Microsoft is making Visual Studio 2017 generally available for download today, March 7.

Developers can download the latest VS release here and the VS 2017 release notes are here. Microsoft supports side-by-side installation of VS 2017 with previous versions of VS and has enabled VS 2017 installation on top of a VS “15” preview or Release Candidate build.

Pricing and packaging for this version of the product remains the same as pricing for VS 2015. A free Community edition for individual developers and those in small shops, will continue to be available. Professional with MSDN and Enterprise with MSDN are the other primary editions. The 2017 Visual Studio Enterprise edition is getting new Redgate Data Tools benefits and a new DevOps Accelerator.

Microsoft’s latest tool suite will run on Windows 10 (version 1507 or higher); Windows 7 Service Pack 1; Windows 8.1; Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter; Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Standard and Datacenter.

The newest version of Microsoft’s 20-year-old Visual Studio product allows developers to grab only the specific components they need, making its installation faster. Officials said VS 2017 starts up to three times faster than VS 2015 and performance is faster.

The latest Visual Studio release also is designed to better support teams, and includes tools that provide support for building .NET Core 1.0 and 1.1 applications, Azure applications, microservices and Docker containers. Built-in integration with Microsoft’s Xamarin tooling enables developers to more easily create mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows. Live unit testing is also a new, key feature of the product.

VS 2017 includes VS C++ for Linux. The final version of Python is currently not included in VS 2017, as it didn’t meet internal criteria required to make the final cut. Microsoft officials said last month that they plan to make a preview of Python available today and that full Python support will return in one of the first VS 2017 updates.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is making a number of other updates available today to other pieces of the Visual Studio family. It is releasing Preview 4 of Visual Studio for Mac; Update 1 for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017; and support for mobile apps built with Xamarin and React Native as part of its Visual Studio Mobile Center preview.

Microsoft’s messaging to developers these days is that the company is building the “best-in-class tools for every developer” — not just focused on Windows and Microsoft developers. Company officials are emphasizing that Visual Studio is not just an integrated development environment; it’s also part of the company’s mobile first/cloud first strategy.

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