to the developer community to get help from others.

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