Slimmer, nimbler Visual Studio 2017 will ship March 7

A multitude of improvements are planned for coding, startup and testing

Microsoft's Visual Studio 2017 software development platform will be officially released on March 7, the company said on Thursday.

Currently a release candidate and previously called Visual Studio 15, the upgrade focuses on code navigation and fixes, refactoring, IntelliSense code editing, and debugging. For teams and devops, it offers real-time features like architectural dependency validation and live unit testing.

Visual Studio 2017 is faster and has been made modular. It focuses on deploying applications and services on the Azure cloud and working with Microsoft's fledgling Universal Windows Platform, a paradigm providing for multi-form factor Windows 10 application development. The upgrade also highlights Node.js server-side JavaScript development and C++ capabilities for Linux, mobile applications, and games. The platform also features Apache Cordova tools for mobile development with JavaScript.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Visual Studio. On January 28, 1997, Microsoft announced the planned launch of Visual Studio 1997, which featured Internet Explorer, Visual Basic 5.0, Visual J for Java development, and other tools. The toolset these days extends across cloud and mobile development and spans the Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and Mac OS platforms.

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