What’s New in Visual Studio 2022

After much anticipation, Microsoft launched visual studio 2022 for general availability at the beginning of November along with .NET 6, which it supports. The virtual launch event allowed people to explore the  latest capabilities, learn from guest speakers and ask questions to the Visual Studio team. While some developers will have downloaded the Release Candidate (RC) version in advance of the full launch, general availability gives developers the green light to really dig into the details of the updates. 

The updated version includes many new features and improvements that promise to make Visual Studio faster, more lightweight and more scalable for the large enterprise solution. Ultimately, it aims to help developers go from idea to code faster than ever, with productivity and quality of life improvements at the heart of the updates. 

The Vision for Visual Studio 2022

The keynote address featuring Scott Hanselman and the Visual Studio product team focused on the vision for Visual Studio 2022, how it came to fruition and the new features that will bring it to life. While every release is exciting to the development community, this release is particularly special. This is because it is the first version architectured to be 64-bit natively for large scale solutions. This means more performance and better reliability overall. It also has improved the edit-debug cycle, helping developers to write the right line of code. And, finally, it has improved the cycle to do debugging with hot reload, so developers don’t need to stop to see the changes in what they’re building.

The motivation behind the key changes is based around Microsoft’s core aim to make every developer’s day more joyful. To achieve this, Visual Studio has been created for:

  • Performance and scalability – Visual Studio 2022 is faster, more convenient, more lightweight, and is designed for both learners and experienced developers building enterprise-grade applications.
  • Modern Apps  – Visual Studio 2022 makes building modern, cloud-based applications with Azure easier than ever before. The new version also fully supports .NET 6 and its unified framework for web and mobile apps. It also includes robust support for the C++ workload. 
  • Innovation – Visual Studio 2022 puts innovation at your fingertips with real-time collaboration tools, improved insights and seamlessly integrated productivity tools.
  • Everyone – Visual Studio is now more accessible than ever with a refreshed user interface to better keep you in your flow and subtle cosmetic changes that reduce crowding and modernise the user interface. 

With Visual Studio 2022, you’ll always get the best-in-class tools and services available for any developer, any app, and any platform. Whether you’re using Visual Studio for the first time or you’ve been using it for years, there are a lot of positives to the new version.

Major Developments in Visual Studio 2022

There are countless new features in Visual Studio 2022. However, we’ve pulled together the major ones to give you an overview of the changes you can expect to see:

  • 64-Bit – the major change that everyone has been waiting for, Visual Studio 2022 is finally 64-bit. The core process of Visual Studio will have the advantage of getting a large data set, using more CPU registers and using more than 4GB of memory. This means that developers can take full advantage of modern hardware to scale larger, more complex projects. Not only this, but the 64-bit should run faster and deliver better performance. Developers can now create complex solutions without running out of memory and then open these solutions without slowing down performance. 
  • AI IntelliCode – in a powerful upgrade to Visual Studio’s IntelliCode auto-completion engine, Visual Studio 2022 is now able to autocomplete entire lines and chunks of code. The code completion algorithm has been trained using more than half a million open-source repositories to deliver better suggestions than ever. Basically, it tries to complete the code line while you’re still writing it, and the prediction engine is amazingly accurate. 
  • .NET 6  Support – Visual Studio 2022 has built-in support for .NET 6 and all its features and now defaults to .NET 6 for new applications. This includes support for Miscorost’s Multi-platform APP UI, .NET MAUI, Microsoft’s new standard for cross-platform native app development. 
  • .NET Hot Reloading – until now, there hasn’t been a standardised hot reloading solution for .NET. This has meant that developers have had to wait for their apps to compile and launch before being able to see their latest changes. Now with .NET hot reloading, developers can change code in a running application without the need to pause or restart. While there are some limitations, this feature greatly improves the feedback cycle and allows for faster development. 

There are a lot of small changes too. Debugging has been improved with new context options for more advanced breakpoints. Blazer now has numerous edit integrations and will work better with IntelliSense and syntax highlighting. And there are more project templates, which can be automatically made with API integrations. 

Learn More About Visual Studio 2022

To find out more, you can review the technology-based breakout sessions that were shown during the launch event with tips, tricks and talks. You can also review the release notes for a full summary of everything that’s new. Then, to get into the details yourself, you can download the installer from the Microsoft website. 

Of course, how much you’ll gain from Visual Studio 2022 depends on the technologies that you use in your projects. However, Visual Studio is an integrated development environment that has been built for every developer. So, whether you’re building apps with Windows Forms, Blazer or cloud-native based on containers, it has a lot to offer. 

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About the author

Michael Ridland is the Co-CEO and Founder of Xam Consulting.

Design-led problem solving delivering digital solutions.

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