This latest version greatly emphasizes cross-platform development, with support for targeting Windows, iOS and Android, in part through its support for the Apache Cordova project and Xamarin‘s app development platform.
Microsoft has also partnered with the likes of Unity, Epic Games (the company behind the Unreal engine) and Chukong Technologies (the developers of Cocos2d) to enhance built-in support for game development with VS 2015.
Other new features in VS 2015 include support for extensions, new diagnostic and debugging tools, an emulator for Android developers, built-in support for Application Insights and various user interface and performance tweaks.
As the company announced in March, Visual Studio will come in two subscription flavors: Enterprise and Pro (that’s down from three different editions in previous versions). The company will also offer a standalone, non-subscription version of Visual Studio Professional for $499. Microsoft will also offer a free Community edition of VS 2015 for open source projects, academic research, education and small teams.
The launch date is not a complete surprise, given that Windows 10 will launch barely a week after VS 2015, on July 29.