During Build 2016, Microsoft released the first public preview version of Visual Studio "15". That's the code name for the next major release of the company's popular application developer tools and is not to be confused with the currently supported version, Visual Studio 2015.

In a blog post, Microsoft says the preview version is officially unsupported, so developers should not install it "in a production environment." The preview version includes some new features:

  • Open and edit any code from any folder
  • Use pattern matching and local functions with new C# language features
  • Use XAML "Edit and Continue" for Universal Windows 10 and WPF apps

In addition this preview release comes in two install options; the regular one and a new lightweight version.

The smallest installation of Visual Studio with the new installer downloads in less than 300MB, and includes basic code editing support for over 20 languages along with debugging and source code control. You can optionally add support for other features: .NET desktop development with WPF and WinForms, Python, C++ and Unity. It's a great way to preview new features in the next version of Visual Studio without impacting your production development work.

Microsoft will likely release a number of preview versions of Visual Studio "15" before it is officially launched

Download Visual Studio '15' preview from Microsoft