I have installed the new version of Microsoft Visual Studio. I was using Visual Studio 2010 for the last 1 year and now installed the new one. One thing to be clear that the two versions of Visual Studio can be installed in a same machine with no dependency with each other. So we can have some projects for Visual Studio 2010 and some for Visual Studio 2012. Also like the old ones Visual Studio 2012 have the backward compatibility. We can create projects in Visual Studio 2012 which targets the old .NET Framework. I am going to tell you some new features in Visual Studio 2012.
The first and most exiting is the looks. Visual Studio 2012 looks is totally different in comparison with the old ones. It is having the new Metro style UI. It has the two themes one is the light and other is the dark. The light theme is gray and the dark theme is black. The dark theme is sweetable for work at night in dark room. There is a new colorful bar at the bottom of the IDE. It change color depending on the state of the IDE. It is an indication for you about the state of the IDE. For example when you first open the IDE then it is in purple color, after open a solution it becomes blue and when you run in debug mode then it becomes orange.
The solution explorer has many new capabilities in new Visual Studio. You can find many new button at the upper portion of the solution explorer. Like collapse all, back/forward, home, preview, sync with active document etc. You can see the class and members of the class inside a file in solution explorer now. You can create a new solution explorer view or scope to this option. When you right click on a member on the solution explorer then a new context menu will appear with a bunch of new options, like call, is used by, is called by etc. All the features are very useful.
When you click on a file in solution explorer then if the file support preview then it will open in preview mode. Preview mode means you are not working just you want to view. The preview tab open at the right hand side of the main working area of Visual Studio. When you start working on that file then it will become a regular window. You can enable and disable this preview feature from the solution explorer. Also note not all file types supports preview (XAML not support it).
New .NET Framework
In Visual Studio 2012 you can work with new version of Microsoft .NET framework 4.5. Also you can work with the new project templates like ASP.NET MVC 4, ASP.NET Web API etc. I like the Entity Framework code first and the new scaffolding options in ASP.NET MVC 4. Some of these features were also there for Visual Studio 2010 but for that you have to install them as a plugin. Here you can get them at the time of installing the new Visual Studio 2012.
In previous Visual Studio if you want to change the target browser to run you web application, then you have to right click on the aspx file then go for browse with option. Here from standard toolbar you can easily change you target browser.
Using page inspector you can inspect your html and css like the same which we can do with firebug. But page inspector has some more abilities which firebug has not, like when you inspect the html the IDE can also navigate the server side code for you.
I have installed the express version for web and desktop. In desktop you can get both C# and VB templates and in web you can get the web related templates in C# and VB languages. Some of the features was not in express version in previous Visual Studios but now you can get them in the new one. Like Breakpoint window, solution folder, MS Unit test project template, many new options in main menu, connect to team server option etc.
It is difficult to tell all the new features of Visual Studio 2012 in one post. For more information please take a look at the Microsoft Visual Studio link. Click here