Microsoft is holding it’s 2015 Connect() virtual conference today which was kicked off by a lengthy keynote from Scott Guthrie.  In the keynote there were several new announcements including a sneak peek into Visual Studio 2015 Update 1, new features in Visual Studio Code, and a new model for getting Microsoft developer tools.  Here’s an overview of some of the key announcements.

Visual Studio 2015 Update 1

The next update for Visual Studio 2015 is due out later this month and will include several new features including support for viewing AppInsights data about your application directly in the IDE, support for Bower package imports, improved support of Node.js and Python, and newly added support for the R machine learning language.  Also to be released on November 30 will be an update for the Windows 10 SDK and development tools that support the features of the November Windows 10 update.

.NET Core and ASP.NET 5 RC

Microsoft is releasing the open source .NET Core and ASP.NET 5 release candidates effective today.  You can get the latest ASP.NET 5 bits at  .NET Core will be released on all platforms including Linux and OSX with GoLive licenses for production applications.  For more information on the key features of ASP.NET 5 RC and .NET Core, check out the .NET Blog announcement.  Also shown was a preview into the future of .NET core including command line tools for non-Windows platforms as well as the ability to leverage .NET native on those environments.

Visual Studio Code

vscodeMicrosoft has announced that Visual Studio Code is now officially in Beta for all platforms.  What’s more, they are taking the editor open source and is now available on GitHub at  The Beta version supports extensions that enable community based add-ons like Pascal intellisense or spelling and grammar checks.  There have also been significant improvements in debugging.  For more information check out the Visual Studio Code Updates page.

Visual Studio Online = Visual Studio Team Services

In order to distinguish the features of Visual Studio Online as separate from the IDE, Microsoft has decided to rebrand Visual Studio Online as Visual Studio Team Services.  Along with the rename, they’ve also added new features including extensions such as HockeyApp and Cake, a public preview of the Release Management feature, a public preview of Package Management supporting NuGet now with Bower support most likely in the works, and  Code Search for finding code in large repositories.  For more information on the new features of Visual Studio Team Services check out this News page.

Visual Studio Cloud Subscription

DevEssentialsFollowing in the footsteps of products like Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft will begin to offer it’s development tools in a monthly or annual subscription model.  While they didn’t discuss pricing or product SKUs specifically in the keynote, they did point out that there will be a free tier called Visual Studio Dev Essentials that will include all of the previously free tools as well as Azure services and training and support.  For more information visit the Visual Studio Dev Essentials page.