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Microsoft updates Visual Studio 2012 with better testing tools and Windows XP support

The update allows developers to write applications for Windows XP

Microsoft's Visual Studio 2012 Update 1 (Visual Studio 2012.1) is now available for download. The update allows users to develop applications for Windows XP and more thoroughly test their work.

The previous version of Microsoft's development tool was launched along with .NET 4.5 in September this year.

That an update arrives so quickly following the launch is part Microsoft's plan to upgrade Visual Studio at shorter intervals, the corporate vice president of Microsoft's developer division, Soma Somasegar, wrote in a blog post on Monday.

The improvements are related to four areas: Windows development, SharePoint development, agile teams, and continuous quality, according to Somasegar.

Windows developers can now use Visual Studio 2012 to write C++ applications for Windows XP.

Update 1 also includes improved diagnostics and testing for Windows Store apps, and code analysis to help improve the quality of applications for Windows Phone 8.

SharePoint developers who install the update can better test their applications. They can, for example, see how the applications cope with simulated load and network conditions.

In general, the ability to test applications is a key focus area for Update 1, Somasegar said.

Developers can record tests on Internet Explorer and later replay them with other browsers. Microsoft Test Manager has also been enhanced.

To improve support for agile development techniques Microsoft has added a new range of project tracking options and made usability improvements for developers who manage projects using the web-based interface for Team Foundation Server.

There is a new visualization feature called Code Map, as well. It allows developers to dynamically build views of relevant areas of a code base in order to understand and navigate its relationships quickly, according to Somasegar.

Besides new features, the update also includes more than a 100 fixes.

Users who encounter bugs or other issues should report them through the Visual Studio, LightSwitch, and Blend Connect sites, Microsoft said.

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