Microsoft today introduced a new programming language, called TypeScript, which it said will help developers overcome the problems that arise when creating large-scale JavaScript applications. Microsoft is making available a preview for download.

TypeScript, according to S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of the developer division at Microsoft, is a superset of JavaScript that incorporates such things as type checking, static analysis, explicit interfaces, and best practices into a single language and compiler. “By building on JavaScript, TypeScript keeps you close to the runtime you’re targeting while adding only the syntactic sugar necessary to support large applications and large teams,” he wrote in his blog announcing the new language.

TypeScript is being made available under the Open Web Foundation’s Final Specification Agreement, and Microsoft’s compiler implementation is available on CodePlex (with Git, Somasegar noted) under the Apache 2.0 license. Further, he said, Microsoft continues to work with the ECMAScript standard committee to evolve JavaScript and runtime capabilities.

Microsoft has created a TypeScript plug-in for Visual Studio 2012, released last month. The plug-in makes it easier for developers to work with the language, and provides IntelliSense for code auto-completion, code navigation, refactoring and static error messages.