Microsoft launches first Visual Studio 2019 preview

Visual Studio logo
Visual Studio logo (Image credit: Microsoft)

As it kicks off its Connect(); 2018 conference today, Microsoft is making a slew of announcements for developers. The biggest bit to come out of the event is the launch of the first Visual Studio 2019 preview, which is now available for developers to download (opens in new tab).

At launch, the Visual Studio 2019 preview packs several improvements, ranging from UI tweaks to AI improvements to IntelliCode. Microsoft also says this iteration of Visual Studio has been designed to make it faster to work with projects in git repositories.

The most immediate change you'll notice is a new start window when firing up Visual Studio 2019 for the first time. The window has been redesigned to work with Git repositories, whether they be local repos or stored on GitHub, Azure Repos, or other repositories. Once you've opened a project, there are more UI changes, including a new icon, a fresh blue theme, and an overall cleaner interface.

Visual Studio 2019 Start Window

The search experience has also received an overhaul, allowing you to search for settings, commands, and install options. The search improvements also apply to debugging, with search capabilities added to Autos, Locals, and Watch windows.

IntelliCode can now be trained on your own code repositories, making it better at suggesting the most common coding patterns for your project. And if you use Visual Studio Live Share to collaborate with others, it's now installed by default in Visual Studio 2019.

Finally, in addition to launching the first Visual Studio 2019 preview today, Microsoft is also launching .NET Core 3 preview 1 and open sourcing WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI. The three Windows UX frameworks are now available and open for contributions on GitHub (WPF, Windows Forms, WinUI).

For more, you can check out all of what's new in Visual Studio 2019 at Microsoft (opens in new tab).

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Re-write it as a UWP app, eat your own dog food and come back to me. These new "features" are mild snoozefests. Barely worth a major revision number. Good grief.
  • Honestly I would really like it to be a UWP app, just so I can get one of those ultra light Snapdragon PCs and code n chill in a caffe. Not sure if it's going to happen soon, even MS isn't too sure about UWP. It is working pretty well for me though. As for Visual Studio, I hope they add some new features and actually make it different. 2015 and 2017 have mostly been the same for me.
  • I'm pretty sure you will never see a true compiler or debugger as a store app. The level of control these products need over the system is unlikely to work in any kind of sandboxed environment. (Compiler perhaps, but definitely not a debugger) That doesn't mean that they cannot work to make the UI using the same tools as UWP apps (I don't know if they do or not) but expecting a full debugger / profiler / etc. that you get in Visual Studio to run as an app is about as likely as getting a native compiler and debugger running on Android or an iPad. The security concerns of store-managed apps is fundamentally incompatible with the access a debugger and other tools need.
  • MS needs to make a special extension for such use cases. Just because it currently isn't an option, doesn't mean they can't do it. UWP needs some power options in order to get all apps into the market place.
  • What would be more likely (and welcomed by me) is packaging VS as a store app. Not UWP (for the reasons cited), but Centennial. The new installer is most of the way there, but I'm tired of having to track down download locations for non-store apps every time I build a new machine.