Microsoft Build 2021 started this week, giving Microsoft the opportunity to release updates for several of its offerings. Here are a few highlights from the events so far:
Visual Studio 2019 v16.10 GA and v16.11 preview 1
Visual Studio 2019 v16.10 introduces new C++20 features, improved Git integration, improved profiling tools, and new productivity features.
The new productivity features include IntelliSense completion, the ability to visualize and navigate inheritance chains, Test Explorer accessibility improvements, WinForms updates, XAML tooling updates, and XAML designer quick actions.
Visual Studio 2019 v16.11 preview 1 adds .NET Hot Reload, which allows developers to modify source code while the application is running without having to pause execution or use a breakpoint, and support for .NET MAUI.
More information is available here.
.NET 6 preview 4
.NET 6 should be available in November, and has themes such as appealing to new developers and students, having a great client app development experience, recognition as a compelling framework for building cloud-native applications, and improving inner-loop performance for .NET developers.
New features in this preview include Hot Reload, System.Text.Json support for IAsyncEnumerable, a writable DOM feature for System.Text.Json, Microsoft.Extensions.Logging compile-time source generator, and more.
More information about this preview is available here.
Windows Terminal Preview 1.9
With this release, Windows Terminal Preview can now be set as the default terminal on Windows, enabling command line applications to launch inside Windows Terminal Preview.
The release also introduces Quake mode, which allows developers to quickly open a new terminal instance from anywhere in Windows. The new window will pop up on the top half of the screen and can be closed using the same keyboard shortcut used to open it.
Other updates include Cascadia Code improvements, settings UI updates, and more.
More information about updates to Windows Terminal Preview can be found here.
Release of the Microsoft Build of OpenJDK
The build includes binaries for Java 11, based on OpenJDK 11.0.11+9 x634 server and desktop environments. Microsoft is also publishing an Early Access binary for Java 16 based on OpenJDK 16.0.1+9.
This is also a Long-Term Support release, which means it will receive free quarterly updates.
The company also announced it would release OpenJDK Docker images and their corresponding Dockerfiles. These can be used by any Java applications or Java application components and can be deployed anywhere.
Finally, it announced the creation of a new documentation hub for developing Java applications with Microsoft technologies.
The Green Software Foundation forms
Microsoft, in collaboration with Accenture, GitHub, and ThoughtWorks, have launched the Green Software Foundation. The foundation will be established with the Linux Foundation and the Joint Development Foundation Projects LLC.
The foundation’s goal is to help the software industry meet a target of 45% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Goldman Sachs, Leaders for Climate Action, Watt Time, and The Green Web Foundation have also joined the foundation.
“As we think about the future of the software industry, we believe we have a responsibility to help build a better future – a more sustainable future – both internally at our organizations and in partnership with industry leaders around the globe. With data centers around the world accounting for 1% of global electricity demand, and projections to consume 3-8% in the next decade, it’s imperative we address this as an industry,” Jeff Sandquist, corporate vice president of developer relations at Microsoft wrote in a post.
Windows Package Manager 1.0
First announced at Microsoft Build 2020, the Windows Package Manager has reached its 1.0 release.
According to Microsoft, package managers are a set of tools that automate the process of installing software. You can specify the apps you want installed and the package manager finds the latest version of those apps and installs them.
Windows Package Manager 1.0 can be downloaded from the App Installer through the Microsoft Store, from the GitHub releases page, or installed directly. It will ship as an automatic update for all devices running Windows 10, version 1809 and later.