Earlier today, at the Microsoft Connect(); event, there were a bunch of announcements around the .NET platform, Visual Studio 2015, and Visual Studio Online.
Open Sourcing the core .NET stack
This is huge.
Microsoft has jumped into the Open Source community in a big way recently, particularly with ASP.NET, but now they've announced they're open sourcing the entire .NET stack!
Well, not the entire stack, just the core stuff. This has been met with some scepticism, however I think it's the right thing to do. Think about the codebase you're working on right now. If you were told to open source it, would you want to do a bit of work to it first? Maybe refactor a whole lot of stuff?
I'm only guessing, but I would think there's a bit of work to do before the entire stack is "open-sourceable". And I believe they'll do it as quickly as they can.
You can see it all now at https://github.com/Microsoft/dotnet.
Release Management Service for Visual Studio Online
You may have heard me talk about Release Management at Tech Ed NZ this year. Well, what was previously an on-premises product only is now available in Visual Studio Online as well.
It's a relatively limited offering right now, only allowing releases to Azure, but rest assured the new features will start coming thick and fast.
Read more about it on Brian Harry's blog.
A new Community edition of Visual Studio
No, I'm not talking about Visual Studio Express. This is a much bigger product than that. Instead of thinking "Express with some extra features", think "Professional with some tiny things taken out". The biggest difference is the fact that you can install plugins. Yep, in the community edition, you can now run Resharper and Web Essentials.
This is awesome news for startups and open source projects.
Download it now at http://www.visualstudio.com/en-gb/products/visual-studio-community-vs.
ASP.NET 5 and MVC 6
Yep, the .Net web-dev universe is rebooting again. Well, not really, but there are some big changes. The biggest and most important change for me is that MVC and Web API are now in the same pipeline. That means no separate assemblies for all your attributes, routing, helpers, etc.
Other big changes include no-compile updates (yes, no need to recompile while you're developing - even for .cs files), Nuget for absolutely everything (including the .NET runtime!), and support for cross-platform hosting (no IIS or even Windows!).
Read more about the changes in Xinyang Qiu's blog post.
Support for debugging Lambda Expression in Visual Studio
This is one of those "little things" that had a big effect on day-to-day work. In short, you can now write lambda expressions in all your debug windows.
Read more on Patrick Nelson's blog post.